Dayton Flyers vs. Stanford Cardinal
The most unlikeliest Sweet Sixteen matchup features Stanford and Dayton, two double-digit seeds who've had to battle through some extremely tough competition to get to this point.
As for the college basketball betting odds, the Cardinal will come in favored by three points, while the O/U is holding steady at 133.
Stanford has really come on strong over the last few weeks. They may have ran into a buzzsaw known as UCLA in the Pac 12 tournament, but they didn't let them faze them in the Big Dance. The Cardinal topped New Mexico (58-53) in the second round and then upset Kansas 60-57 as 6.5-point underdogs in the Round of 32.
The Flyers have certainly earned their spot as well, having knocked out two perennial college basketball giants in Ohio State (60-59) and Syracuse (55-53).
Nonetheless, we are picking the Cardinal to win both straight up and against the spread, booking their spot in the Elite Eight in the process.
We love Stanford's length all over the court and really think it will give Dayton problems, much like it has for the Cardinal's first two opponents in the tournament. When you can hold two extremely talented teams in Kansas and New Mexico to under 60 points, you know you're doing something right defensively.
The experience is also there for Stanford. Four of their five starters are seniors and the other, their most talented player Chasson Randle, is a junior. Ultimately we look for the Cardinal to weather the storm of Dayton's depth and do enough to get the win.
NCAA Tournament Pick: Stanford Cardinal -3
UCLA Bruins vs. Florida Gators
A classic showdown between offense and defense. Who wins out? The Gators and Bruins will meet up with a spot in the Elite Eight up for grabs, and sportsbooks currently have Florida laying 4.5 points. The total, for those eager to make a play, can be found at 137 or 137.5.
We've seen dominance out of both teams so far in this tournament.
The Bruins have followed up their Pac 12 tournament triumph by beating both Tulsa and Stephen F. Austin by double figures. Their explosive offensive ability has been too much for opponents to handle, with the trio of Kyle Anderson, Jordan Adams and Norman Powell inflicting the most damage.
For the most part, the Gators have excelled thanks to their top-notch defense. They also won their conference tournament and have carried over that momentum into the NCAA tournament, beating Albany (67-55) and then Pittsburgh (61-45). Considering how well the Panthers had been playing, it was an impressive display from Billy Donovan's crew.
So where should we go with our college basketball picks tonight?
We're going to back defense here and pick this veteran-laded Florida team to get the job done. The Gators have allowed a mere 51.6 points per game over their last five, holding opposing teams to 37.9 percent shooting overall and a miniscule 20.9 percent from three. UCLA presents some different types of challenges, but Florida has the versatility and athleticism to contend with anything thrown their way.
Donovan will have a game-plan in place to stop Anderson and company and we think they'll be able to make enough plays offensively, grind out the victory and move on. We're siding with Florida to get the ATS cover.
NCAA Tournament Pick: Florida Gators -4.5