Upcoming Match-ups

North Alabama vs North Florida Picks and Odds

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in College Basketball

Updated Mar 3, 2021 · 7:00 PM PST

Matthew Driscoll North Florida Ospreys
North Florida head coach Matthew Driscoll uses a sign as he calls plays during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Dayton, Monday Dec. 30, 2019, in Dayton. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
  • North Florida is a 3.5-point favorite over North Alabama in quarterfinal action at the Atlantic Sun Tournament on Thursday (March 4th, 2 pm ET)
  • The two teams split the season series, with the Ospreys winning by 10 in their last matchup
  • See below for analysis, odds and a betting prediction

North Alabama and North Florida have exactly one March Madness appearance between them and the only way that’s going to change is if one of them wins the Atlantic Sun Tournament this week.

The two programs square off on the opening day of the tournament on Thursday (March 4th, 2 pm ET), with the winner likely to face top seed Liberty in the semifinal.

North Alabama vs North Florida Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
North Alabama Lions +3.5 (-110) OFF Over 144.5 (-110)
North Florida Ospreys -3.5 (-110) OFF Under 144.5 (-110)

Odds taken March 3rd.

The Ospreys (8-14, 6-6 ASUN) opened up as a 3.5-point favorite, in a game that features a total of 144.5. After a slow start, North Florida won five of its final nine games down the stretch, and could have its five most experienced players on the floor for just the seventh time all season against the Lions (11-10, 7-8 ASUN).

Ospreys Starting to Come Around

Thanks to injuries and COVID, the Ospreys have been forced to juggle their roster all season. As a result, they finished with a 6-6 conference record, a far cry from their 13-3 mark a year ago.

The nucleus of Emmanuel Adedoyin, Dorian James, Josh Endicott, Jose Placer and Carter Hendricksen have played just six games together, but the team’s stats are significantly better when they’re all healthy. North Florida is 3-3 in those six outings, compared to 5-11 when at least one of them is out. Their shooting percentage raises from 45% to 47% with all five in the lineup, and they average four fewer turnovers per game.

Coach Matthew Driscoll has yet to name a starting lineup for Thursday’s contest, which raises questions about certain players availability. Both James and Endicott were suspended by the team for the final two games of the regular season, while Hendricksen is currently dealing with a foot injury. All three were at practice this week, but make sure to check their status’ before placing any wager.

Lions Lack Bite Down the Stretch

North Alabama meanwhile, finished the season in disappointing fashion. They dropped seven of their final eight games, losing by double digits five times, with four of those losses coming by at least 20 points.

Offensively, they finished in the bottom third of the conference in points per game, field-goal percentage and assists, while no team turned the ball over more frequently. Defensively, their performance was just as poor, finishing seventh in points allowed, and eighth in opponent three-point field goal percentage.

The one bright spot is the team’s rebounding prowess led by Emmanuel Littles. The 6-7 Junior led the Atlantic Sun with 10.1 rebounds per game, more than two more than anyone else. Unfortunately, solid rebounding alone doesn’t win games, as the Lions were outscored by 104  points over the final month of the season.

Over and Out

Both of these programs have been abysmal ATS this season, so let’s examine the total instead. 144.5 seems high given neither team is an offensive juggernaut, but the shaky defense of each (North Florida ranked eighth in the conference in opponent points per game) brings the over into play.

Both of their contests earlier this season cracked 154 points, and North Florida in particular has been an over machine lately. Six of their last seven outings have cleared the total, with four of those games producing a total north of 150.

Wait and see if Hendricksen, Endicott and James are all active, and if they are, fire on this over.

Pick: Over 144.5 (-110)

Author Image