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NCAA Tournament Predictions: Cougars vs. Gators Betting Preview

BYU Cougars vs Florida Gators | Free March Madness Sweet 16 Pick

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#3 BYU Cougars vs #2 Florida Gators
Sweet 16 – Southeast Region
Date/Time: Thursday March 24 – 7:15PM
Venue: New Orleans Arena – New Orleans, Louisiana
Broadcast: TBS
BYU vs. Florida Betting Lines from Betus
Money Line: Off
Spread: Florida -2.5
Over/Under: 149.5

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After witnessing Gonzaga in round 2 I really thought they would challenge BYU and maybe even win…but then Jimmer Fredette did his thing, again, leading to the Cougars shockingly easy victory. In addition to how simple BYU made the game look in the second half a couple of things stood out from that game. The first was how easy it was at times for the Bulldogs to score inside against BYU (not a good sign for the future). The second was that guard Jackson Emery is a very capable running mate for Jimmer (a very good indicator).

Emery can score but more importantly he can defend on the perimeter and create some easy scoring chances for Jimmer and Co. They are going to need him to really be on his game as the backcourt of Florida has explosive potential with speedy guards Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton (they have been playing more consistently of late too).

One of the seeding choices that had people scratching their heads was Florida receiving a lofty #2 after losing the SEC title game, but the Gators have not disappointed early in the Tournament. Florida has a very experienced team with all five starters returning from the team that lost to BYU in the tournament’s opening round last year (revenge much).

Over the course of their two games they have gotten most of their production from their backcourt, which has been playing very efficiently. Still they would be wise to decrease their reliance on Walker and Boynton for this one as their real advantage is up front, where BYU is not nearly as big or athletic.

Also, Boynton has a bit of a gimpy ankle that has kept him out of practices early in the week. Assuming he is OK to go it might actually help as his game could improve at a slightly slower pace. Keep an eye on his condition as the Gator backcourt is kind of thin compared for their forward ranks.

Betting Trends:

BYU are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 Thu. games.
Over is 20-6 in BYU last 26 Thu. games.
Over is 6-2 in BYU last 8 NCAA Tournament games.
Over is 9-1 in FLA last 10 overall.
FLA are 7-1-1 ATS in their last 9 games overall.
Over is 6-2 in FLA last 8 Thu. games.

Prediction: I am very high on the Gators so I think they will exact their revenge as the Jimmer show won’t be enough to topple their total team effort. Look for the athletic Alex Tyus to finally provide some real production and boost the Gators Championship hopes.

Predicted Score: Florida 75 – BYU 68



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About The Wiesguy

The Wiesguy is a newcomer to the handicapping scene. Hailing from Toronto, Canada he is always sweet on the underdogs and you can often find his thoughts, musings and picks at moneydogs.blogspot.com.