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Florida Vanderbilt Betting – Gators Aim To Win Outright SEC Regular-Season Title

Posted by Washington Tucker on 2/6/2014 2:04:58 AM

The Florida Gators have a chance to do something they haven’t achieved since their national-championship season in 2007: Win the outright SEC regular-season championship.

NCAA basketball betting: Florida Gators @ Vanderbilt Commodores

Why To Bet On Florida

March Madness betting pundits are aware that Florida – while certainly not as formidable as the 2006 team that, as a No. 3 seed, found a way to win the national title – has definitely improved from the past few seasons. In 2008 and 2009, Florida seemed punch-drunk after its runaway success in 2006 and 2007. The Gator players who remained in Gainesville, Florida, after the 2007 studs all went to the pros seemed to think that NCAA Tournament appearances were a matter of fact, a way of life. The 2008 and 2009 teams didn’t sacrifice on the floor, and as a result, the Gators fell to the NIT in each of those seasons. In 2010, the Gators did reach the NCAA Tournament, but they barely got in as a No. 10 seed and were bounced in the first round by Brigham Young and a player you might have heard of, Jimmer Fredette. Only this season has Florida finally put the pieces together on the court. The Gators, under coach Billy Donovan, have played tougher and more resilient basketball, digging out the close wins they didn’t grab from 2008 through 2010. If this game is close in Nashville, Florida forward Chandler Parsons – who has been racking up points-and-rebounds double-doubles left and right over the past five weeks – is a man who can be trusted to carry the Gators over the top. A win would give Florida an outright SEC title, since UF – at 12-3 in the conference – now leads 11-4 Alabama by one game with only one game left to play.

Why To Bet On Vanderbilt

The sports betting calculus in this contest is shaped by the fact that Vanderbilt doesn’t ordinarily lose at home. The Commodores did fall on their faces against Arkansas earlier this season, and they also blew a late lead at home against Tennessee, but those are the only two losses VU has suffered at Memorial Gym this season. Coach Kevin Stallings’ team is very wobbly on the road and plays with a profound lack of conviction when forced to leave its home campus, but when playing at Memorial Gym – the only Division I arena in the country that places the team benches on opposing baselines, not on the same sideline – Vanderbilt generally uses the quirky setup to its advantage. Vanderbilt is used to communicating in an effective manner on its home court, while visiting coaches aren’t as accustomed to the situation.

The other aspect of this game that should give Vandy a boost is that the Commodores are playing for the second seed in the SEC East, a reward that – if attained – will give VU a first-round bye in the SEC Tournament. Incentives always matter, and Vanderbilt has a lot to play for in this clash.

How The Game Will Play Out

The online betting verdict is that while Florida will keep this game close for the duration of the proceedings, Vanderbilt – at home – will make enough plays to win. These two teams played into overtime in Gainesville earlier in the year, so it’s not as though Vandy was thoroughly outclassed or comprehensively dominated. Home-court advantage should lift the Commodores this weekend in Nashville.

Florida Vanderbilt Betting Pick: Vanderbilt

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