Plenty of action on NCAA basketball tonight, but should we be adding the Crimson Tide or Gators to our college basketball picks? Let's take a closer look at this SEC battle.
It's been a terrible season for the Gators so far, but they've still been given a great chance by NCAA basketball odds makers for tonight's road game against Alabama. On their home court, the Crimson Tide are favored in the one-to-two point range, though some books even have a PK available.
A total had yet to have been released at time of writing, although it should be noted that neither team has been all that efficient offensively this season.
Alabama Crimson Tide
The Crimson Tide avoided a fourth straight loss by beating Auburn over the weekend. It certailny wasn't the prettiest of wins (57-55), but the W is all that counts and Alabama needed it badly. They had been on a bad losing run and needed their fortunes turned around.
Obviously it's hard to pinpoint a lot of offensive highlights for the Crimson Tide in what was a defensive slugfest. However, in this hotly-contested matchup between hated rivals, Levi Randolph really took cover and led the way. He finished with a team-high 18 points and also chipped in with seven rebounds, one assists and two steals. No other member of Alabama reached double figures in scoring, as points really had to be earned in that game.
With that victory, Alabama moved to 13-6 overall, with the conference record now at 3-3. Randolph has been the team's best scorer, averaging 15.0 points per game, but the Crimson Tide have seen their overall offensive production fail to deliver for much of the season. They rank 127th in college basketball by averaging 69.5 points per contest.
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Losers of three in a row, the Gators are going to be very determined to win tonight's game against the Crimson Tide. They've suffered setbacks to Georgia, LSU and Mississippi in their three most recent matchups, and that's put them in a precarious position in the SEC race. This recent run certainly hasn't done them any favors.
Making matters even worse, Florida's most recent loss came in heart-breaking fashion, as they lost by a solitary point on the road against the Rebels. Michael Frazier II went off for 27 points, but the Gators didn't make enough plays on either end of the court down the stretch. Their overall record now stands at 10-9 on the year, with the same SEC mark (3-3) as Alabama.
So, this is a big game for Florida. The Gators have really been struggling for consistency, and it's going to be interesting to see what kind of attitude they come out with this evening. We know the hunger and desire is going to be there for Florida, but the execution is going to have be the foremost priority.
NCAA Basketball Pick
This short spread is quite telling. The Crimson Tide have been faring much better overall this season, yet they're not getting much love from oddsmakers at all.
That makes us think Florida is the right side here. Yes, the Gators have been disappointing, but we know they have talent on their roster. This is a long season, and they have plenty of time to right the ship and go on a run. We wouldn't count out the Gators completely just yet, even though they've already lost nine times, as they have some very good players who have performed in pressure situations before.
As Alabama hasn't been very convincing of late, we believe there's value to be had on a talented yet inconsistent Florida squad. Back the small underdogs to your NCAA basketball picks and root for the road dog.
Enjoy the game, and good luck as always!
Free NCAA BAsketball Pick: Florida Gators +2