NCAA Basketball Picks: Florida vs. Georgia

Joe Freda

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 2:13 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 2:13 PM UTC

Will the Florida Gators keep rolling here or will the ‘back door’ be left open for the Georgia Bulldogs to collect? Our NCAA Basketball picks are locked in, so find out who we like in this SEC matchup.

The No. 8 Florida Gators have cruised to a 5-0 spread record since the start of January, cashing as double-digit ‘chalk’ each time out. Wednesday’s slate has Billy Donovan’s troops visiting the Georgia Bulldogs, who are 3-1 ATS in their last four ‘board’ battles at home. 

Let's breakdown this SEC basketball battle to uncover where the best betting value lies today.


Gators, Wilbekin thrash Missouri

Florida’s latest triumph came in Saturday’s 83-52 victory as a 12 ½-point home favorite against the Missouri Tigers. The Gators connected from the floor at a 59.3 percent clip, including 8-for-19 from three-point land. 

Gators guard Scottie Wilbekin notched 13 points and a team-high 10 assists, while adding three of his squad’s 14 steals. Florida’s Patric Young and Will Yeguete united for 22 points and 14 boards, with the Gators outrebounding Missouri, 30-19.

The lopsided affair’s 135 points inched above the closing ‘total’ of 133, moving the OVER to 5-2 in the Gators’ last seven games. Young combined with mate Erik Murphy for five blocks, while Florida held the Tigers to 32.7 percent field shooting.

Bulldogs top LSU at home

Georgia ended a three-game losing streak with Saturday’s 67-58 win over conference foe the LSU Tigers, cashing as a 2 ½-point home favorite. The Bulldogs hit 19-of-26 free throws, while being edged out in rebounds, 35-28. 

Bulldogs guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope piled in 22 points en route to notching a season-high six steals. Georgia’s Donte Williams hit 6-of-8 field buckets en route to 14 points, while mates Nemanja Djurisic and Charles Mann logged team-highs of eight boards and five assists. 

The contest’s combined 125 points ducked below the ‘total’ of 128, ending a 2-0 OVER streak from the Bulldogs’ prior pair of duels. Georgia drilled 46.8 percent of its floor shots, while helped by 21 turnovers from LSU. 

Back the Bulldogs in Athens 

NCAA basketball betting odds opened Florida as an 18-point road favorite, with early betting on Georgia dropping the number a ‘hook’ to 17 ½. The Southeastern Conference rivals are meeting in a rematch from the Gators’ 77-44 victory, two weeks ago, as 19-point home ‘chalk.’

I am adding Georgia to my college basketball betting ticket in this spot, looking for the Bulldogs to keep this affair closer at home. The Bulldogs have held visitors to 58.1 PPG in their last six home dates, while pulling off a 76-62 upset of the Gators last February in Athens.

Caldwell-Pope ranks fourth in the SEC for scoring (17.1 PPG), while just one notch below LSU’s Anthony Hickey in steals (2.6 SPG). The sophomore found the rims at an 8-for-13 clip from the floor as part of February’s win over Florida, finishing with team-highs of 18 points and four steals.

The Bulldogs allowed a stingy 36.7 percent shooting in Florida’s last trip to Athens. Wilbekin was held scoreless in 22 minutes of action, while Erik Murphy came away with an 0-for-5 night from the field.

Look for Florida’s octane to drop just enough again here, with Georgia adding another cashed ticket to the home team’s 4-0 spread record in the last four matchups between these foes. 

NCAA Basketball Pick:  Georgia Bulldogs +17.5
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