Michigan vs. Florida Betting Guide: Will Gators Expose Wolverines’ Interior in NCAA Tournament?

Mar 23, 2019 04:53 PM EDT
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USA Today Sports. Pictured: Michigan guard Charles Matthews, Florida center Kevarrius Hayes

#2 Michigan vs. #10 Florida: NCAA Tournament Betting Odds

  • Spread: Michigan -7
  • Over/Under: 121
  • Date: Saturday, March 23
  • Time: 5:15 p.m. ET
  • TV: CBS
  • Location: Des Moines, Iowa

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


The Wolverines (20-15 against the spread) have covered in five of their past seven affairs, including their 74-55 win over Montana in the first round — both outright and ATS. On the flip side, the Gators (17-18 ATS) have notched five straight victories ATS while their improved play was showcased in their win (+3) over Nevada on Thursday.

Which team presents more value in this West Region matchup? Let’s break it down.

The Charles Matthews Effect

The 6-foot-6 wing missed the Wolverines’ final three regular-season games with an ankle injury. Matthews was limited in their trio of Big Ten Tournament affairs, as well, but he appeared refreshed in their first-round victory over Montana with a 22-point, 10-rebound showing in 35 minutes.

An effective Matthews provides another floor-spacing ball-handler in John Beilein’s starting lineup, along with one of the premier on-ball defenders at his position. He’ll likely go up against Gators wing Jalen Hudson, who’s beginning to regress positively after slumping to 9.2 points per game this season.

Florida’s Refined Offense

Mike White’s crew has reverted its attack to the interior during its two straight-up wins in its past three duels, generating 52.0% of its offense from that vicinity. The 6-foot-9 Kevarrius Hayes has been a critical part of that success, tallying 14.3 points per game while shooting 76.2% from the field over that span.

Despite Matthews’ return, Michigan’s defense inside the arc has struggled all season. It let up the highest 2-point scoring rate in the entire country (60.0%), and those struggles continued in Big Ten play, as well.

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