Tennessee vs Florida Odds, Prediction: Target This SEC Total
Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images. Pictured: Todd Golden (Florida)
Tennessee vs Florida Odds
-114o / -106u
-114o / -106u
The Tennessee–Florida rivalry hits the hardwood on Wednesday night as the two programs clash in an SEC matchup.
The Volunteers come into this game ranked No. 2 in the country, with an 18-3 overall record and a 7-1 mark in the SEC.
Meanwhile, the Gators own a 12-9 record on the season, but they have been a tough out for multiple top teams in the conference.
If you like watching defense, this is the game for you, as this sets up to be a slugfest between two conference rivals.
Coach Rick Barnes was able to secure some revenge on his former school by beating No. 10 Texas in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge over the weekend.
It was another huge win to add to the Volunteers’ resume as they fight for a top seed in the NCAA tournament.
On the year, Barnes’ squad is 4-1 against Quad 1 opposition, which includes wins over No. 8 Kansas, then-No. 13 Maryland and USC.
The defense has been the strength of the Vols. It’s the best unit in the country in AdjD, EFG% and defending 3-pointers, according to Bart Torvik. Meanwhile, the Vols are also ninth in forcing turnovers and 12th in opponents’ 2-point shooting.
If Barnes can get enough from his roster on the offensive end of the floor, this has the looks of a team that can make a long run in March.
In his debut season with the program, coach Todd Golden has his team in position to earn a spot in the NCAA tournament. The Gators come into this contest on the bubble, according to multiple Bracketology sites.
The Gators rank 51st in the NET Rankings, but they are only 1-7 against Quad 1 teams. However, they have had some very close losses.
Golden’s squad lost by two to No. 19 Florida Atlantic, by three at No. Auburn and by a combined five points in a pair of losses to Texas A&M.
You have to think the close losses could turn around in Florida’s favor in the final stages of the season.
Similar to the Vols, the Gators are known for their strong defense, which ranks inside the top 15 in AdjD, EFG% and 2-point%. They are also 56th in defending the 3-point line, so points may be hard to come by in this contest.
Tennessee vs Florida Betting Pick
When I look at the odds for this game at FanDuel, I do see this as a potential sandwich spot; Tennessee could be overlooking this game in between playing two nationally-ranked programs.
However, I feel the best value is on the total.
My best bet is for this matchup to fall under the total of 131.5, which I would play to 130.
For all of the great things the Gators do defensively, they have struggled to score the basketball, ranking outside the top 190 in AdjO (195th), EFG% (238th), 2-point shooting (192nd) and 3-point% (263rd).
You also have to compare their results against similar opposition.
When Florida has played the better defensive teams in Texas A&M, Mississippi State, Auburn and Kansas State, Golden’s squad has only averaged 58.6 points. This same bet would have cashed in all five matchups.
Yes, the Volunteers have dominated SEC opponents, but we haven’t seen them do it this season against a top defensive unit away from home. This was the same Tennessee program that was held to 63 points at Ole Miss and 70 at MSU, with both contests finishing under this number.
Once you add in the fact that Florida’s tempo has slowed in conference play, I really don’t see this as a high-scoring affair.
I think this could be a first-to-60 type of game, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the Gators were competitive.
Pick: Under 131.5 (Play to 130)
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