Gonzaga vs. Florida State Betting Guide: Will Seminoles Pull Another NCAA Tournament Upset?

Gonzaga vs. Florida State Betting Guide: Will Seminoles Pull Another NCAA Tournament Upset? article feature image

USA Today Sports. Pictured: Gonzaga forward Rui Hachimura, Florida State forward Mfiondu Kabengele

#1 Gonzaga vs. #4 Florida State: NCAA Tournament Betting Odds

  • Spread: Gonzaga -7.5
  • Over/Under: 147
  • Location: Anaheim, Calif.
  • Date: Thursday, March 28
  • Time: 7:09 p.m. ET
  • TV: CBS

>> All odds as of Thursday morning. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and live win probabilities on your bets.

We are fortunate to get a Sweet 16 rematch of Gonzaga vs. Florida State on Thursday night. Last year, the No. 9 seeded Seminoles jumped all over No. 4 seeded Gonzaga and rolled to a 75-60 win.

The big key in that game was the pregame announcement that forward Killian Tillie would not play due to injury. The loss of the 6-foot-10 Tillie hurt the Bulldogs’ depth, leading a bench points discrepancy of 30-6.

Can Gonzaga reverse its fortunes this season? Let’s take a closer look.

Gonzaga’s Elite Two-Way Efficiency

Head coach Mark Few has developed a Gonzaga team that is statistically dominant on both sides of the ball. They rank first in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency, which includes No. 1 overall rankings in both effective field goal percentage and 2P%. The Bulldogs make their free throw at a top-20 overall rate (76.9%) and rarely produce turnovers, ranking 18th best in the country.

However, their defensive prowess is often overlooked. Gonzaga ranks 16th in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency including, holding opponents to 43.1% from 2P (sixth-best). It will need to maintain that level of interior defense against a huge Florida State frontline.

Junior Brandon Clarke (17.1 ppg, 8.4 rpg) produced a breakout game against Baylor, tying a career-high with 36 points while featuring highlight reel dunks and blocks. But the key to this game will be the play of Tillie, who needs to be a difference-maker both in the paint and beyond the arc.

In his three seasons at Gonzaga, Tillie has averaged over 42% efficiency from 3P with one block and one steal per game. For a Zags team that only produces five bench points per game, Tillie’s potential impact could single-handedly determine this game.

Florida State’s Relentless Athleticism

The Seminoles possess the most athletic roster in the Sweet 16. The improvement of 6-foot-10 sophomore Mfiondu Kabengele (13.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg) has been remarkable. He is an incredibly versatile scorer averaging 38.1% from 3P and 77% from the free throw line. Florida State also has 7-foot-4 senior Christ Koumadje (6.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg) coming off the bench.

Beyond the frontcourt is a bevy of positionless two-way guards: 6-foot-7 senior Terance Mann (11.6 ppg, 41.1% 3P) is FSU’s best shooter from beyond the arc, with guards Trent Forrest (9.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.7 apg) and M.J. Walker (7.5 ppg,) providing great two-way efficiency.

The Seminoles will be without the services of senior Phil Cofer (7.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg), who has returned home due to the passing of his father. This limits the Seminoles bench, but with 11 active players averaging 10-plus minutes per game, they should be able to account for Cofer’s loss.

The Pick

Gonzaga languishes against mediocre opponents in the West Coast Conference, while Florida State has been cutting its teeth on Duke, Virginia, and North Carolina.

The Seminoles’ No. 10 adjusted defensive efficiency ranking will pressure a Gonzaga’s mistake-prone point guard Josh Perkins and disrupt the Zags offensive flow.

Florida State has too much athleticism for Gonzaga and will prove to be the kryptonite to Mark Few’s Superman-like coaching. Grab the 7.5 points and consider sprinkling in some moneyline, as well.

THE PICK: Florida State +7.5

Our Projected Odds: Gonzaga vs. Florida State

These ratings were built by Sean Koerner, our Director of Predictive Analytics, a former oddsmaker and FantasyPros’ most accurate in-season fantasy football ranker from 2015-2017.

  • Spread: Gonzaga -7.5
  • Over/Under: 146.5
  • Score: Gonzaga 77 | Florida State 69.5
  • Win Probability: Gonzaga 76.8% | Florida State 23.2%

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game is from the individual writer and are based on his research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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