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NCAA Tournament Betting: Can Florida Cover the Spread Against Colorado?

Skyler Carlin
Skyler Carlin@skyler_carlin
NCAA Tournament Betting: Can Florida Cover the Spread Against Colorado?

Very few things on the sports calendar can match the excitement and unpredictability of the NCAA Tournament. So why not add betting to the mix via the college basketball odds at FanDuel Sportsbook?

The 2024 edition of the big dance has arrived, and here at FanDuel Research, we'll have you covered with a betting guide for each game.

Following a win over the Boise State Broncos in one of the First-Four matchups, the Colorado Buffaloes are slated to take on the Florida Gators in the Round of 64 in the NCAA Tournament. In what is expected to be one of the many competitive contests in the First Round, which bets are worth taking in the impending showdown between Colorado and Florida?

All college basketball odds come from FanDuel Sportsbook, and lines may change after this article is published.

NCAA Tournament Betting Picks

Florida vs. Colorado Betting Odds

Date and Time: Friday, March 22nd at 4:30 p.m. ET

Spread: Florida -1.5 (-104)

Total: 159.5

Moneyline:

  • Florida: -111
  • Colorado: -108

Florida vs. Colorado Statistical Breakdown

Advanced stats from KenPom, Bart Torvik and numberFire.

Florida Gators

  • numberFire Ranking: 25th
  • Bart Torvik Ranking: 24th
  • KenPom Ranking: 28th
    • Adjusted Defensive Efficiency Ranking: 83rd
    • Adjusted Offensive Efficiency Ranking: 14th
    • Adjusted Tempo Ranking: 18th

Colorado Buffaloes

  • numberFire Ranking: 23rd
  • Bart Torvik Ranking: 27th
  • KenPom Ranking: 24th
    • Adjusted Defensive Efficiency Ranking: 42nd
    • Adjusted Offensive Efficiency Ranking: 25th
    • Adjusted Tempo Ranking: 165th

Florida vs. Colorado Best Bet

Florida -1.5 (-104)

It should be noted that center Micah Handlogten -- the second-leading rebounder on the Gators (6.9 RPG) -- suffered a broken leg in the SEC Championship and won't be available for Florida.

Overall this season, the Gators are 14th in adjusted offensive efficiency and have the seventh-best offensive rebound rate (37.5%) in the country.

On top of that, Florida gets to the free-throw line often, producing the 43rd-best free-throw rate (38.6%). Having a guard duo of Walter Clayton (17.1 PPG) and Zyon Pullin (15.6 PPG) will be invaluable for the Gators in a tourney that typically favors teams with experienced guard play.

Some may look at the fact that Colorado boasts the fourth-best three-point percentage (39.4%), but they are also 322nd in three-point rate (30.4%). While the Buffaloes don't take many outside shots, the Gators deploy the 40th-best defensive three-point rate (32.7%).

Turning the ball over and forcing turnovers could also be an issue for Colorado. The Buffaloes are 249th in offensive turnover rate (18.1%) and 295th in defensive turnover rate (15.2%), so don't expect them to create many extra possessions in what is expected to be a tight game.

Given the pace the Gators play at, they'll tire out a Buffaloes squad that played on Wednesday night en route to a win by at least two points to cover the spread.

Florida vs. Colorado Prop Bet

Tyrese Samuel Over 6.5 Rebounds (-138)

With Handlogten inactive for the Gators, the entire team is going to need to be more active on the boards. One player who could take an even larger role on the glass is Tyrese Samuel (14.0 PPG), who is averaging a team-best 7.5 rebounds per game this season.

The 6-foot-10 forward has tallied seven-plus rebounds in just three of his last 10 games for Florida. But with a likely uptick in minutes -- and Handlogten's absence -- Samuel should get back to grabbing plenty of rebounds.

Samuel has posted seven-plus boards in 21 of his 35 appearances, and he's logged seven-plus rebounds in all nine games where he's played 30-plus minutes. I expect Samuel to receive 30-plus minutes on Friday assuming he can avoid foul trouble.

After Colorado surrendered 36 rebounds to Boise State, Samuel is primed for a potential double-digit rebound performance in the Round of 64.


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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.