Free Picks: Michigan’s Defense Looks To Hound Florida State

Josh Saslove
Josh Saslove
College Basketball Free Picks
Free Picks: Michigan’s Defense Looks To Hound Florida State
Michigan Wolverines vs Florida State Seminoles, NCAAB, Bankers Life Fieldhouse

The Michigan Wolverines are the sole survivors of the Big Ten, after the bloodbath that was the opening weekend of March Madness. While the conference itself struggled, Michigan reminded pundits that they are one of the top squads in the country. Juwan Howard’s team now redirects their attention to Florida State and Leonard Hamilton who are looking to reach their first Final Four since 1972.

Magnificent Michigan

Many thought Michigan would not be able to overcome the loss of Isaiah Livers, but this Wolverines squad is tough to crack. The trio of Eli Brooks, Chaundee Brown and Brandon Johns Jr., have all found ways to make up for the loss of Livers. Brooks and Brown combined for 42 points against LSU and Johns has helped Michigan maintain its intense defense.

The Wolverines do not create many turnovers, but that is because they stay in front of shooters and clean up their opponents’ second chance opportunities. Michigan has the third best interior defense in the country holding opponents to 43.4%, but opponents are persistent to shoot twos. Michigan runs shooters off the three point line, but because they do not go for steals they are able to contest drives to the paint and mid-range shots. This game has all the makings of a rockfight.

Rockfights are ugly games and end up being low scoring, I see this game ending at 69-65 or something in the low-mid 130s. Florida State’s defensive philosophy is similar to that of Michigan, but they have more size. NCAAB odds have provided us with some great value as the line is at 144, one of my free picks is Under 144 points in this game (-111 at Bet10).

The thing that separates Michigan from Florida State is that 38.7% of their opponents’ field goal attempts come from mid-range twos. FSU shoots 36.9% from no man’s land and they are not very comfortable there. Michigan’s defense will win them this game. The game will be close and oddsmakers have made Michigan 2.5 point favourites, I believe Michigan will win this game and continue their terrific form in March, while Florida State will not be able to solve Michigan’s interior defense. My BetPicks best bet is Michigan’s spread.


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  • Michigan is 18-8-0 ATS this season
  • The Under has cashed in 15 of Michigan’s 26 games this season
  • Florida State is 12-10-2 ATS this season
  • The Over has cashed in 14 of Florida State’s 24 games this season

Josh Saslove here, I am a passionate sports fan and have been consumed by sports for as long as I can remember. I have been a sports bettor for the past 4 years, starting out with betting on college basketball parlays. I currently write pieces for BetPicks, but have my own blog space. I am an avid fan of the Ottawa Senators, Toronto Raptors, Kansas City Chiefs and Toronto Blue Jays, so I know what it's like to cheer for the underdog. The 2017 ECF run by the Ottawa Senators and the Raptors 2019 NBA title are probably my fondest memories as a fan, as well of course the Chiefs Super Bowl win in 2020. I am also a big music fan and have been called Mac Miller by strangers on several occasions.