Sweet 16 Picks: BYU vs. Florida Odds and Predictions
by Dave Schwab - 3/22/2011
The bottom of the bracket in the Southeast Region has followed suit with the No.3 seed BYU Cougars squaring off against the No.2 seed Florida Gators in the Sweet 16 round of this year’s NCAA Men’s Tournament. Thursday’s game from the Superdome in New Orleans is scheduled to tip at 7:27 p.m. (EST) and it will be broadcast nationally on TBS.
There was some genuine concern on how BYU would fare in this tournament after its top rebounder Brandon Davies was dismissed from the team due to violations of the school’s code of conduct. So far his loss has not been a factor as the Cougars have yet to be really tested in their first two games. They opened the tournament with 74-66 victory over No. 14 seed Wofford as an 8 ½-point favorite and hammered No.11 seed Gonzaga, 89-67, as a one-point favorite in the third round.
The primary reason for BYU’s success this season has been the play of senior guard Jimmer Fredette. He has averaged an incredible 28.3 points a game this season, but has been able to elevate that to 33 points a game in this tournament. Against Gonzaga, the Cougars were outrebounded 34-23, but Fredette’s 34 points and six assists were able to compensate for this gap. It is safe to say that BYU will only go has far as Jimmer can take them.
Florida came into this tournament with some doubts of its own after getting crushed by Kentucky, 70-54, in the SEC Tournament as a 1 ½-point favorite. The Gators quickly put that loss aside with a dominating 79-51 victory over No.15 seed UC Santa Barbara in the second round as a 12 ½-point favorite. They advanced to the Sweet 16 with an even more impressive 73-65 win over No.7 seed UCLA as a 5 ½-point favorite.
Erving Walker’s game-high 21 points proved to be the difference against the Bruins. Florida’s junior guard leads the team in scoring with 14.7 points a game, but a close second is sophomore guard Kenny Boynton, who is averaging 14 points a game. He had 12 points and five assists against UCLA but also sprained his ankle in the win. He is currently listed as probable and is expected to ready to go come Thursday night. The key to this game could very well be senior forward Chandler Parsons, who leads the Gators with seven rebounds a game. If Florida can control the boards and simply try and contain Fredette to less than 30 points, it has an excellent chance of winning this game.
BYU vs. Florida Betting Odds and Trends
The Gators have been installed as three-point favorites in this contest with the total set at 149, according to college basketball odds.
BYU is 3-2 against the spread in its last five road games and 2-3 ATS in its last five games overall. The total has stayed ‘under’ in three of its last five games.
Florida is 2-1-1 ATS in its last four games on the road and 6-1 ATS in its last seven games overall. The total has gone ‘over’ in nine of its last 10 games.
Sweet 16 Picks: BYU vs. Florida Predictions
These two teams staged an epic double-overtime battle in the first round of last year’s NCAA Tournament with the Cougars pulling out a 99-92 win as a five-point favorite. This time around Florida should be able to grind out the win by controlling the boards, but take BYU and the three points as Fredette keeps the Cougars in it until the bitter end.
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