Poor Free-Throw Shooting Prompts an NCAA Basketball Pick on Navy +13 vs. Florida

Ross Benjamin

Friday, November 13, 2015 9:08 PM GMT

We’re going to examine Friday’s NCAA Basketball season opening game for both Florida and Navy. Go inside to read our insightful betting preview article which includes an NCAA Basketball pick.

Middies Host the Gators in Friday College Basketball Opener
The Navy Midshipmen will host the Florida Gators in a Friday night college basketball contest. The opening tip at Alumni Hall in Annapolis, Maryland is slated for 9:30 PM ET. This game will be the nightcap of a doubleheader at Alumni Hall. The opening game will feature the preseason #1 team in the country North Carolina taking on Temple at 7:00 PM ET. According to the NCAA Basketball odds at 5Dimes, Florida is a 13-point favorite over Navy this evening.

 

The Skinny on the Teams
Friday will mark a new era for Florida basketball. For the first time in 19 seasons the Gators will be playing in a game without Billy Donovan as their head coach. Donovan left to take over as head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Enter 38 year old Michael White to take over the reign. White was the former head coach at Louisiana Tech where he had a very successful tenure. He inherits a Gators team that went a disappointing 16-17 a season ago. They do return three starts but will be without two of their top three scorers from last season.

Navy was in a similar situation at this same time last year. They opened the season by hosting perennial power Michigan State who would eventually go on to the 2015 Final Four. Despite being a 17.5 point underdog, the Middies had a legitimate chance of an upset right up until the final 30 seconds of play before falling 64-59. They did lose their top two scorers from that team to graduation. However, veteran head coach Ed DeChellis likes the overall depth on this year’s team a bit better.

 

Final Thoughts and Pick
The Gators will be improved this season but there will be some early growing pains with a new coaching staff. One thing of major concern for Florida is their free throw shooting. The Gators converted on just 63% of their attempts last season, and in their lone exhibition game against Palm Beach Atlantic they were a horrendous 10-for-27 (37.0%). That can be a key factor if Navy is within striking distance tonight, and needs to foul late in the contest in order to lengthen the game. I’m going to have a small lean on the home underdog for one of my NCAA Basketball picks.

NCAA Basketball Picks: Play on Navy +13 (-105) over Florida at 5Dimes

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":2935007, "sportsbooksIds":[1096,19,93,92,238,349], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]