Iona vs Florida NIT Tournament Picks and Predictions: Pesky Gaels Cover Against Gators

Florida should probably come away with a win against Iona — even after being abandoned by its head coach for a new gig in Georgia — but that doesn't mean it'll be decisive. Rick Pitino's Gaels narrowly missed March Madness, and we like them to cover.

Mar 16, 2022 • 09:37 ET • 4 min read
Walter Clayton Jr. Iona Gaels NIT College Basketball
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Gators watched their head coach Mike White dart the program for the Georgia Bulldogs once the regular season concluded. 

This was not necessarily a bad thing as Gator fans believe they dodged a bullet after White couldn’t get Florida into the NCAA Tournament this season. 

Meanwhile, Iona has one of the best college coaches in America with Rick Pitino, but a brutal loss in the MAAC Tournament sent Iona into the NIT instead of the NCAA Tournament, even with a 25-7 record. 

Here are our college basketball picks and predictions for the first-round NIT matchup between the Iona Gaels and the Florida Gators.

Iona vs Florida odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

The Florida Gators opened as a 6.5-point favorite but are now trending down to -5.5 at some outlets. The total has also adjusted from 144.5 at opening to 145.5 by the time of this writing.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until tip-off and be sure to check out the full college basketball odds before placing your bets.

Iona vs Florida predictions

Predictions made on 3/16/2022 at 7:30 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Iona vs Florida game info

Location: Billy Donovan Court at Exatctech Arena
Date: Wednesday, March 16, 2022
Tip-off: 9:00 p.m. ET

Iona vs Florida betting preview


Iona: No injuries to report.
Florida: No injuries to report.

Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Gaels are 10-2 against the spread in their last 12 games as a road underdog. Find more NCAA betting trends for Iona vs. Florida.

Iona vs Florida picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Spread analysis

The Florida Gators had an interesting season. They defeated Auburn late in the second half of the season and also had a win over Oklahoma State in the middle of SEC play. 

On the offensive end, the Gators are shooting a 49.9% effective field goal percentage while shooting just 30.7% from deep and 53.2% from inside the arc. 

The Gators weren’t effective from three but were absolutely dominant inside. On the offensive glass, Florida earned 31.7% of offensive rebounds and the Gators were also fouled at a high rate, giving them foul shots galore. 

The aggressive Gaels will foul and allow offensive rebounds at 29.4%. However, it’s still hard to get quality shots up against Iona’s defense. The Gaels are allowing teams to shoot 30.3% from deep and 46.9% from inside the arc. 

On the other hand hand, Iona’s been the better offense but has played easier competition. Iona is shooting 33.3% from deep and 51.1% from inside the arc while earning 31.6% offensive rebounds. 

Iona, like Florida, should be able to get plenty of foul calls but still only shoots 69.7% from the charity stripe. The biggest thing for Iona is offensive rebounding due to Florida’s lack of awareness on the defensive end. 

Florida is giving up 32.5% offensive rebounds per game this season, which is a bottom 20 number in college basketball. Look for Iona to earn many second chances in this game and with the Gaels getting more open looks, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see an upset tonight. 

Prediction: Iona +6.5 (-110)

Over/Under analysis

As mentioned, both teams should be able to get to the foul line at a solid rate. Iona likes to move quickly on the offensive end and should be able to earn many second chances against a Gators team that has been really bad on the defensive glass this season. 

On the other hand, Iona hasn’t been much better on the defensive glass and Florida should also be able to take advantage of second-chance opportunities. 

Plus, with the Gators earning 21.6% turnovers per game, Florida should be able to get some quick transition points too.

Overall, Iona should get higher quality looks in the half-court, however, I still like Florida to win a close game. But I’m absolutely expecting points in this game. 

Prediction: Over 145.5 (-110)

Best bet

Iona had an embarrassing loss to Rider in the MAAC Tournament that basically knocked the Gaels out of contention for an NCAA Tournament berth. 

Either Iona will rebound or fold, and I’m going to go with the former. If any team is folding, it would be Florida, who just watched its coach leave Gainesville, FL to lead a rival team in Athens, Georgia.

Iona should be able to dominate the offensive glass and if shots start to fall for Iona, the Gaels should absolutely be able to cover a three-possession spread. 

Pick: Iona +6.5 (-110)

College basketball parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed our Iona vs. Florida picks, you could win $26.45 on a $10 bet?

Use our college basketball parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

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