The Metro PCS Orange Bowl Classic gets underway today at 2:30pm
in the BankAtlantic center as the Texas A&M Aggies take on the Florida
Gators. NCAA basketball odds makers have the Gators favord by 8.5.
5* graded play on No. 13 Florida as they take on No. 22 Texas
A&M set to start at 2:30 PM ET.
This is an intriguing matchup to handicap as both teams present
vastly different styles of playing the game of basketball. This game is being
played in Sunrise Florida on a neutral court and is the second game to be played
in the Metro PCS Orange Bowl Classic. It won’t be much of a home court or home
state advantage for the Gators as Sunrise is located 320 miles or about 5 1/2
hours drive southeast of Gainesville.
The NCAA basketball odds opened with the Gators 8.5 point favorites on the spread and the total is now at 131.5.
Teams off to fast starts
Texas A&M is off to an 8-1 start, but have played just four
lined games and have gone just 1-3 ATS in those games. This reflects a very
easy schedule and the lack of seasoning is going to work against the Aggies now
having to play an elite basketball team in Florida.
Florida is off to a 7-2 starts and are 2-3 ATS in their five
lined games. Florida’s two losses, however, are against two of the best
programs in the nation in Syracuse and Ohio State (Buckeyes play South Carolina today). They covered both of those
games and shows that they are a team prepared to play well against a ranked
Florida has one of the top offenses in the country and will look
to fast break scoring opportunities in transition off of missed Texas A&M shots. They rank fourth in the nation scoring 87 points per game, 15th
averaging 41.2 rebounds per game. Ninth getting 18.3 assist per game, and 43rd
hitting 48% of their shot attempts.
Texas A&M plays a far different style of grinding, slow paced
style of basketball. They rank just 252nd in the nation averaging
64.4 points per game, 14th averaging 41.3 rebounds per game, 120th
getting 13.8 assists per game, and 54th making 47.2% of their shot
attempts. The Aggies will use strong ball movement and work the ball for the
best available shot attempt.
This conflicting style will be enjoyable to watch infold. I
strongly believe that the Gators have too much depth, athleticism, and speed
for the Aggies defense to consistently defend for 40 minutes.
No injuries on the Florida team to note. However, Texas A&M
forward and second leading rebounder Courtney Roberson is listed as
questionable with an ankle sprain. He is by far the best defensive rebounder on
the Aggies and his absence will mean a significant amount of offensive rebounds
and second chance scoring opportunities by the Gators.
My proprietary sports betting database and simulator show a
high probability that Florida will win this game by 10 or more points. With a
posted total in the mid 130’s it does reflect that the A&M defense will be
able to control the pace of the game somewhat. The simulator agrees and shows
that Florida will attempt 54 top 62 shots in this game and make between 40 and
46% of their shot attempts. In past games where the gators have achieved these
levels of offensive performance they are 105-74 ATS when they attempt 54 to 62 shots
in a game since 1997; 102-66 ATS when their opponents make 40% to 46% of their
shots in a game since 1997.
simulator projects that Florida will do an excellent job getting 40 or 44
rebounds in this game. This will limit Texas A&M second chance scoring
opportunities. Moreover, Florida is a solid 48-28 ATS when they grab 40 to 44
rebounds in a game since 1997.
The strong combination of defensive quick, strong defensive
rebounding, and occasional 3-on-2 fast break scoring opportunities will be the
dominant reason that Florida will win this game and cover the spread.
Take the Gators.