NCAA Basketball Picks: Florida vs. Tennessee

PJ Laferla

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 5:44 PM GMT

The SEC will be in the spotlight tonight, as the Florida Gators clash on the court with the Tennessee Volunteers. How should we look at this matchup from a college basketball betting point of view?

SEC Showdown: Florida vs. Tennessee

The number 8 ranked Florida Gators (22-4 SU, 7-4 ATS away) will be on the road this Tuesday evening when they travel to Knoxville to face the Tennessee Volunteers (16-10 SU, 6-8-1 ATS home) in a classic SEC matchup that will be filled with plenty of emotions and hostility; but find out which team we are selecting to beat the college basketball betting odds in this contest.

[gameodds]14/222196/43/us[/gameodds]

Tip off in this one will come at 9:00 PM EST from the Thompson-Boling Arena in Tennessee and can be seen live on television, with national broadcast coverage provided by ESPN.

Sportsbooks such as 5Dimes have listed the visiting Gators as hefty -9 point favorites, which might prove to be difficult for us bettors to side with, given Florida is just 3-8 ATS in its last 11 matchups against the Volunteers when facing them in Tennessee.

The total is coming in at a very low 124 points, but it makes sense given the fact that Florida has held 19 different opponents to fewer than 60 points this season. Furthermore, Florida has stayed under the posted total in six of its last eight games overall, while Tennessee is under in its last four home games when facing a team with a winning percentage on the road of .600 or better.

The Gators enter play tonight having won four of its last five contests, but more importantly a victory tonight against the Volunteers will clinch a double-bye for Florida in the SEC tournament.

Florida has also been productive against the spread as of late, going 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games played on the road and 10-3 ATS in their last 13 that follow a straight up win.

Meanwhile, the Volunteers are riding a five-game winning streak, the longest for them this season, shooting an impressive 47.5% overall and 46.4% from beyond the arc during that span.

The five straight up wins have also translated into a perfect 5-0 ATS mark for Tennessee, but they are just 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games played at home against a team with a winning record on the road.

The Pick

Tennessee has essentially come out of nowhere; and a win tonight could give them some serious consideration for the NCAA tournament, but I just don’t see it happening for the Volunteers, even if they are playing at home.

Florida will stifle the Tennessee offense tonight and will win this game straight up and cover the point spread in the process. For your NCAA Basketball picks tonight, lay the chalk with Florida and you will be happy with the results.

NCAAB Pick: Florida -9