is the third seed in the South region, but oddsmakers and the betting public apparently believe they are the favorite to win it.
"We have them projected ahead ofat No. 1 and at No. 2 and therefore the Gators are our favorite," said Kevin Bradley, sportsbook manager at Bovada.lv.
"They probably deserve to be a No. 1 seed and we are treating the March Madness futures that way."
Indeed, the South is a deep bracket. When the No. 8 seed is North Carolina, you know you're dealing with a deep field and that's the situation as betting on the South gets rolling Thursday.
Florida tops the South Region odds menu at 8/5 with Kansas at 3/1 and Georgetown nestled close behind at 5/1.
South Regional opening-round play begins Thursday with a pair of games at the Palace in Auburn Hills. First, fourth-seeded Michigan, playing about 50 miles from home, entertains the champion of the Summit League,13th-seeded South Dakota State.
Then fifth-seeded VCU, looking for a repeat of its run to the Final Four of a couple seasons ago, takes on the champions of the MAC, 12th-seeded Akron. VCU has dominated betting in recent years and owns a 10-1 ATS mark in 11 games.
In early NCAA tournament betting, the Wolverines were favored by 11 points over the Jackrabbits; and the Rams were favored by eight points over the Zips.
Then Friday South Regional play breaks out in three locations. In Philly second-seeded Georgetown plays the champion of the Atlantic Sun, 15th-seeded Florida Gulf Coast. Then seventh-seeded San Diego State out of the powerful Mountain West squares off against 10th-seeded Oklahoma.
In Kansas City the Tar Heels take on ninth-seeded Villanova, and top-seeded Kansas plays 16th-seeded Western Kentucky.
And in Austin third-seeded Florida runs with 14th-seeded Northwestern State, after which sixth-seeded UCLA, which just lost G Jordan Adams to a broken foot, battles 11th-seeded Minnesota.
In more early South Regional betting the Hoyas were favored by 13 points over the Eagles; the Aztecs were favored by two points over the Sooners; Carolina was favored by four points over the Wildcats; the Jayhawks were favored by 19 points over the Hilltoppers; the Gators were favored by 20 points over the Demons; and the Bruins, in large part because of the loss of Adams, were dogged by three points against the lower-seeded Gophers.