Kentucky To Extend Win Streak Over Rival Gators

KentuckyWildcats

Willie Bee

Saturday, February 4, 2017 5:08 PM GMT

A big college basketball betting card on Saturday has three games pitting ranked teams, one of those in Florida where the Gators entertain John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats.

Season: 30-27-1 (+0.30)

When the end of the Billy Donovan era at Florida came a couple of years ago, it was a real crash and burn for a Gators squad that had won back-to-back NCAA Championships in 2006-07, made three consecutive Elite Eight appearances from 2011-13 and returned to the Final Four a year after that. Fittingly, Donovan's final game at the helm was on a Friday the 13th.

Things were pretty quiet last season in Mike White's first year as head coach, the Gators settling for the NIT instead of the NCAA's. Florida now has a chance to make a lot of noise on Saturday when John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats come to Gainesville for an 8:15 PM (ET) that will be carried on ESPN.

A game apart at the top of the SEC standings, the Wildcats and Gators go at it with Florida favored by 1½ at 5Dimes, this evening's total currently sitting at 161.

 

Fox Expected To Play For 'Cats

Kentucky (18-4 straight up, 11-10 against the spread) bounced back from consecutive losses with a 90-81 overtime win Tuesday over Georgia. Favored by 15½ on the NCAA basketball odds, the Wildcats ran into hot-shooting Bulldogs bunch that converted on 6-of-10 tries from outside the arc, UK needing a dominating performance on the glass to avoid another defeat. The final marked the sixth time in seven games Calipari's crew failed to cover the spread.

Florida (16-5 SU, 11-8 ATS) won its third in a row in convincing fashion on Thursday, chasing Missouri out of this gym with a 93-54 rout. White was able to rest his starters most of the second half, with Chris Chiozza recording a triple-double (12 pts, 10 ast, 12 reb) off the bench.

Both teams have been dealing with illnesses that could affect this match. Kentucky's De'Aron Fox missed the win over Georgia but is expected to be ready tonight. Mychal Mulder should also be back after missing the last four games. Florida freshman Keith Stone, who is averaging 13½ minutes per game, missed Thursday's victory and is listed as questionable to face Kentucky.

 

'Under' 10-4 In Rivalry Since 2011

This is the first of two scheduled meetings this season, the Gators going to Lexington in three weeks. Kentucky has a commanding 99-37 lead in the series that began about 90 years ago, the Wildcats winning the last five and covering the last four meetings. In Gainesville a year ago, UK scored an 88-79 victory favored by 4½, the final skating easily past a 141 point total to stop a 3-game run of 'under' winners.

The return of Fox should give the Wildcats a boost this evening, and in what should be a closely contested fight, that's enough for me to go with UK with my free college basketball pick.

Free NCAAB Pick: Kentucky +1½ Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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