College Basketball Odds & Picks for Florida vs. Auburn: Back the Tigers to Win Big

College Basketball Odds & Picks for Florida vs. Auburn: Back the Tigers to Win Big article feature image

Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Bruce Pearl (Auburn)

  • Auburn takes on Florida in an SEC clash between two physical teams.
  • The Gators have had a weird season, as they beat Florida State and Ohio State but lost to Texas Southern.
  • D.J. James breaks down the matchup and offers up his best bet.

Auburn vs. Florida Odds

Saturday, Jan. 8
8 p.m. ET
Florida Odds
-110o / -110u
Auburn Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The red-hot Auburn Tigers will host the Florida Gators in hopes of rattling off their third straight SEC victory to open conference play.

Florida has been up-and-down this season, as it had early wins over Ohio State and Florida State before losing to Texas Southern.

Auburn’s defense and length will cause a litany of issues for the Gators on the inside.

This could get out of hand, especially if Florida cannot figure out a way to manufacture scoring chances.

Florida Gators

Florida is a good offensive rebounding team. The Gators rank 18th in college hoops, with a rebounding percentage on offense of 35.8%. But this dramatically falls off when they move to the defensive end (29.3%, 214th in the NCAA).

Colin Castleton is pretty much their only consistent rebounder (9.2 RPG), as no other player averages more than five boards per game.

With Jabari Smith and Walker Kessler on the opposing side of this affair, Castleton will need to scrap for any open shot, and his rebounding will also falter.

Florida’s outside shooting is weak, as the Gators only hit 31.5% of their 3s.

Phlandrous Fleming Jr. is their most productive outside shooter, but Brandon McKissic, Myreon Jones and Tyree Appleby shoot the lion’s share from downtown. All three hover around 30%.

Auburn allows a 3-point percentage of around 31%, and do not expect it to suddenly change its ways.

Florida’s most significant downfall is its lack of control over the ball on offense. The Gators turn it over on 19.5% of their possessions, while Auburn forces the 37th-most turnovers in the country — averaging almost 10 steals per game.

Castelton and Appleby — the two Gators with the ball in their hands the most — both average over two giveaways per game. With four Tigers averaging at least one steal per night, this could get ugly for the Gators.

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Auburn Tigers

Not only will the Tigers turn over the Gators, but they rank second with a 41.8% opponent 2-point percentage on the year. This furthers the notion that Castleton will be unable to produce down low.

Kessler, who is averaging over four blocks each contest, will cause problems up front for the Gators.

Now, the Tigers are not necessarily the most effective team from deep, but they are efficient at a 35.0% clip. The freshman phenom, Smith, hits 43.8% of his 3s on 73 attempts. He is no fluke.

Zep Jasper and Wendell Green Jr. also eclipse the 35% mark, so Auburn has options, even if Florida defends the arc well with its guards.

Castleton is the only viable matchup for the Tigers' bigs. This explains why Florida allows a 2-point percentage of 48.7%. Kessler and Smith could walk all over Florida.

In addition, Dylan Cardwell and Jaylin Williams serve as viable backup options, as they can provide the starters with a break. Essentially, the depth of the Tigers' frontcourt will overwhelm the Gators eventually in this matchup.

At the moment, Allen Flanigan is questionable for Auburn, so if he does not play, the Tigers do lose some rebounding power. However, most of their success has come with him sidelined, so this should only be a plus if he is available.

Auburn vs. Florida Betting Pick

Auburn has all of the artillery to throw in Florida’s direction. The Tigers are far deeper, lengthier and more physical. They have the sixth-best defense in the country, per KenPom, for a reason, and they defend with tenacious guard play and daunting big men.

If the Tigers knock down their 3s, this will be yet another upsetting loss for the Gators.

Take Auburn at -9 and play it to -10.5. The Tigers should win this game by double digits.

Pick: Auburn -9 (Play to -10.5)

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