Florida Vs. Marquette Pick: Gators Have Been Losers As Underdogs

Mar 16, 2012; Omaha, NE, USA; Florida Gators guard Bradley Beal (23) brings the ball up court against the Virginia Cavaliers during the first half in the second round of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Century Link Center. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE

Florida was an underdog just six times this season – they never won.

So as the No. 7 Gators face No. 3 Marquette in the West Region Thursday, does that trend continue or does Florida continue its run of tournament success?

"They covered the spread four times in those six games but were 0-6 SU, which is concerning," said Mark Presley of OddsShark.com. "The point spread is only 2 points in favor of the Golden Eagles, so if Florida can’t win, they don’t have a lot of room to cover the spread either."

The Gators are 8-2 ATS in their past 10 tournament games, after sweeping last week. They face a Marquette team that has taken care of business as a favorite (9-3-1 ATS in their past 13 games in that role).

The Golden Eagles are also 8-2 ATS in their past 10 games overall.

Predicted Score: 82-81 Florida

ATS Pick: Gators +2

How They Match Up:

In the paint, the rebound battle will feature Marquette's No. 87-rated squad against Florida's No. 113-rated roster. And in long-range shooting, Marquette rates No. 216 in the country with 5.7 per game, while their foes tonight rank No. 1 nationally with 9.8 per match.

Defensively, Florida features the nation's No. 212-rated defense on the road, allowing 71.2 points per game. Marquette, meanwhile, comes in at No. 32 nationally in scoring at home.

Last time out for Florida, they were an 84-50 winner as they crushed Norfolk State. They easily covered in the match as a 14-point favorite. The Gators blew out Norfolk State on Sunday, running up a 20+ point victory in an 84-50 win at CenturyLink Center.

Last time out for Marquette, they were a 62-53 winner as they battled Murray State. They covered in the match as a 5-point favorite. Marquette earned a 62-53 victory over Murray State on Saturday, getting 17 points from Darius Johnson-Odom at KFC Yum! Center.

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