UCF vs Florida Basketball Prediction & PIcks (2023 NIT First Round)
Tonight, Sunshine State foes will face off in a first-round NIT clash as the UCF Knights visit the Florida Gators (7:00 pm ET, ESPN2).
The Gators (16-16) are the #4 seed in the Oregon quarter of the 2023 NIT bracket, and they are appearing in the NIT for a second straight season. The Knights (17-15), meanwhile, are in the NIT for the first time since 2017, when they reached the semifinals.
The winner of this matchup will face the winner of tonight’s matchup between UC Irvine and top seed Oregon (11:00 pm ET, ESPN2).
Who will move on to face the Anteaters or Ducks? Read on for our UCF vs Florida basketball prediction and picks.
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UCF vs Florida Odds
Odds are via FanDuel as of Wednesday, March 15, 2023, at 11:20 am ET.
- UCF +1.5 (-102)
- Florida -1.5 (-120)
- Over 143.5 (-106)
- Under 143.5 (-114)
- UCF +112
- Florida -134
Will Florida Be Short on Motivation Against UCF?
When it comes to betting on the NIT this year and any year, potential motivation and interest–or a lack thereof–for certain teams is always something to watch out for.
For example, last night, Eastern Washington won at Washington State, who had beaten them 82-56 in November.
In the Big Sky tournament, the top-seeded Eagles were upset by ninth-seeded Northern Arizona. But by virtue of winning the conference’s regular season title, EWU received what is just the program’s fifth berth in the NCAA Tournament or NIT.
Washington State may well have not been short on motivation, but the Eagles were clearly full of it.
Will that play out in tonight’s matchup in Gainesville?
UCF hasn’t been to the postseason since an NCAA Tournament appearance since 2019. UF’s yearly expectation is to make the NCAA Tournament, and they have lost seven of their last ten games, including four of six since losing star big man Colin Castleton.
UCF vs Florida Prediction and Picks
Prediction for UCF vs Florida: UCF to win
Picks for UCF vs Florida: UCF ML (Best Value: BetRivers)
UCF finished only seventh in the American with an 8-10 record, but they beat Memphis at home and played both Houston and Memphis close on the road.
Also, in non-conference play, the Knights lost by two to Miami and Missouri and scored wins over fellow NIT teams Oklahoma State and Santa Clara, along with power conference teams Florida State (home) and Ole Miss (away).
UCF also has a potential 2023 NBA Draft first-round pick in freshman forward Taylor Hendricks and a coach who’s led two NIT title runs in Johnny Dawkins. I really like the Knights to get the win tonight in Gainesville.
Other March Madness Content at Betting News
Of course, the big spotlight over the next few weeks will be on the NCAA men’s and women’s tournaments.
If you’d like to check out our other March Madness betting content (which you can also find at our March Madness hub), here’s a rundown of what we have put together to help you with your NCAA Tournament betting.
- March Madness 2023 Bracket
- March Madness Odds
- Final Four Odds
- March Madness Sleepers
- March Madness Betting Trends & Stats to Know for 2023
- Where to Find the Best March Madness Betting Picks
- Best March Madness Betting Sites
- Best March Madness Bracket Challenges
- Betting News Bracket Mania (Our FREE March Madness Bracket Challenge!)