College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for Ohio State vs. Florida: Who Wins the Fort Myers Tip-Off Championship?

College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for Ohio State vs. Florida: Who Wins the Fort Myers Tip-Off Championship? article feature image

Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images. Pictured: Tyree Appleby

  • Ohio State and Florida meet in the Fort Myers Tip-Off title game.
  • The Buckeyes have one loss this season, while the Gators are currently unbeaten.
  • Keg breaks down the game and offers up his best bet.

Ohio State vs. Florida Odds

Wednesday Nov. 24
8:30 p.m. ET
Ohio State Odds
-110o / -110u
Florida Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Ohio State is coming off its biggest win of the basketball season and is playing in an MTE championship game against a top-25 opponent. Still, the Buckeyes' entire fanbase is worried about a guy in Khakis who hasn't beaten their football team once in five years.

Coincidentally, they are playing a team that's been in that position before (the 05-07 Gators don't get the credit they deserved). But the Fort Myers Tip-Off and a quadrant one win in November is what I get out of bed for in the morning.

The Buckeyes looked the best they have all season in their game against Seton Hall, thanks to a Meechie Johnson Jr. 3 from well outside the arc. They took the lead with 1.8 seconds left on the clock.

E.J. Liddell led the team in points (28) yet again, something he has done in every game so far this year.

Florida, meanwhile, remained undefeated, moving to 4-0 on the season after a 20-point rout of Cal. Colin Castleton topped the team with 16 points in a game Florida led for the entire second half.

This game will be huge for both teams. Ohio State has stumbled through the start of the season, falling flat on its face on the road against Xavier.

But after the Buckeyes' first top-50 win of the campaign, have they finally found their footing? Or will Florida keep its unbeaten streak alive? The Gators won't play another team currently ranked in the top 25 until January.

Ohio State Buckeyes

The Buckeyes are 4-1 so far to start the season, opening with only a 67-66 win over Akron before a close 84-74 game with Niagara. They were able to record a convincing win against Bowling Green 89-58 before taking their only loss to Xavier on the road by a score of 71-65.

Liddell is one of the best players in college basketball, so slowing him down will be the first priority for Florida.

But that may be easier said than done. Against Seton Hall, he was able to score and draw fouls with ease.

Castleton will have his biggest defensive test so far this year.

Joining Liddell is Zed Key, who was recruited heavily by the Gators and is averaging 9.8 points and five rebounds per game this year. The veteran senior in Kyle Young is barely ahead of Liddell to lead the team in rebounds at 6.5 per game.

Ohio State has been better than Florida offensively, but it will be vulnerable on defense. Liddell and Key will both likely struggle against Castleton, who has a length advantage against both.

The Buckeyes should have success in the paint on offense, but if they can't get stops on the other end, this game could get ugly.

The Buckeyes rank eighth in adjusted offensive efficiency, per KenPom, and 45th in 3-point percentage. However, they rank 51st in adjusted efficiency and are behind Florida's defense in effective FG%, 2 and 3-point percentage, blocks, steals and rebounds.

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Florida Gators

Florida has been lights out to start the season. Led by Castleton, the Gators won their first four games.

Mike White's team lost a lot of talent from last year, but he had a ton of success in the transfer portal. So far, it's paying off as the team has been able to gel early in the year.

While many of his players are in their first year at Florida, the Gators are one of the most experienced teams in the country. They rank 19th in experience, according to KenPom.

The Florida defense has been impressive and a big reason as to why the Gators are 5-0 so far. They rank 16th in adjusted defensiveness efficiency, per KenPom.

The Gators may lean on their defense, but they are no slouch on offense, scoring 70 or more in every game so far. With a defense that has proven itself against a top-25 team in Florida State already this year, I think Florida will have the upper hand on Ohio State.

Ohio State vs. Florida Betting Pick

The Florida defense will be too much for Liddell & Co. to overcome. And that’s why I’m betting the Gators to win the Fort Myers Tip-Off Beach Division title.

I expect Florida to open as a 3-4 point favorite and I would bet it at any number -4 or better.

Pick: Florida -4 or better

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Nick Sterling
Jul 21, 2024 UTC