College Basketball Odds & Betting Picks: Florida vs. Kentucky, Indiana vs. Wisconsin
Silas Walker/Getty Images. Pictured: Kentucky Wildcats
It may be hard to win on the road, but Saturday brings us two college hoops teams that find it easier than most.
First, we’ll travel to Gainesville, where the No. 6 Kentucky Wildcats will try to sweep their regular-season series against Florida.
Then, Wisconsin will try to win their fifth Big Ten road game when the Badgers invade Bloomington to face the Indiana Hoosier.
Let’s see if both of these road warriors can get to the window one more time.
Saturday College Basketball Odds & Picks
Florida vs. No. 6 Kentucky
- Spread: Florida -3
- Over/Under: 136.5
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV: CBS
Florida (19-11) has been consistently inconsistent this season. The Gators are in a three-way tie at 11-6 in conference, with both a three-game winning streak and losing streak. They are just 13-17 against the spread including just 3-3 in their last six home games.
Kentucky (24-6) has already clinched the regular-season SEC title at 14-3 but is coming off an 81-73 home loss to Tennessee. Before that loss, the Wildcats had won eight consecutive games and 12 of their last 13 contests. They are 16-14 ATS including seven of their last nine games.
Before the Tennessee loss, Kentucky could make a claim as the hottest team in the country. The Wildcats have relied on their suffocating defense throughout their second-half surge. They rank second in effective field goal percentage defense and 2P% defense allowed, while holding six of their seven opponents to 66 points or fewer prior to the loss to the Volunteers.
However, it’s the offensive improvement that has John Calipari’s Wildcats in good position on Saturday.
Kentucky ranks second in the conference in 3P% and free-throw accuracy. Sophomore guard Immanuel Quickley (16.2 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 42% 3P) has developed into a fantastic all-around scorer, while forward Nick Richards (13.9 ppg, 7.8 rpg) has become a reliable interior presence, fouling out only one time in the past 15 games.
Florida ranks 56th overall in adjusted defensive efficiency, but just fifth-best in SEC play. The Gators have struggled to defend the 3P, ranking only 10th-best at limiting opponents from beyond the arc. They have also been poor at protecting the ball, with only the eighth-best offensive turnover efficiency against SEC competition.
In their first meeting, Kentucky forced Florida into 16 turnovers, its most all season.
Kentucky’s guards will pressure the Gators’ Andrew Nembhard all game and held him to just four points in their first meeting. I’ll gladly take the three points against a Florida team that is inconsistent and struggled against the Wildcats earlier this season.
The Pick: Kentucky +3
Indiana vs. Wisconsin
- Spread: Indiana -2
- Over/Under: 129
- Time: 12 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
Indiana (19-11) has battled all season, finding great success at home. The Hoosiers are 6-2 in Bloomington with wins over Ohio State, Michigan State, Iowa, and Penn State. They are just 15-15 against the spread including just 5-6 in their last 11 games.
Wisconsin (20-10) enters on a seven-game winning streak, including two road wins. The Badgers are tied atop the Big Ten with Michigan State and Maryland at 13-6. They are 6-2 ATS in their past eight games including a cover in three of their last four.
The Badgers have bucked the trend of the dominant Big Ten home teams by earning huge road wins during conference play. They have done so behind a balanced attack, ranking 38th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 24th in adjusted defensive efficiency.
Despite their toughness, the Hoosiers still struggle on offense. Indiana ranks 10th in Big Ten play in 2P% and 12th in free-throw shooting. On defense, they rank 10th at limiting conference opponents from the 3P line and 12th against the 3P.
Wisconsin has too much at stake and is too fundamentally sound for the Hoosiers to grab yet another home win. I think the wrong team is favored here, and will gladly take the two points with a Wisconsin team focused on gaining a share of the Big Ten regular-season title.
The Pick: Wisconsin +2