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Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari screams as we share our best Florida vs. Kentucky prediction.
Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari screams against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images via AFP.

The Kentucky Wildcats host the Florida Gators as one of three top-10 teams in action on Wednesday, as we make our best Florida vs. Kentucky prediction based on the best college basketball odds.

After starting 1-3 in conference play, the Florida Gators have won three straight games over SEC opponents to feature a winning record in-conference. They'll look to keep that going against a Kentucky team looking to avoid its second upset loss in eight days.

The Wildcats (15-4, 5-2 SEC) were victims to South Carolina’s biggest win in school history against an AP top-six team (17 points), but they rebounded with a 63-57 victory over Arkansas on Saturday. A win on Wednesday could bring them to a tie with Alabama atop the SEC standings.

First, they'll have to get past Florida (14-6, 4-3 SEC), which has won consecutive games over Missouri, Mississippi State, and Georgia entering Wednesday's tilt. Can they snap a five-game losing streak in their all-time series with Kentucky?

In addition to our Iowa vs. Northwestern prediction, here is our best Florida vs. Kentucky prediction and our college basketball picks (odds via our best March Madness betting sites; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Florida vs. Kentucky prediction

Over 171 ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Best odds: -114 via BetRivers

Entering Kentucky’s road tilt at South Carolina eight days ago, the Wildcats defense ranked seventh or worse in many statistical categories in SEC play. Through its first five conference games, Kentucky had allowed 86.4 points per game (worst), 44% opponents’ field goal percentage (seventh), 32% from 3-point range (seventh), and was -1.0 in turnover margin (ninth). 

And while it held South Carolina and Arkansas to an average of 68 points in its last two games, Kentucky still allows 76.3 points per game on the season, but has been bailed out by its fifth-ranked scoring average (88.5 points per game). 

The Wildcats have scored just 62.5 points per game in their last two games (both on the road), but did much better from a turnover standpoint, committing just 17 total turnovers and winning the turnover battle in each game. A return home to Rupp Arena should reinvigorate an offense that has five players averaging 11.5 points or better, with four of those five shooting at least 37.9% from beyond the arc. 

We expect the Wildcats to get out in transition easier and push the tempo more at home (they play at the 13th-fastest pace in the country), and they should exceed the 1.06 points per possession they scored in their first SEC game this season, an 87-85 win at Florida.

In that game, the Gators muscled their way to the foul line 29 times (the two teams combined for 57 free throws), and overcame a 29% performance from 3-point range (9-of-31) to score 1.04 points per possession. Florida entered that matchup with elite transition denial ranks (fourth percentile in transition offense allowed and 91st in efficiency), but the Wildcats still totaled 87 points despite shooting 25% (5-of-20) from beyond the arc. The Gators also rank 13th in adjusted offensive efficiency and rebound their own misses at the second-highest rate in the country (40.7%), so we again do not expect many stops in the half court. 

This is also a four-star play, as both head coaches had at least a full week to prepare for their opponent in the first matchup, so it’s clear that by the 172-point total, each coach knows how to exploit the other’s weaknesses.

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Florida vs. Kentucky best odds

BetRivers (-114)

Over 171.5Over 171.5Over 171.5Over 171.5Over 171

This is as sharp as a line can get as all of our ​​best sports betting apps are aligned with an O/U of 171.5 at standard -110 juice on either side of the total. That's what makes placing this bet at BetRivers such an easy decision.

Florida has seen five of its 20 games exceed this projected total, while Kentucky has seen 172-plus points scored in six of its 19 games.

Florida vs. Kentucky odds

Florida vs. Kentucky odds analysis

Even though all of our best sportsbooks align on the O/U of 171.5, it does not mean that this line was without movement since opening last night. DraftKings got to 171.5 from an opening number of 172.5, while Caesars and bet365 saw opposite line movement, increasing a half-point from an opening number of 171.

FanDuel and BetMGM are the only ones of our top sportsbooks offering Kentucky -5.5, while all other competitors are slightly higher at -6. Early sharp money seems to be backing the Gators, as most of our best sports betting sites all opened at Kentucky -6.5.

Florida vs. Kentucky game info

  • When: Wednesday, Jan. 31 at 8 p.m. ET
  • Where: Rupp Arena, Lexington, KY
  • How to watch: ESPN

Florida-Kentucky prediction made Wednesday at 6:45 a.m. ET.

Here are our best March Madness betting sites:

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