While the California Golden Bears and Florida Gators both play in power conferences in college basketball, their ability on the floor has been very different in terms of power. While the Gators have been impressive early this season, the Golden Bears have been anything but. That difference makes this California Golden Bears vs. Florida Gators matchup very interesting, as both teams will look to outperform their very different expectations in this Fort Myers Tip Off game.
Coming into this matchup, Florida has an unbeaten record on the season, while California has split its first four games of the year. The Golden Bears dropped their first two games, but have rebounded since then, even if the results haven’t been as aesthetically pleasing as some may have hoped. Regardless, it will still take a solid performance from Florida to avoid an upset and the humiliation that would come along with it.
California Golden Bears – Off To A Rough Start
California enters this game against Florida with a 2-2 record, which could have been even worse. After dropping games to UC San Diego and UNLV to start the season, Cal responded with a win over the San Diego Toreros before beating Southern Utah in two overtimes. Had the Golden Bears not managed to win that double overtime game, they would be looking at a 1-3 record and a resume that would already eliminate them from at-large bid contention for this year’s NCAA Tournament.
Offense has been a real struggle for Cal so far this season, as they are averaging under 70 points per game despite not having played a power conference opponent just yet. On top of that, they are barely averaging 10 assists per game, which speaks to the ball movement and shot making issues that they currently have. If they do not play better on offense in this game, they could be staring down a blowout loss.
Expected Line-Up: Jordan Shepherd, Joel Brown, Grant Anteicevich, Andre Kelly, Kuany Kuany
with best odds
Florida Gators – Undefeated For Now
While California has struggled throughout the start of this college basketball season, things have gone extremely well for the Florida Gators. Florida is off to a 3-0 start to this season, with their most notable win coming against the Florida State Seminoles at home in a rivalry game. While this game is technically at a neutral site in Fort Myers, Florida, the Gators will still likely have the most support as they are still playing in their home state against a team from across the country.
Florida’s defense has been incredible so far this year, with the Gators allowing no more than 61 points in a game through their first three contests. Against Florida State, the Gators allowed just 55 points, and really took the Seminoles out of their rhythm in the second half of the contest. Doing the same thing against Cal shouldn’t be too difficult of an ask, but the Gators will have to make sure that they defend without fouling to avoid giving up easy points at the free throw line.
Expected Line-Up: Brandon McKissic, Tyree Applebee, Myreon Jones, Anthony Duruji, Colin Castleton
Expert Pick #1 – Florida -12.5 @ -110
The first bet to make in this matchup is Florida -12.5 at -110 odds. This tip is based around the idea that Cal is even worse than they have played so far this season, which will be exposed when they face their first power conference foe of the year in Florida. The Bears have no match for Colin Castleton, who has been putting up big rebounding numbers to buoy the Gators throughout the early portion of this season.
Expert Pick #2 – Over 128.5 @ -110
Our next bet for this game between Cal and Florida is the over 128.5 for the game at -110 odds. While Florida shouldn’t give up a ton of points to a truly lackluster California squad, the Gators should be able to put up a big score on their possessions thanks to the huge gap in talent that Cal has to overcome here. Cal has given up at least 75 points in three of their four games so far, against lesser competition than they will face in this game.
Expert Pick #3 – Florida to Win By 16-20 @ +375
Finally, we recommend a bet on Florida to win by 16-20 at +375 odds. This could be a real runaway result for the Gators, as they should dominate from start to finish against a Cal team that has been dominated by the Tritons of UC San Diego already this year.
This game will be interesting on Monday night, but not for the best of reasons. The intrigue here is going to come from how badly Florida is going to beat a Cal team that hasn’t been talented enough to beat small conference foes consistently, let alone to hang with the big boys of college basketball.