NCAA Basketball Picks: Florida vs. Alabama +5

Jeff Grant

Thursday, January 23, 2014 3:14 PM GMT

The Florida Gators have had the upper hand recently in their series against the Alabama Crimson Tide, but they may be overvalued in the betting market Thursday night. Let’s take a closer look at the college basketball lines for this SEC affair.

Streaking

Florida has won its last nine games by an average of 6.9 points, as it comes off a 68-61 victory over the Auburn Tigers as eight-point road favorites last Saturday, while going UNDER the betting total for a second consecutive contest.

The Gators are 4-0 in SEC play for the fifth time in 18 seasons under Billy Donovan.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 19-1 SU and 14-6 ATS in January, with the UNDER going 10-6 in that situation.

Falling into a pattern

Alabama has alternated wins and losses over its last four games, as it attempts to bounce back from a 68-47 defeat to the Missouri Tigers as 4.5-point road underdogs last Saturday, while going UNDER the betting total of 133.5.

The Crimson Tide have dropped their last 14 games versus ranked opponents.

College basketball handicappers will find that the team is 0-4 SU and 1-3 ATS as underdogs during the 2013-14 campaign.

Defense

The Gators have held 12 of their 17 opponents to 61 or fewer points, which fits nicely with head coach Billy Donovan being 12-2 SU against former assistants that served under him.

Donovan is a perfect 6-0 against Alabama’s Anthony Grant, but the underdog is 9-2 ATS in the last 11 meetings in this rivalry.

Live NCAA Basketball Betting Odds

There’s no place like home

Grant has the opportunity of picking up his first career victory against Florida, considering Alabama has won 14 consecutive home games versus SEC foes.

The Crimson Tide will need a huge performance out of senior guard Trevor Releford, who is averaging a team-high 18.3 points a contest.

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Crimson Tide in their NCAA basketball picks for tonight, as the Gators are 2-7 ATS in their last nine road games versus a team with a winning home record.

College Basketball Pick: Alabama Crimson Tide +5

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