While Wednesday’s college basketball odds board lacks a top-25 matchup, there’s an enticing game down south. Let’s break down my college basketball best bets for No. 5 UConn at Florida.
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UConn at Florida: Spread, Moneyline, Total
The Huskies are positioned fairly high in my college basketball power rankings. Be sure to subscribe to Outside Shots on TheLines Podcast Network, as Scott Phillips and I break down everything college hoops betting, including this contest.
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How Will Pace Impact The Total?
Both teams present a top-150 Adjusted Tempo (per KenPom) — with the Gators even ranking No. 22 in that department. For reference, that metric is an estimate of the pace (possessions per 40 minutes) that a team would generate against an opponent that plays at an average DI tempo. Hence, the over may appear appealing on the surface.
Nevertheless, there are other factors to consider. For starters, the Huskies’ offense is due for a bit of regression after notching the 29th-highest eFG% to date. Jordan Hawkins, Tristen Newton, and Joey Calcatera are all capable marksmen, but their shooting efficiency is off to an unsustainable start.
Couple that with Florida allowing the 24th-lowest open 3-point rate (per ShotQuality), and UConn could experience some adversity at that end. Mind you, this contest represents the Huskies’ first true road test of the season.
Moreover, Dan Hurley’s bunch thrives off its ball pressure, manufacturing a top-30 turnover rate. Even if Gators point guard Kyle Lofton doesn’t suit up because of a back injury, Florida isn’t very turnover prone. That should keep UConn’s transition attack in check.
Related: 2023 March Madness Futures Odds
Trust UConn’s Length
On the flip side, the Gators’ uptempo offense won’t tally an abundance of fast-break opportunities if the Huskies continue to accrue their fair share of second-chance shots. Not only do they possess a size edge against Todd Golden’s crew, but they’re also notching the 17th-highest offensive rebounding rate in the country.
Thanks to Adama Sanogo — KenPom’s fifth-rated player in the country — and 7-foot-2 frosh Donvoan Clingan, UConn’s bigs help anchor its elite half-court defense as well.
Granted, Florida is producing a top-35 offensive efficiency. But this unit has only faced one stiff test thus far in West Virginia, and it notched a mere 0.71 PPP. If the Huskies hinder the Gators’ ability to push the pace, Collin Castleton & Co. will have a difficult time scoring in the paint versus the Huskies’ stout frontcourt.
For reference, Golden’s structure revolves around analytically-friendly shot selection. That includes looks around the rim and from behind the arc.
College Basketball Best Bets Conclusion
I bet the under on early Wednesday morning, which you’ll find in our Discord betting channel. Good luck with your own college basketball best bets.
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