The NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 starts Thursday night with four games sure to keep bettors on the edge of their seats. In what is the best matchup of the night the No. 4 seeded UCLA Bruins play the No. 1 seeded Florida Gators in Memphis, Tennessee.
The winner of this matchup will be given the favorite label to win the South Regional and move on to the tournament’s Final Four.
However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First things first, this game features the Gators who have won 28 straight games and have a record of 34-2 SU and 16-13-2 ATS. The Bruins are 28-8 SU and 23-12 ATS. The UNDER has cashed in 21 of 32 games for the Gators and in 19 of 35 games for the Bruins.
While Florida is one of the nation’s most physical teams with a defense that can shutdown any offense, UCLA is one of the highest scoring teams in the nation.
The two enter in top form for tonight’s game. The Gators are undefeated since December 2 and coming off a win over Pittsburgh by 16 points in the Round of 32.
UCLA has won 7 of its past 8 and defeated Stephen F. Austin in the Round of 32 by 17 points.
The current line at Bovada, topbet and sportsbook.com has Florida as the favorite by 4.5 points. The point total on betonline is sitting at 137 for the over/under.
The line on sports shops online opened from between -4.5 to -5 for Florida and has stayed between those two numbers since Sunday night.
For any updated totals or spreads, visit Bovada, sportsbook.com, betonline or topbet.
This is UCLA’s first visit to the Sweet 16 under head coach Steve Alford, while it is the eighth time Florida is reached this point under Billy Donovan. The Gators are 6-1 SU in regional semifinals including winning six straight. Florida has not lost a Sweet 16 matchup since 1999 when they were defeated by Gonzaga.
Florida has the experience with its four seniors starting. Scottie Wilbekin their point guard and one of the four seniors was the Player of the Year in the SEC. Wilbekin has scored in double figures most of the season, but only three times has hit for 20 or more. Against a high-scoring team like UCLA, he will have to look to score more often tonight.
The offensive strength of UCLA should give Florida its toughest test thus far in the tournament. The Bruins are scoring over 81 points per game and hitting 49% of their shots.
Kyle Anderson has carried the team even though he plays point guard he leads the team in rebounding with 8.7 per game is second in scoring with 14.7 per game and tops in assists with 6.5 per game.
Eight players usually play most of the minutes for UCLA.
Many feel that UCLA is playing better than all but one of No. 1 seeds at this point in the season. However, they face the No. 1 seed playing better than they are at this point.
Pick: The Gators are worthy of a -2.5 to -3 but -4.5 or -5 is a bit high. Take the Gators on the moneyline by the Bruins with the points.