Florida Arizona Basketball Odds
Posted by Ryan James
It is a battle of undefeated teams when (7-0) #5 Florida faces off against (7-0) # 8 Arizona. Tip off for this exciting matchup is set for 10:00PM EST in Tucson, Arizona. This game is sure to draw a lot of attention as it is the only matchup on the board featuring two ranked teams. The odds makers have the Florida Gators listed as a 2 point favorite over the Arizona Wildcats. The total has been set 134.5 points.
Why Florida Covers
With the exception of Alabama State, every team Florida has played this season has a winning record. Their strength of schedule has been very strong, especially considering most power house basketball programs try to only schedule cupcake games to start the season. What makes this Florida team look even more impressive is their margin of victory in those games. They played one “close” game against UCF where they won by 13 points. The margin of victory in their other six games came by 18 or more points. Offensively the Gators are hard to stop. They don’t have one lone scoring threat, although they are led by Kenny Boynton who is averaging 14.4 points per game. Behind Boynton the Gators have Erik Murphy, Mike Rosario and Patric Young all averaging double digit scoring. This is a very experienced team too. The Gators have three seniors and two juniors in their starting lineup, so everyone on the court has some serious experience. Florida is coming off a confidence boosting road win over Florida State, a game they won by 25 points. They also average 12.2 more rebounds per game than the Wildcats.
Why Arizona Covers
Arizona will have a 6th man as the Wildcats crowd is sure to be fired up in this match up. They face a Florida team that has only played one game on the road, and it was a mere 2.5 hour drive for the Gators. Now they will travel 1,900 miles to face the #8 team in the nation in a very hostile environment. Offensively the Wildcats get the edge over the Gators as they average just less than 80 points per game. The Wildcats run a guard heavy offense led by Nick Johnson and Mark Lyons averaging 13.6 and 13.4 points per game respectively. They have a stronger bench than the Gators do which should help keep Florida from getting on too big of a scoring run. As a whole the Wildcats bench is averaging 24.5 points per game. (That is after eliminating players averaging less than 7 minutes per game.) Many times a matchup like this can come down to free throws. This is another area where Arizona gets the edge considering their starting five are shooting just over 80% from the line. That is a full 10% better than the Gators who shoot 70% from the line with both teams averaging approximately 18 attempts out of their starters. Those two extra points that come on the free throw line could end up being the two points it takes for Arizona to ice this game.
My Pick: Arizona should hang tough with the Gators during the first half, but the quality of the players in the paint will prove to be too much to handle. The Florida Gators get a big road win with a 78-69 score.