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Florida State Seminoles vs. Gonzaga Bulldogs: Odds, March Madness Betting Pick

OddsShark.com@@OddsSharkFeatured ColumnistMarch 20, 2018

BOISE, ID - MARCH 17:  Josh Perkins #13 stands with head coach Mark Few of the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the second half against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the second round of the 2018 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Taco Bell Arena on March 17, 2018 in Boise, Idaho.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Gonzaga carries a 16-game winning streak into its Sweet 16 matchup with Florida State on Thursday night in Los Angeles. However, the Bulldogs are only 6-10 against the spread over that run because they're favored by so much so often. Who's the better bet for this contest?

March Madness point spread: The Bulldogs opened as 6.5-point favorites; the total is at 155, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark (line updates and matchup report).

March Madness betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 81.0-66.2, Bulldogs (March Madness picks on every game).

Check out the OddsShark podcast on iTunes or at OddsShark.libsyn.com for more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news.

            

Why Florida State can cover the spread

The Seminoles reached the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2011 by beating Missouri in the first round 67-54, then upsetting No. 1 Xavier in the second round 75-70. FSU dominated the Tigers and covered a one-point spread, then came from behind against the Musketeers and won outright as a six-point dog.

Florida State only trailed Xavier by a bucket at the half, fell down by a dozen with 11 minutes to go but finished the game with a 31-14 run. In the end, the Seminoles scored the last seven points for the victory.

In a first-round game that was supposed to be close, the Seminoles broke out to a 22-point halftime lead over Missouri, let the Tigers creep within six in the second half but immediately re-asserted control on their way to a surprisingly easy win.

Florida State is now 8-5 SU and 7-5-1 ATS this season against teams that made the NCAA tournament.

       

Why Gonzaga can cover the spread

The Zags opened this tournament by holding off North Carolina-Greensboro 68-64, then outlasted Ohio State 90-84. So Gonzaga is back in the Sweet 16 for the fourth year in a row.

The Bulldogs grabbed a 15-0 lead out of the gate on the Buckeyes, then later fell down by five with six minutes to go. But Gonzaga used an 11-0 run to regain control and eventually covered a five-point spread.

The Bulldogs shot 53 percent from the floor against Ohio State and outrebounded the Buckeyes 39-25. So Gonzaga has shot at least 50 percent seven of its last 10 times out, and it's outrebounded each of its last nine opponents.

The Zags are also now 6-3 SU and 5-4 ATS this season against teams that made the Dance.

        

Smart betting pick

Gonzaga is a regular participant in the latter stages of the NCAA tournament; Florida State, not so much. But the Bulldogs' reputation probably inflates this spread by a three-pointer or so. If the Seminoles can carry over the momentum from the win over Xavier, they might just pull another upset here. The smart money takes the points.

        

March Madness betting trends

The total has gone over in five of Gonzaga's last seven games.

Gonzaga is 5-12 ATS in its last 17 games as a favorite.

Florida State is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games.

     

All college basketball odds and betting trends courtesy of Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.

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