Florida vs. Nevada Betting Guide: More NCAA Tournament Magic for Wolf Pack?
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Caleb Martin and KeVaughn Allen
# 7 Nevada vs. #10 Florida: NCAA Tournament Betting Odds
- Spread: Nevada -2.5
- Over/Under: 133.5
- Date: Thursday, March 21
- Time: 6:50 p.m. ET
- TV: TNT
- Location: Des Moines, Iowa
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Nevada (29-4) entered the season as one of the leading contenders for the Final Four. After a 13-0 record in non-conference play, many wondered if the Wolf Pack would lose a game all season.
After sharing a Mountain West regular season title with a surprising Utah State team, followed by an early exit in the conference tournament, Nevada enters the NCAA Tournament with much debate over its potential. The Wolf Pack went 17-14-1 against the spread but just 1-4 in their last five games.
Florida (19-15) experienced a completely different season from Nevada: The Gators struggled early, falling to 9-7 after losing three of their first four SEC conference games. But they are now playing their best basketball of the season, defeating Arkansas and LSU in the conference tournament before falling 65-62 to eventual champion Auburn.
Florida is 8-5-1 on the road ATS, having covered their past seven road games away from Gainesville.
Nevada’s Explosive Offense
The Wolf Pack can score in bunches. They dominated the second half of their wins with athleticism and offensive aggression. Nevada ranks 26th in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency and are top 25 in 2P field goal percentage. The Wolf Pack will look to attack a Florida team that ranks a mediocre 106th in 2P defense.
Nevada is led by three seniors who are all possible NBA draft picks. Caleb Martin (19.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg), Jordan Caroline (17.3 ppg, 9.6 rpg), and Cody Martin (11.7 ppg, 5.1 apg) account for 60% of their per game scoring. The Wolf Pack also rarely give the opponent extra chances, ranking third-best in the country at offensive steal percentage and seventh in offensive turnover percentage.
Their only offensive issue is their inconsistent 3-point shooting. Nevada ranks 132nd in 3P efficiency and their leading scorer, Caleb Martin, has struggled (34.3%) to regain his masterful touch from last season.
Florida Turns Defense Into Offense
The Gators have well-documented problems on offense. They rank 211th in effective field goal percentage, 222nd in 3P%, and 200th in 2P%. However, the Gators have improved throughout the season and finished the SEC conference season ranked third in free throw shooting.
Florida used its stout defense to generate extra opportunities on offense. It ranked third in the SEC in defensive turnover rate, which, when coupled with their low offensive turnover rate, provides the Gators with a huge advantage.
The offensive improvement of senior KeVaughn Allen (12.1 ppg) was instrumental in their SEC Tournament run. He excelled on both ends of the floor while shooting a perfect 9-of-9 from the foul line. Freshman Andrew Nembhard had his best game of the season in the win over LSU, scoring 20 points along with the game-winning 3-pointer with a second remaining.
Nevada has been too inconsistent to trust in this game. The Wolf Pack did not tally a big win all season, losing at New Mexico by 27, at San Diego State for the seventh consecutive year, and failing to even reach the Mountain West Finals. Florida has battled through 16 Quadrant I games and played great in the difficult SEC Tournament. The two-point spread is a gift, that you should gladly accept.
THE PICK: Florida +2.5, would bet to Florida PK
Our Projected Odds for #7 Nevada vs. #10 Florida
- Spread: Nevada -1.5
- Total: 132.5
- Proj Score: Nevada 67 | Florida 65.5
- Win Probability: Nevada 53.1% | Florida 46.9%
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.