No. 9 seeds have covered four in a row against No. 1 seeds and that should be a concern for a Florida Gators team that struggled in its first game of the tournament.
Florida now takes on a Pittsburgh Panthers squad that dismantled Colorado on Thursday, routing the No. 8-seeded Buffaloes.
But winning 27 straight games when favored gives the Gators plenty of confidence here, even if bettors have backed Pitt and forced the point spread down to -5.
Spread and total points scored betting line
The Gators opened as six-point favorites; the total was 124. (Compare lines and consensus picks on the Odds Shark matchup report)
Odds Shark computer pick
Why pick Pittsburgh to cover the spread
While the Panthers can’t be expected to shoot 51 percent from the field each time out—like they did against Colorado—they do play a stringent defense.
Pitt held the Buffaloes to just 48 points in its 29-point blowout Thursday. During their current 6-2 run, the Panthers have held their foes to an average of 65.1 points in those games.
Why pick Florida to cover the spread
Chalk up Florida’s lethargic look on Thursday to cobwebs against an Albany team that came in fresh off of a game on Tuesday. Though the Gators were obviously the better team, the Great Danes were warmed up.
Well now, so is Florida, and it won’t get caught off its game in this one. It’s won 27 straight when installed as the favorite and should pull away from the Panthers here.
Smart betting pick
Florida has won and covered three straight games in the Round of 32 and won’t get caught sleeping again. The Panthers were impressive in their first season in the ACC, but they also stumbled against superior competition, losing five of seven at one point.
Billy Donovan will have his troops better prepared for this one, as the Gators will play to the level of competition and cover this point spread.
Pittsburgh Panthers: No. 35
Florida Gators: No. 7 (per Odds Shark power ranks)
March Madness betting trends
- Florida has won 27 straight games as favorites
- Florida won and covered three straight Round 2 games
- 9 seeds covered four in a row vs 1 seeds