The No. 7 Florida Gators have failed to cash at sports books in their last two home dates, despite putting up 80.5 PPG. Tuesday’s NCAAB action has Billy Donovan’s troops hosting the No. 25 Kentucky Wildcats, who head south with a 2-0 spread record in their last pair of road-dog spots.
Gators, Rosario cruise in Gainesville
Florida last took its floor in Saturday’s 83-58 victory over the Mississippi State Bulldogs, falling shy of collecting as a 27 ½-point home favorite. The Gators jumped out to a 42-26 halftime lead, while connecting from the field at a 53.4 percent clip.
Gators guard Mike Rosario notched a team-high 18 points, uniting with mate Patric Young for 11 boards. Florida’s Scottie Wibekin logged seven of his side’s 21 assists, while freshman DeVon Walker recorded two steals in eight minutes of sction.
The lopsided affair’s combined 141 points leaped above the ‘total’ of 128, driving the OVER north to a 4-1 mark in the Gators’ last five games. Florida sank 12-of-19 free throws, while outrebounding the Bulldogs, 33-27.
Wildcats, Nerlens hold off Auburn
Kentucky picked up its fifth straight win with Saturday’s 72-62 triumph against the Auburn Tigers, while failing to cash as 17-point home ‘chalk.’ The Wildcats hit 43.5 percent of their floor shots, while allowing Auburn to drain 7-of-13 buckets from three-point land.
Wildcats forward notched a third straight double-double, finishing with 10 points and a dozen boards. Kentucky’s Kyle Wiltjer led in scoring with 14 points, uniting with mate Julius Mays for two assists each.
The battle’s combined 134 points ducked below the closing ‘total’ of 135 ½, moving the UNDER to 4-3 in the Wildcats’ last seven contests. Wildcats guard Ryan Harrow logged two of his squad’s four blocks, while freshman Archie Goodwin was held to a season-low three points.
Back the Gators as home ‘chalk’
I am adding Florida to my NCAA Basketball picks for Tuesday night’s action, looking for another double-digit win on the Gators’ floor. Florida is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 spots that came after victories, while notching a 3-1 spread record in its four contests as 10-point ‘chalk’ or less. The NCAA basketball odds opened Florida as a 10-point home favorite, while first setting the ‘total’ at 134. Early wagers on Kentucky and the OVER moved the numbers to 9 ½ and 135, respectively.
Kentucky brings some of the SEC’s best shooters to Gainesville, but Florida’s Patric Young and Erik Murphy are in the group’s top 10 with 61.4 and 56.4 percent marks from the field, respectively. Florida has held visitors to 49.4 PPG at home, including a stingy 50.8 PPG in its five dates against conference foes.
The Gators also enter with revenge on their minds after dropping last March’s close contest against Kentucky in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament, 74-71. Murphy scorched the Wildcats for 24 points despite the defeat, with the setback capping off five straight losses for Florida against Kentucky.
Kentucky is 2-5 ATS over its last seven games against squads with winning records, while logging a 3-10 spread mark in its last 13 duels with SEC rivals. Look for Florida to pull away in this spot, ending their slide in battles between these foes with a statement victory for Murphy and Co.
Pick: Florida Gators -9 ½ (Bookmaker.eu)