New updated futures were released this week for the NCAA tournament better known as March Madness. Emerging, as the favorites, are the current No. 3 ranked Florida Gators thanks to Chris Walker their talented freshman joining the team.
Florida is currently 22-2 overall and 11-0 in SEC play. Each year the team is considered a candidate to go deep into the postseason at the NCAA tournament. The Gators are now the new favorite to win the National Title in April at 5 to 1.
Before the start of the regular season, the Gators were given odds of 15 to 1 to win the title, but have little by little moved up the odds board on Bovada, topbet, betonline and sportsbook.com.
Even though the Gators might not excel in every area on the court, the fact they played very well without their star freshman Walker shows how deep they are. Opponents now must be even more concerned with how strong the Gators are with Walker in the fold.
Walker was not eligible until the beginning of February and played in his first game versus Missouri.
He has not played many minutes in his first three games, actually only 16 minutes in all, but Walker is expected to be a bigger factor for the Gators going forward.
Walker was one of the top recruits in the nation. The 6-foot-10 Walker has the athleticism and size that can make it difficult for opponents to guard him on offense and play against him while he is playing defense.
However, until the freshman is able to work his way into the rotation on a regular basis, Florida will continue to go to Casey Prather who is averaging 15.6 points per game, Michael Frazier II who is scoring 12.7 points per game, Scottie Wilbekin who scores 12.6 points per game, and Patric Young who is scoring 10.7 points per game.
Dorian Finney-Smith who is scoring close to 10 points per game and rebounding 8 per game is now a key part of the Gators basketball machine since his transfer last season from Virginia Tech.
Overall as a unit, Florida has one of the best defenses in the nation. The Gators allow just 58 point per game, which is No. 6 in the country.
The suffocating defense has been a huge factor in Florida winning 16 straight games, including victories against then-No. 13 Kansas and then-No. 15 Memphis.
This week, the Florida will face a huge rival when they play Kentucky on Saturday. The Wildcats are ranked No. 14 in the nation. The Gators defeated Tennessee on Tuesday night 67-58.
The Top 10 Futures for the NCAA National Title
Florida 5 to 1
Michigan State 7 to 1
Kansas 7 to 1
Kentucky 8 to 1
Arizona 8 to 1
Syracuse 8 to 1
Duke 12 to 1
Wichita State 12 to 1
Louisville 12 to 1
Villanova 20 to 1