Pick Dog to Cover in Florida vs. Vanderbilt

Jeff Grant

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 1:48 PM GMT

The Florida Gators have ascended to the top spot in the national rankings, as they prepare to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores Tuesday night. Who should we be backing with our free sports picks?

Let’s take a closer look at the college basketball odds for this Southeastern Conference matchup at the Memorial Gym in Nashville, TN, with the opening tip scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.

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Breaking records

Florida is riding a program-record 19-game winning streak, which includes a 75-71 victory over the Mississippi Rebels as seven-point road favorites last Saturday, while going OVER the betting total for a second consecutive contest.

The Gators have also won all seven of their SEC road games heading into this affair—the longest conference road winning streak in program history.

Four of five probable starters are averaging in double figures, with point guard Scottie Wilbekin leading the way at 13.8 points a contest.

Fallen into a pattern

Vanderbilt has alternated wins and losses over its last four games, as it attempts to build off a solid 67-59 victory over the Auburn Tigers as 4.5-point road underdogs last Saturday, while going UNDER the betting total in each of those contests.

The Commodores have compiled a 8-16 SU all-time record when taking on the top-ranked team in the country, including a 6-7 mark when playing at this venue.

Getting after it defensively

College basketball handicappers will find that the Gators rank eighth nationally in allowing 58.7 points per game—a number that leads the SEC heading into Tuesday night’s action.

Florida has held eight opponents to 21 or fewer first-half points during the 2013-14 campaign.

Fatigue may set in

The Commodores are worth a look as home underdogs on the SBR Odds page, but it’s important to point out that they’ve got the top three players in terms of minutes played in the SEC during league play.

Vanderbilt will need a huge game from freshman post player Damian Jones, who averaged 16.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in games against Missouri and Auburn last week.

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Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Commodores as one of their college basketball picks, as the home team has covered the number in the last four meetings in this series.

College Basketball Pick: Vanderbilt Commodores +8.5