Sunday’s slate features plenty of potential upsets between Gonzaga, Michigan and Alabama. Which one of these teams goes down on Sunday? Here are the best bets courtesy of SBR.
Florida State Seminoles vs. Michigan Wolverines
Sunday, March 28, 2021 – 05:00 PM EDT at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Florida State’s defense has been terrific in March Madness but the question will be if they can slow down a hot Michigan offense. Will they tame the Wolverines?
Florida State has an effective field goal percentage of 54.4 percent and dominates the offensive boards with a 34.8 percent rebounding percentage. This team shoots lights out from three at 38.2 percent and does well inside shooting 52.9 percent. The Seminoles are a fast offense using 16.3 seconds per possession but on defense, they make offenses work as opponents have taken 17.9 seconds per possession.
Throughout the season, Florida State has turned the ball over higher than 20 percent of possessions. However, Michigan struggles to force turnovers which could prevent Florida State from making silly mistakes and costly errors.
Defensively, Florida State has not done well on the defensive glass but they’ve limited opponents to an effective field goal percentage of 45.9 percent. They’re dominant inside, holding opponents to 43.9 percent and also defend fairly well on the perimeter, allowing teams to shoot 32.6 percent from long range.
Michigan matches up well with Florida State, which to me, feels more like a pick-em game. On defense, Michigan is also top 10 in defense inside the arc and holds opponents to 32.7 percent from three, which is basically the same number as Florida State. The Wolverines are holding opponents to a 44.5 percent effective field goal percentage which is sixth in the nation and they’ve stayed out of foul trouble for most of the season.
On offense, Michigan is shooting a 55.2 percent effective field goal percentage and knocking down 38.5 percent from long range along with 53.9 percent from inside. They’re also 78 percent from the foul line and should get there more often than Florida State as the Seminoles average plenty more fouls.
If Florida State is able to limit turnovers and rebound well on the offensive glass, there’s no reason why Michigan should be a favorite in this game. This is more of an even match-up. Both defenses are really good at limiting quality shots while Michigan is a better defensive rebounding team and Florida State is better at forcing turnovers. I’ll gladly take Florida State and the points given by sportsbooks here.
CBB Pick: (visit our Sportsbook Review)
UCLA Bruins vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
Sunday, March 28, 2021 - 07:15 PM EDT at Hinkle Fieldhouse
Both offenses seem unstoppable at this point but Alabama’s defense ranks in the top three in the nation. Can the Crimson Tide finally put an end to UCLA’s run in the NCAA Tournament?
UCLA defeated Michigan State in the First Four, took down BYU in the first round and dominated Abilene Christian in a 20-point blowout win in the second round. The verdict is that UCLA hasn’t played anyone special and it shows on the college basketball spreads. That’s true but that offense has looked really good as of late.
The Bruins have the 12th highest offensive efficiency in the nation shooting an effective field goal percentage of 52.2 percent. They rarely turn the ball over at 16.1 percent and have dominated the offensive glass, which is an area Alabama has struggled on defensively. The Bruins shoot 37.4 percent from long range and 50.4 percent from inside. They’re also average from the foul line at 71.1 percent.
On defense, UCLA won’t force as many turnovers as Alabama but, again, could dominate the glass and win that battle on both ends of the floor against Alabama. That’s only if Alabama misses shots though. UCLA is allowing teams to shoot 34.2 percent from three and 49.6 percent from inside. Alabama shoots the three at one of the highest rates in college basketball and knowing UCLA hasn’t defended the three well this season is a big discouraging for UCLA.
Alabama is shooting an effective field goal percentage of 51.8 percent and has done well on the offensive glass, bringing down 32.1 percent of offensive rebounding chances. The Crimson Tide don’t get to the line often and would rather take threes than drive and create contact.
On defense, Alabama has defended the three very well which is a major reason for their success. Teams are shooting 28.9 percent from long range against Alabama. When they’re making 10 or more threes, they’re preventing other teams from getting anywhere close to that amount, giving them some high quality wins that weren’t even sweats.
With that said, UCLA doesn’t shoot a high amount of threes and the Bruins would rather work inside where Alabama isn’t as good defensively. UCLA should be able to score inside, get some good looks and offensive rebound at a high rate for second chances and more fouls. If Alabama gets in foul trouble and sends UCLA to the line more, I like this game to get over. Alabama’s three point defense doesn’t really come into play against a UCLA team that is 301st in the nation in three point attempts to field goal attempts.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.