Florida vs. Oral Roberts NCAA Tournament Betting Odds & Picks: Back the Gators in Second Round Showdown
Andy Hancock/Getty Images. Pictured: Max Abmas of Oral Roberts.
Florida vs. Oral Roberts Odds
Oral Roberts pulled off the biggest stunner of the first round, beating two-seed Ohio State 75-72 in overtime behind 59 combined points from Kevin Obanor and Max Abmas.
The Golden Eagles' up-tempo, 3-point barrage gave the Buckeyes fits as they had no answer. Oral Roberts plays one fastest tempos in the country, which most teams aren't used to seeing.
They won three games in three days, including knocking off the top seed in the Summit, South Dakota State. However, dealing with Florida's athleticism and size is going to be a problem for Oral Roberts in the second round.
Florida survived against Virginia Tech after the Hokies hit a three at the buzzer to send it into overtime.
VIRGINIA TECH TIES IT WITH 1.4 SECONDS TO GO[!
This is March. pic.twitter.com/vj1XmdsbdF
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 19, 2021
The Gators were able to dominate the extra session, walking away with a 75-70 victory. However, it came with a cost because starting point guard Tyree Appleby had to leave the game with a facial laceration. As of right now, he is a game-time decision to play on Sunday.
Gators coach Mike White says G Tyree Appleby seems fine, seems normal and will be a game-time decision vs Oral Roberts tomorrow
— Mark Long (@APMarkLong) March 20, 2021
If Appleby is not able to go, it will be a blow for the Gators, since he is averaging 11.2 points and 3.4 assists per game. Even without Appleby, the Gators match up really well against what Oral Roberts does well offensively, so the Gators have a fantastic opportunity to move onto the Sweet 16.
When Florida Has the Ball
Florida is an incredibly balanced offense, that can hit you from all over the floor.
In its opening-round game against Virginia Tech, big man Colin Castleton dominated down low, scoring 19 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. He will be a big problem for Oral Roberts because is one of the best offensive rebounders in the SEC, which is one of the many areas Oral Roberts struggles on defense.
Florida also has one of the best guards in the nation in Tre Mann, who averages 15.9 points per game and sealed the game in overtime Thursday.
TRE MANN. ONIONS. ❄️
— Overtime (@overtime) March 19, 2021
The inside-out game from the Gators is going to cause the Golden Eagles a lot of problems because Oral Roberts is terrible defensively, giving up 1.04 points per possession. They held Ohio State to 5-of-23 from 3-point range, but the Buckeyes had a ton of open looks and just couldn't knock anything down.
The Golden Eagles allow 35% to their opponents from 3-point range, so I don't think they'll be as lucky against Florida.
When Oral Roberts Has the Ball
The nation was introduced to the NCAA's leading scorer Max Abmas, and he did not disappoint. Abmas torched Ohio State from beyond the arc, going 5-of-10 and dropping 29 points.
The nation's leading scorer put on a SHOW!
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 19, 2021
Abmas is a culmination of the identity of this Oral Roberts teams, which loves to bomb 3s and get out in transition. The Golden Eagles shoot over 38% from deep, while also shooting 3s on 46.2% of their field goal attempts.
The problem for them in this matchup is that Florida guards the perimeter at an elite level. The Gators allow only 30.5% from 3-point range, which is the 29th-best mark in the nation.
The Golden Eagles are the best free-throw shooting team in the country, making 82.4% at the charity stripe. However, they don't get there that often, ranking 275th nationally in free-throw rate. They need to make getting to the charity stripe a focus in this game because Florida allows a very high free-throw rate, ranking 257th in the nation.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Oral Roberts' pace clearly gave Ohio State problems in the first round, since the Buckeyes like to play slow. However, Florida plays at an above-average pace and is used to high-tempo teams playing in the SEC against the likes of Alabama, Arkansas and LSU.
Not having Appleby on the floor will be a blow for Florida, but it has a great matchup against the Oral Roberts defense that can't stop anything.
I have Florida projected as a -11.78 favorite in this game, so I think there is plenty of value on the Gators to end Oral Roberts' Cinderella story.
Pick: Florida -8 (up to -9.5).