NCAA Basketball Picks Missouri vs. Florida to go Over

Jeff Grant

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 1:38 PM GMT

The Florida Gators and Missouri Tigers each protected their home courts a season ago, as they prepare to meet up for the first time during the 2013-14 campaign Tuesday. Let’s take a closer look at the college basketball odds for this Southeastern Conference match-up at the O’Connell Center, with the opening tip scheduled for 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Tough loss

Missouri had its two-game winning streak snapped last Saturday, as it suffered a 84-79 defeat to the Kentucky Wildcats as 1.5-point home underdogs at most sportsbooks, while going OVER the betting total for the third time in four contests.

The Tigers are still a solid 10-5 SU versus ranked opponents under head coach Frank Haith, including a 5-3 mark versus top-10 foes.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the program is 6-8 SU and 8-6 ATS as underdogs in the NCAA basketball odds.

Absolutely rolling

Florida is playing some of the best basketball in the country, as it won its 13th-straight game by picking up a 69-36 blowout victory over the Texas A&M Aggies as 16-point home favorites last Saturday.

The Gators will likely extend their current win streak due to capturing their last 13 SEC home games, while they’ve gone 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS as favorites of 9.5 to 12 points at this venue the last two-plus seasons.

Close encounters 

College basketball handicappers will want to take a long look at the road underdog in this spot, as 13 of the Tigers’ last 14 games have been decided by 10 or fewer points, while their five losses have come by a combined 21 points during the 2013-14 campaign.

Missouri will rely heavily on one of the more talented backcourts in the SEC, as Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson are combining to average 39.3 points a contest.

It starts on the defensive end

The Gators are legitimate national title contenders in the futures market, as they rank sixth nationally in surrendering just 57.4 points per game.

Florida has held eight opponents to 21 or fewer first-half points, while it limited Brown to 28 combined points in last year’s two meetings.

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as one of their NCAA basketball picks, as the OVER is 17-9 in the Tigers’ last 26 opportunities versus teams that allow 64 or fewer points per game.

Pick: Over 131

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