NCAA Basketball Picks: Ole Miss vs. Florida

Jordan Sharp

Saturday, February 2, 2013 5:17 PM GMT

Will the surprise Running Rebels come in and upset this big spread for our sports picks, or will the Gators’ powerful defense and torching offense be too much for Mississippi to handle?

NCAAB Picks; Ole Miss (16) vs. Florida (4)

A street brawl like game (and come to think of it an actual brawl as well) is set to take place in Jacksonville, Florida tonight, as Marshal Henderson and the Ole Miss Rebels head down south to play Kenny Boynton and the Gators. The NCAAB Odds for this one favor the Gators by a huge margin of -17 ½.

Henderson leading charge

Henderson has had his troubles this season. A “journeyman” already in college, Henderson has probably been thrown off and kicked out of more schools than most of you have been thrown out of bars in your life. However, there is no denying that he can ball.

Henderson is leading the SEC in scoring this season at 19.3 points per game, and if the Rebels can somehow overcome this giant point spread and get a huge road win, they would be tied atop the SEC with Florida. Ole Miss is 5th in the nation in scoring, at an even 80 points per game.

Tonight’s challenge for the Rebels will be overcoming what could be called the best defensive team in college basketball. Florida ranks 2nd in the entire country right now in points allowed, averaging giving up only 50 points per game. This is by far the toughest test for the Rebels this season. Beating Missouri was nice to put on their resume, but beating Florida tonight on the road could start to cement the legacy of Henderson and the 2013 Rebels. Mississippi has covered in four of the last seven games they have played against the Gators; including three of the last four times they have played in Jacksonville.

The chomp defense

Although Mississippi has the edge in recent meetings, with the exception of the back-to-back title seasons for the Gators, these two teams haven’t both been this good in a while. In fact, people love the Rebels in this game taking so many points, but should they be so confident?

Florida has not been challenged at all this season, as they have one of the widest margins of victory of any team in the country this season. Plus, they have two great on ball defenders in Boynton and Scottie Wilbekin. They both will be key in trying to slow down Henderson tonight, which is probably another reason why the Gators are such big favorites.

[gameodds]14/219407/43/us[/gameodds]

The Sharp Pick

All in all, I can understand completely why it looks crazy not to take the points with the Rebels here, but I like the Gators, even though they are laying so many points. Wilbekin should hold Henderson to about 25% shooting in this game, as that hasn’t proven to be that hard anyway this season, and I think the Gators are just going to be too powerful. The books know what they are talking about. Don’t just look at the rankings and think because both are Top 25 teams that this will be close.

Don’t get me wrong, anything can happen, and the Rebels could very well keep this game close. However, Florida is in a league of their own right now in the SEC, and I don’t think the Rebels are quite up there yet. Lay the points for your college basketball picks here.

Free College Basketball Picks: Florida -17 ½