Gators Win, But Gamecocks Get The Cash In SEC Matchup

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Willie Bee

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 2:59 PM UTC

Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017 2:59 PM UTC

The SEC regular-season title is Florida's if the No. 13 Gators can get through this week with a pair of wins. It begins with them as double-digit chalk on the NCAA basketball odds vs. South Carolina on Tuesday.

With the exception of a couple of leagues, conference races all across the land are coming down to the wire. The Southeastern Conference is certainly among them, and this week is huge on the schedule as the Florida Gators take on the two schools chasing them for the top seed at the tournament in Nashville.

The South Carolina Gamecocks get first crack at stopping the 8-game win streak the Gators are currently riding, tip-off at Exatech Arena televised on ESPN a few minutes past 7 p.m. ET. BetOnline opened its early-bird line -10 on the Gators with 142 for the total.

Florida's winning streak started shortly after falling to the Gamecocks in Columbia, 57-53. Both sides entered that game unbeaten on the SEC slate, and the victory was South Carolina's second straight in the series. The Gators won 7 straight before SC cashed the last two, and tonight's tilt is the first between the schools in Gainesville in more than three years. The Gators hold a 43-24 lead in the rivalry, with the Gamecocks' last win in Gainesville coming in 2011.


'Cocks Have Dropped The Cash Last 5

It has been a rough couple of weeks for South Carolina (20-7 straight up, 10-13-1 against the spread). The Gamecocks enter this fray having lost their last two and three of four, failing to cover the NCAA basketball odds in five consecutive matches. Saturday's 71-62 setback at Vanderbilt saw Frank Martin's troops sink just 1 of 9 from beyond the arc and connect on fewer than 60% of their free throws for the third time in the 0-5 ATS streak.

Sindarius Thornwell continues to lead the Gamecocks on the offensive end with a 20.3 PPG average, second only to Kentucky's Malik Monk (21.4 ppg) in the SEC. But the senior is not getting much help, and the South Carolina bench has not contributed recently in averaging just over 7 PPG the last four games.


Injury Bug Bites Gators

Coming off a bit of a lackluster performance at Mississippi State, Florida (22-5 SU, 15-10 ATS) still managed to move up in the latest polls, rising two slots to No. 13 in the AP and climbing a rung to No. 13 according to the coaches. Coach Mike White not only has to prepare his squad for the Gamecocks, he's got to keep them from looking ahead to Saturday's test at Kentucky.

White is also getting the team used to not having John Egbunu in the lineup after the senior center was hurt Valentine's Day at Auburn. He'll miss the rest of the season due to knee surgery, all while the Gators are dealing with leading scorer Canyon Barry at less than 100% due to a sore ankle, though the 6-6 guard is probable to face South Carolina.

We have seen the spread dip to 9½ at some shops, and I suspect that is where the line will close come game time. That's why I'm grabbing the Gamecocks +10 while I can for my free college basketball pick. Season record: 37-34-2 (-0.40).

NCAAB Free Pick: South Carolina +10Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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