The ACC Conference Tournament kicks off at 2pm ET when the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets battle it out against the Florida State Seminoles. The Yellow Jackets opened as a slight underdog at +0.5, now flipping towards a favorite at -1. With Florida State struggling to field any sort of defense, my prediction is that the Yellow Jackets move on with a win over the Seminoles back behind a consistent scoring offensive attack.
Georgia Tech Vs. Florida State Prediction
A consistent scoring attack is easier said than done for the Yellow Jackets as offense has been a struggle for them throughout the course of the season. They finished the season ranked 200th in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency per Kenpom, fielding one of the worst shooting units in basketball. While they shot 42.4% from the field and 33.7% from the perimeter, they actually finished the season on a heater by bumping the FG% up to 47.6% in their last three contests per TeamRankings.
In order for Georgia Tech to win this contest, they will need to continue to find this recent shooting success. Lucky for them, Florida State is one of the worst defensive units in basketball. They finished the season ranked 245th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, never finding any sort of consistency on that end of the court.
Their weakness plays into Georgia Tech’s hands as the Seminoles main struggles were limiting opposing completion percentages. They allowed an Effective Field Goal Percentage of 53.3%, good for 312th in the nation. As if it couldn’t get any worse for Florida State, they have drastically dipped in their most recent contests by allowing an eFG% of 60.7%. Simply put, both of these teams ended the season on drastically different notes.
With a lack of ability to smother opposing looks, this may be exactly what Georgia Tech needs in order to find some scoring consistency on offense. They do have two go-to scorers in Miles Kelly and Lance Terry who average a combined 24.4 ppg, but their secondary scorers have lacked offensive support. Should the Yellow Jackets stretch out the defense, then big man Javon Carter will have more room to work with to provide much needed scoring in the interior.
Georgia Tech Vs. Florida State Prediction: Georgia Tech -1
Georgia Tech Vs. Florida State Odds
As previously mentioned, oddsmakers had this as a near pick’em by opening Georgia Tech as a +0.5 underdog. Bettors were quick to back them, taking Georgia Tech up to as high as -1.5 in some shops. This comes as no surprise as Florida State has looked defeated since the beginning, residing as one of the worst units in the conference. If it wasn’t for Louisville, the Seminoles would take the cake as the worst team in the ACC.
As for the total, points are expected to be scored at a quick pace as oddsmakers opened the number at 146.5. Bettors have yet to take a firm stand on either end, keeping the number the same as the opener. This brought some intrigue as my prediction is correlated with Georgia Tech’s potential for scoring success, yet I cannot say the same for Florida State. The Yellow Jackets defense actually sits around above average in AdjD, ranking 139th per Kenpom.
Georgia Tech Vs. Florida State Key Matchups
Florida State three-point shooting Vs. Georgia Tech perimeter defense
The Yellow Jackets ability to defend the perimeter is a major reason why I have them covering -1 in my Georgia Tech Vs. Florida State prediction, limiting the Seminoles ability to stretch the floor. They are one of the best perimeter defenses in the nation, holding opponents to a lowly 30.8% from three. A percentage that makes them top-30 in the nation in this metric.
The Seminoles are already a weak perimeter shooting unit, averaging just 33.3% from deep. Now they get the pleasure of dealing with the Yellow Jackets perimeter defense which will result in little to no success from deep.
Should FSU struggle to get it going from deep, the Yellow Jackets can sag off and dare them to shoot over the top. This also clogs the interior, potentially negating the FSU size advantage with their 7’4” big man hovering around the paint.
Back the Yellow Jackets at no higher than -1.5 as they should find scoring consistency while also getting the added benefit of sagging towards the interior on defense to disrupt the Seminoles size in the paint.