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UCLA Bruins vs. Florida Gators Betting Line, Sweet 16 Analysis, Pick

Florida coach Billy Donovan holds up a piece of the net after the Gators became the first team in Southeastern Conference history to go 18-0 in league pla, Saturday, March 8, 2014 in Gainesville, Fla. Florida defeated Kentucky 84-65 Saturday in an NCAA college basketball game. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin)
Phil Sandlin/Associated Press
OddsShark.comFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2014

Underdogs have cashed in 12 of the last 16 games the past two years and 17 of the last 24 games the past three years in the Sweet 16.

That should be music to the ears of UCLA Bruins backers, the second-biggest underdogs in this round, as they face the Florida Gators in the semifinals of the South Region.

But buyer beware on UCLA for fans who look to the past to predict the future. The Bruins are 1-7 against the spread in the Sweet 16 since 1997.

 

Spread and total points scored betting line

The Gators opened as 5.5-point favorites; the total was 137. (Compare lines and consensus on the Odds Shark matchup report)

 

Odds Shark computer pick

72.5-70.2 Gators

 

Why pick UCLA to cover the spread

Coach Steve Alford is proving how deep his team is, as the Bruins have scored a pair of blowout wins in the first two rounds, beating both Tulsa (76-59) and Stephen F. Austin (77-60) by nearly identical finals—winning both by 17.

The No. 4 Bruins have now won and covered five straight, including a victory over Arizona in the Pac-12 championship.

 

Why pick Florida to cover the spread

The overall No. 1 seed for the Big Dance woke up after a sluggish 67-55 first-round win over Albany to bounce Pittsburgh in the round of 32 with a 61-45 victory.

Florida comes into this one riding a six-game win streak in Sweet 16 games, while it covered four of those games. The Gators have also owned UCLA at tournament time, according to OddsShark.com’s NCAA hoops database.

 

Smart betting pick

Florida is good and the team is deep, but the Bruins are peaking at the right time. They may be getting too many points in this one.

Though UCLA is mired in a 1-7 against-the-spread slide in the Sweet 16, it is also in on a 4-1 win streak both straight up and ATS when installed as underdogs.

Gators coach Billy Donovan has a monster roster, but Alford has developed one over the course of the season. Play the dog.

 

Power rankings

UCLA Bruins: No. 44

Florida Gators: No. 7 (per Odds Shark power ranks)

 

March Madness betting trends

  • Gators 3-0 SU and ATS vs. Bruins in March Madness since 2006 (all games OVER)
  • UCLA 4-1 SU and ATS past five games as underdogs
  • UCLA 1-7 ATS in Sweet 16 since 1997
  • Florida won six straight Sweet 16 games (4-2 ATS)

 

Note: All spread and betting line data powered by Odds Shark—download the free Lines and Bet Tracker app in the Apple Store and on Google Play.

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