Expert Sights Intangible Factors for Gators Pick over Cavs

Florida Gators player in action

Ross Benjamin

Saturday, March 18, 2017 1:44 PM UTC

Saturday, Mar. 18, 2017 1:44 PM UTC

Do you want to make a bet on Saturday’s NCAA Tourney game between Virginia and Florida but fear it’s too close a call? If that’s the case, then go inside to read a betting preview on this contest and your dilemma will be resolved.

  Virginia vs. Florida

East Region, Saturday 8:40 pm E.T


Game# 521-522

A “Sweet 16” berth will be on the line on Saturday when Virginia and Florida square off at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. The winner will advance to take on either Wisconsin or Villanova next Thursday at Madison Square Garden in New York.

At the time of this writing (3/17), March Madness odds display Florida as a 1.5-point favorite across the board. The current posted total ranges from 125.0 to 126.0. This low total hasn’t scared bettors from going under. A consensus of the best sportsbooks indicates that 66.9% of individual totals bets made at this juncture have gone under, and 33.1% have gone over. Meanwhile, Florida has moved to an opening line favorite of 1.0 to 1.5, and that’s despite 58.8% of point spread wagers being made on Virginia.


Personal Irony

Before the announcement of the 68-team NCAA Tournament field, I wrote a published article on predicting some “Final Four” sleeper teams. Wouldn’t you know it, 2 of my projected teams were Virginia and Florida. Well, at least I’m assured that one of these teams will advance to the “Sweet 16”. Now comes the hard part, deciding on which team in this matchup will be one of my Saturday, March Madness predictions.


Final Thoughts and Prediction

There’s no denying that both Florida and Virginia are among the elite defensive teams in the country. Now it’s a simple case of deductive reasoning. Since defensive comparisons are a virtual wash, then who do I deem the better offensive team to be. If that isn’t convincing enough, it then comes down to intangibles, and lastly my own personal eye test.

It didn’t take me very long to conclude that Florida had a slight edge in terms of offensive capabilities. For starters, the Gators are averaging 78.3 points per game compared to 66.9 for Virginia. Although from a percentage standpoint Virginia is a better 3-point shooting team than Florida, they only average 1 more made 3-pointer per game. Both teams shoot an identical 71% from the free throw line. However, Florida averages 6 more attempts per game.

From what I’ve witnessed over the course of this season, and more important over the past month, Florida has more athleticism than Virginia and is much better equipped to come from behind than Virginia is. I’m going with the Gators for one of my college basketball picks.

 Free NCAAB Pick: Florida -2Best Line Offered: at TheGreek

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