The South Region’s top-seeded Florida Gators have not lost a game since December 2 and will open up the dance with the Albany Great Danes, who already have a tournament game under their belt.
The Danes, who finished the season on a 6-1 straight-up run, beat Mount St. Mary’s Tuesday night in a First Four matchup.
But even facing a whopping point spread, the Gators are seeing lots of betting action. Florida was favored by 20 or more points three times in the tournament since 2002 and covered each time.
Spread and Total Points Betting Line
The Gators opened as 21.5-point favorites; the total was 121. (Compare lines and consensus on the Odds Shark matchup report)
Odds Shark Computer Pick
Why Pick Albany to Cover the Spread
Some might say getting the jitters out helps a No. 16 seed, so the Great Danes, champions of the America East, could very well come in warmed up and ready to compete with the Gators.
There is a lot of experience on this team, as it came into the season with seven of nine back from last year’s tournament team.
Why Pick Florida to Cover the Spread
The last time that Florida was a No. 1 seed, it opened the tournament with a 43-point win over Jacksonville back in 2007. And it’s awfully hard to argue against coach Billy Donovan, who is 31-11 in 13 dances.
This is a team that has four senior starters and has the potential to cover every point spread through the final weekend.
Smart Betting Pick
This is one of Donovan’s deepest and most athletic teams ever, and we’re talking about a coach who has made it this far in 15 straight seasons. The Gators' length allows them to create havoc with a suffocating press.
They should cover this point spread by shutting down Albany’s offensive game. Lay the chalk here, as Florida covers the huge number.
Albany Great Danes: No. 71
Florida Gators: No. 7 (per Odds Shark power ranks)
March Madness Betting Trends
- Florida has not lost since Dec. 2
- Last time as a top seed, won first-round game by 43 points (2007 vs. Jacksonville)
- Florida is 3-0 ATS when favored by at least 20 points at tournament time