East Tennessee State vs. Florida - East Region, 1st Round  Pick

Florida Gators

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 4:16 PM GMT

Ross Benjamin provides us with an early NCAA Tournament betting preview on Thursday’s game between Florida and East Tennessee. Don’t make a move without first reading Ross’ very successful college basketball picks.

  

East Tennessee State vs. Florida

East Region, 1st Round 
Thursday, March 16 - 3:10 PM ET

The #4 seed Florida Gators will face #13 East Tennessee State in a NCAA Tournament East Region game to be played on Thursday at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. At the time of this writing (3/13), Florida is a 10.0-point favorite on the NCAA Basketball Odds, and there’s a posted total of either 144.0 or 144.5. Per Bookmaker, 74% of early point spread wagers have gone the way of East Tennessee State. Despite that lopsided margin, the line has held steady from its opening number of 10.0.

 

Sizing Up the Buccaneers

East Tennessee State (27-7) was regular season co-champions in the Southern Conference, and then went on to win their postseason tournament, thus securing an automatic bid to March Madness. The Buccaneers are a dynamic offensive team which averages 79.3 point scored per game, and shoots a superb 49.1% from the floor. They’re also solid defensively as well, and has held its opponents to a combined 41.6% shooting this season.

The Buccaneers own a notable non-conference win at Mississippi State. However, they went 0-2 SU&ATS against non-conference foes who are in the “Big Dance”. They lost road games to Dayton by 14 and NC-Wilmington by 9.

 

Beware of the Gators

I’m of the opinion that Florida (24-8) is well-equipped to make a deep postseason run, and that’s despite losing its top big man John Egbunu to a late season ending knee injury. Florida has displayed very good chemistry as the season progressed, and is an unselfish team which shares the ball with a high degree of precision. For whatever reason, Vanderbilt had Florida’s number, and 3 of the Gators 8 losses this season have come against their SEC rival. As a matter of fact, Florida lost just 2 other games in SEC play. They fell 57-53 at South Carolina, and lost to Kentucky 76-66 in Lexington.  Florida went 3-3 versus non-conference teams who will be part of the 2017 version of March Madness.

 

Final Thoughts and Pick

East Tennessee State will give Florida all they can handle for 30 minutes. Nonetheless, I firmly believe Florida will wear them down late in this contest, and pull away for a cover that will be hard earned. I’m laying the points for one of my March Madness predictions.

Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Florida -10.0Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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