Free Picks: Does The Shoe Fit For Oral Roberts?

Josh Saslove
Josh Saslove
College Basketball Free Picks
March Madness Florida vs Oral Roberts
Florida Gators vs Oral Roberts Golden Eagles, NCAAB, Indiana Farmers Coliseum

The Oral Roberts Golden Eagles have become the ninth 15 seed to make the Round of 32 in NCAA Tournament history and now get a great match-up as they meet the Florida Gators. Max Abmas and Kevin Obanar scored 59 of ORU’s 75 points against Ohio State and carried their Golden Eagles over the Buckeyes in overtime. While some may call this win a fluke, I see it as the beginning of a Cinderella run.

The Soaring Cinderella Eagles

Florida Gulf Coast was the first 15 seed to make the 2nd weekend of the tournament in 2013 when they beat Georgetown and San Diego State, but eventually lost to Florida in the Sweet Sixteen. Now poetically, standing between Oral Roberts and Sweet Sixteen, is none other than the Florida Gators. The Gators survived against Virginia Tech, as they won a war of attrition in overtime. Florida could be surprised by the outpouring of offense from Oral Roberts.

The Golden Eagles are 10-3-0 ATS as underdogs this season, they love to be doubted and to be in this spot. Oral Roberts averages 81.5PPG this season and while the Gators could slow them down some, they likely will struggle to keep up in a boat race. Florida scored over 78 points only six times this season and could be without Tyree Appleby, after Appleby took an inadvertent elbow to the forehead. While Florida could lose bodies, I would expect Oral Roberts to gain some scoring.

Only scoring 16 points outside of Abmas and Obanar, Oral Roberts should get more secondary scoring against Florida. Kareem Thompson and DeShang Weaver are more than capable at knocking down their shots and are an integral part of ORU’s lethal three point attack at 38.4%.

Not to mention the Eagles should shoot the ball better in general, they shot 35.4% and 31.4% from deep, far worse than their averages. One of my free NCAAB picks is Oral Roberts over 70.5 points (-116 10Bet). Oral Roberts has only scored 70 points or less four times this season, they will fill it up.

This leads to the big question, can Oral Roberts actually beat Florida? I say yes, they just beat a far better basketball team in a game where they did not shoot particularly well. NCAAB odds have given great value to Oral Roberts as 8 point underdogs and while those ML odds are tempting, and may be worth a play. Let us take what we have been given, as my best bet for the round of 32 is Oral Roberts +8.

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  • The Over has cashed in 11 of Florida’s 24 games this season
  • Virginia is 7-8-0 ATS as favourites this season
  • The Over has cashed in 16 of Oral Roberts’ 24 games this season
  • Oral Roberts is 10-3-0 ATS as underdogs this season

Josh Saslove here, I am a passionate sports fan and have been consumed by sports for as long as I can remember. I have been a sports bettor for the past 4 years, starting out with betting on college basketball parlays. I currently write pieces for BetPicks, but have my own blog space. I am an avid fan of the Ottawa Senators, Toronto Raptors, Kansas City Chiefs and Toronto Blue Jays, so I know what it's like to cheer for the underdog. The 2017 ECF run by the Ottawa Senators and the Raptors 2019 NBA title are probably my fondest memories as a fan, as well of course the Chiefs Super Bowl win in 2020. I am also a big music fan and have been called Mac Miller by strangers on several occasions.