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Florida Kentucky Betting –Wildcats Run Over Gators On Home Court

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/6/2014 1:59:59 AM

Online betting players know how much of a factor home court advantage can be in the world of college hoops, and Kentucky is one of the best examples of this as they’re a different team in Lexington than they are on the road. The Wildcats will welcome Florida to town in a massive SEC tilt on Saturday, and with the Gators facing a possible injury to their best player, look for Kentucky to pull away in the second half.

  • What: NCAA Basketball Betting
  • When: Saturday, February 26th, 9:00 PM ET
  • Where: Rupp Arena, Lexington, KY
  • Pick: Kentucky Wildcats

Why Bet On Florida (21-5, 10-2 SEC as of Thursday)

The No.13 Gators had won five in a row ahead of Thursday’s visit from Georgia, and four of those wins came by seven points or less. Florida’s power comes in their depth as eight players are averaging 17 minutes or more, and they’re solid defensively, coming in 34th in points allowed. The Gators also hit the glass (15th in rebound margin) without committing a lot of fouls (first in the country), and they’ve got a group of starters who all played with each other last season, which helps with the comfort level. Junior guard Erving Walker (14.8 points) leads a balanced scoring lineup, and it’s very encouraging that the Gators have been succeeding through a poor shooting season from sophomore Kenny Boynton (13.1 points, 36.1% from the field). But the key to it all is senior forward Chandler Parsons (10.8 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists), a do-it-all player who is questionable for the Georgia game with a deep thigh bruise.

Florida’s weakness is a gift and a curse, in that they do everything well, but they don’t do anything great, and we’re not sure that’s going to cut it in the NCAA Tournament. The one glaring problem that they have comes at the foul line, where the Gators have been hitting 66.2% of their attempts (good for 246th in the country). Parsons (54.2%) and senior center Vernon Macklin (43.1%) are particularly bad at the charity stripe.

Why Bet On Kentucky (19-8, 7-6 SEC)

The No.22 Wildcats are wildly talented, if not young, and they’re extremely good in Lexington; their 32-game winning streak at home is second only to Duke’s 35-game streak. A typical John Calipari-coached team, the Wildcats are active on both ends of the floor, coming in 21st in points scored and 63rd in points allowed, and they’re ninth in field-goal defense, so they don’t make it easy to you. The freshman trio of guard Brandon Knight (17.7 points, 4.0 assists, forward Terrence Jones (17.6 points, 9.8 rebounds) and guard Doron Lamb (13.3 points) power Kentucky’s offense, but junior guard Darius Miller (10.4 points, 4.9 rebounds) may be the most important player because of his experience. Jones (2.0 blocks), Miller (1.2 blocks) and senior forward Josh Harrellson (1.6 blocks) are also a part of a team who is fourth in the country in blocks).

It’s tough to find a fault with Kentucky…that is, when they’re in Lexington. As we said, the Wildcats are extremely good at home, but they’re awful on the road, losing five of their last six away from home. All of those losses were by four points or less, which points to their inexperience and execution in late-game situations. The Wildcats are also 146th in three-point defense, and they could stand to pass the ball around more, ranking 159th in assists.

How The Game Will Play Out

NCAA basketball betting odds will favor the Wildcats at home, where they are 3-2 SU in their last five games against the Gators, along with a 2-3 ATS record. Kentucky is 7-5 ATS at home this season, while Florida is 5-4 ATS on the road, so this should be a tight game. The Wildcats seem to have their execution problems sorted out at Rupp Arena, but they’re going to have their hands full with a Florida team that play well together. The Wildcats fell 70-68 in Gainesville on February 5th, and it was one of the rare games where they shot well at the foul line, making 18 of 22 attempts, and we don’t think they’ll do that in Lexington. Also, the injury concern over Parsons is a big worry, so we’re pointing to Kentucky in our sports betting picks.

Florida Kentucky Betting Pick: Kentucky Wildcats

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