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Florida vs. Kentucky Odds & Picks: Can the Wildcats Cover Spread?

Florida vs. Kentucky Odds & Picks: Can the Wildcats Cover Spread? article feature image
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Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Oscar Tshiebwe.

  • Florida takes on Kentucky at Rupp Arena as a near double-digit underdog on Saturday.
  • The Gators have quietly gotten hot, while the Wildcats are looking to make a run to the tournament.
  • Alex Hinton breaks down the game and shares his top bet below.

Florida vs. Kentucky Odds

Saturday, Feb. 12
4 p.m. ET
ESPN
Florida Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+9.5
-110
141
-110o / -110u
+385
Kentucky Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-9.5
-110
141
-110o / -110u
-525
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Kentucky has lived for Saturday showcase games all season. Kentucky beat North Carolina, 98-69, in Las Vegas and rival Tennessee, 107-79.

The Wildcats have upped the ante the last two weeks with an 80-62 victory at Kansas and a 66-55 victory at Alabama. Even in the loss at Auburn, Kentucky led by nine before TyTy Washington went down with an ankle injury.

Kentucky is 7-2 on Saturdays this season and 20-4 overall. It will visit rival Tennessee on Tuesday, but first it welcomes another rival to Lexington in the Florida Gators.

Florida comes in at 16-8 and 6-5 in the SEC. It’s coming off a 72-63 win over Georgia on Wednesday night. The Gators have won four straight and seven of their last nine games.

This will be the first of two matchups between Florida and Kentucky this season, with the latter coming March 5 to end the regular season.

Florida is just 4-8 against Kentucky since Mike White took over. Will the Gators pull the upset, or will Saturday end in another W for the Cats?


Florida Gators

The Gators are led by forward Colin Castleton. The 6-foot-11 senior averages 15.4 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks while shooting 54% from the field. Castleton missed six games with an injury, but his return has sparked Florida’s winning streak.

Beyond him, Florida has four players averaging between nine and 10 points per game. Guard Tyree Appleby puts up 10.8 points and four assists per game. Forward Anthony Durujii is averaging 9.5 points and 4.4 rebounds while converting 67% of his 2-point opportunities.

The Gators are 59th in adjusted offensive efficiency but just 171st in effective field goal percentage.

The Gators are not a good 3-point shooting team, but they take a lot of deep shots. Florida ranks 36th in Division I with 26.3 3-point attempts per game, but it’s just 317th in percentage at 30.7% from behind the arc. Still, Florida racks up 34% of its points from beyond the arc.

Florida is a disruptive unit on the defensive end. It ranks 11th in steal percentage, 10th in block percentage, and 11th in blocks per game. Florida has five players who average at least one steal per game. In the paint, Castleton is 16th nationally in blocks per game.

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Kentucky Wildcats

While we have grown used to seeing Kentucky’s roster filled with one-and-dones, this year’s roster is made up of transfers and more experienced players.

West Virginia transfer forward Oscar Tshiebwe is a nightly double-double threat and averages 15.9 points and 15.1 rebounds. He leads the nation in rebounding and has posted five 20-rebound games.

Davidson transfer Kellan Grady averages 12 points and has become the top 3-point shooter in the SEC at 44.2% from beyond the arc. Georgia transfer Sahvir Wheeler puts up 9.7 points and 7.2 assists. Junior Keion Brooks is averaging 11.6 points and 4.7 rebounds. He has turned into a deadly mid-range shooter and a zone buster if Florida mixes in any 2-3.

Kentucky is not without a star freshman, however. Washington ranks second on the team in scoring and assists at 12.9 points and four assists per game.

Kentucky is the eighth-highest scoring team in the country at 81.4 points per game. It also ranks fifth in adjusted offensive efficiency and 11th in offensive rating.

The Cats typically control the glass as well, ranking sixth in offensive rebounding and rebounds per games. They out-rebound opponents by 10.7 boards per game.

The Wildcats are elite at the defensive end, too, ranking 12th in adjusted defensive efficiency. Opponents are shooting just 29% from deep against Kentucky, which is an area that should favor BBN against Florida.


Florida vs. Kentucky Betting Pick

While Florida enters on a four-game winning streak, the wins were against Oklahoma State, Missouri, Ole Miss, and Georgia. Of the four, only Oklahoma State is ranked in KenPom’s top 100 and the Cowboys are still outside the top 55.

Additionally, Florida trailed by double digits against Oklahoma State, Missouri, and Ole Miss — and it nearly blew a 14-point lead against Georgia.

If Florida gets down big early against Kentucky, it may not get back in the game. Kentucky has been prone to scoring spurts this season, and it can quickly turn a five-point lead into a 20-point advantage.

Additionally, Florida just does not have the depth to keep up. Castleton and Tshiebwe will be a fun battle to watch, but the other matchups favor Kentucky.

Kentucky is 14-0 at home this season with an average margin of victory of 17 points. I would need at least +15 to consider backing Florida. However, at -10 I’ll take the Cats.

Pick: Kentucky -10 (Play to -12.5)

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