NCAA Basketball Picks: Ole Miss +4 vs. Florida

Jeff Grant

Thursday, February 12, 2015 1:26 PM GMT

Ole Miss has the right type of personnel to cause problems for Florida on both ends of the floor, which makes it a dangerous road underdog Thursday night.

Plenty Of Firepower
Ole Miss leads the Southeastern Conference in scoring during league play by averaging 75.5 points per game—falling just short of that number in securing a 72-71 victory over the Florida Gators as one-point home underdogs on Jan. 24.

The Rebels are able to handle the Gators pressure defense due to ranking 50th in the country in turnover percentage on the offensive end, with guards Stefan Moody and Jarvis Summers being the main ball handlers.

Summers is the main player to focus on when producing your free college basketball pick, as he’s just the 14th player in conference history to post 1,500 career points and 400 career assists, while Moody is the reigning SEC Player of the Week.

Surprisingly enough, the duo combined for just 22 points on 7 of 21 shooting in the first meeting, but the school finished with a dynamite 15-to-9 turnover margin.

 

Down Goes Frazier
Florida has been overvalued in the NCAA basketball odds the entire season, as head coach Billy Donovan has struggled to get his young group to play together—a stark contrast from last year’s squad that spent a good portion of the season ranked No. 1 in national polls.

The Gators will have a hard time moving past their current 5-5 SUATS run, with leading scorer Michael Frazier II being listed as doubtful with an ankle injury, as he opens up the floor offensively in averaging 2.4 3-pointers made per game.

Frazier finished with a game-high 27 points in the first meeting—a number that no player on the current roster is able to produce in a high-profile game of this magnitude.

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Securing Wins
Free throw shooting is one of the more important statistical categories to focus on when handicapping games with a competitive point spread, as games are often won and lost from the charity stripe down the stretch.

Ole Miss happens to rank second in the country in shooting 79.4 percent from the line—a figure that would actually lead the NBA at this point in time.

Head coach Andy Kennedy does a fantastic job of designing plays down the stretch to get the ball in the hands of Moody, who leads the SEC and sits behind just seven players in free throw shooting.

 

Close Encounters
The Gators are 15-8 SU against the Rebels during the Donovan era, but six of the past seven affairs have been decided by six or fewer points.

This could certainly quality as a letdown spot for Florida after suffering a 68-61 setback to top-ranked Kentucky as eight-point home underdogs last Saturday, as it was perceived by many as the most important game of the entire 2014-15 season.

 

Prediction
Contrasting betting trends line up in favor of the visitor at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center, as the Rebels are 7-1 ATS as underdogs, while the Gators are 5-11-1 ATS when laying points.

Ole Miss grabs the cash due to its stellar 81.1 percent mark from the line when playing on the road.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Ole Miss Rebels +4.5 at 5Dimes