Who Holds The Most Value In Florida-Kentucky SEC Battle?

Jason Lake

Saturday, February 25, 2017 2:06 PM UTC

Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017 2:06 PM UTC

The No. 11 Kentucky Wildcats and No. 13 Florida Gators are tied for first in the SEC. Which one should be your NCAAB pick this Saturday? The answer may surprise you.

If you’re interested in making some college basketball picks this weekend, Saturday’s game (2:00 p.m. ET, CBS) between the No. 11 Kentucky Wildcats and the No. 13 Florida Gators is exactly what you’re looking for. These are two closely-matched teams, as you can tell by looking at our NCAAB odds board: Kentucky has just opened as a 3-point home chalk as we go to press. As a rule of thumb, we value home-court advantage at 3.5 points here at the ranch. So we should bet on Kentucky, right? Right?

Orange Crush

Hold on there, soldier. True, these teams are tied atop the SEC standings with three games left to go in the regular season. But take a closer look at those records. The Wildcats are 23-5 SU and 14-14 ATS; the Gators are 23-5 SU and 16-10 ATS. Only one of these teams has been profitable this year, and it’s not Kentucky.

Which makes sense. UK is one of the most popular programs in college hoops, a Top-5 team in terms of public money. UF barely cracks the Top 50. The Gators are only in their second season under Michael White, who took over when Billy Donovan made his move to the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder. And it’s been 10 years (!) since Donovan’s Gators won their second of back-to-back national titles, when Joakim Noah and Al Horford were crushing everything that moved.

But wouldn’t you know it, Florida is already back in business – and the advanced stats say the Gators are better than the Wildcats. Ken Pomeroy has UF ranked No. 4 overall, three spots better than UK, and almost a full point better per 100 possessions. Plus, starting point guard De’Aaron Fox (+8.0 BPM) is questionable for Kentucky with a knee injury. He’ll be a game-time decision. Consider waiting until shootaround before placing your bets, but we’ll recommend Florida in the meantime.

Free NCAAB Pick: Florida +4.5Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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