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Florida vs. Auburn Odds, Picks | College Basketball Betting Guide (Wednesday, Dec. 28)

Florida vs. Auburn Odds, Picks | College Basketball Betting Guide (Wednesday, Dec. 28) article feature image
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Photo by David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Colin Castleton (Florida)

  • Florida and Colin Castleton take to the road to face Auburn in an SEC matchup on Wednesday.
  • The Gators have struggled against high-quality opponents, but they seem to have a major advantage inside in this one.
  • D.J. James previews the matchup and provides his best bet.

Florida vs. Auburn Odds

Wednesday, Dec. 28
7 p.m. ET
ESPN2
Florida Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+5.5
-110
143
-110o / -110u
+185
Auburn Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-5.5
-110
143
-110o / -110u
-225
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The Florida Gators open up SEC play on the road against the Auburn Tigers.

Florida has had a rough go of it — coming into this game 7-5 — but every team it’s lost to has been in KenPom’s top 50. The Gators played both Florida Atlantic and Xavier tight, while having some major trouble with West Virginia, Connecticut and Oklahoma.

That said, going into Wednesday night’s game, they have some major edges against the Tigers.

Auburn is a solid team, but it only has one top-50 KenPom win, which was a victory over Northwestern that came down to the wire. Otherwise, the Tigers have very few quality wins, if any.

This is only one of the reasons the Gators may keep it close.

Overall, both of these teams have great defenses and Colin Castleton is probably the most underrated big man in the NCAA.

Look for Florida to cover in this game on the road and keep it within a possession.


Florida Gators

The Gators rank 38th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency and 73rd in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency. They thrive on the defensive glass, holding opponents to an offensive rebounding percentage of 23.5% (31st).

This should bode well for the Gators, as the Tigers are a dominant offensive rebounding team at 37%. Alex Fudge and Castleton are excellent rebounders and will negate Johni Broome’s offensive put-back game.

Offensively, Florida rarely shoots 3s, but it shoots 35% from outside. This is crucial because Auburn forces teams to shoot from deep over 30% of the time.

Trey Bonham, Kowacie Reeves and Will Richard are all shooting over 37% and are the typical marksmen for the Gators. Auburn holds opponents to 27.1% on 3-pointers, however.

This is where Castleton comes into play. Auburn limits opponents to 43.9% on 2-pointers, which ranks 30th in the NCAA.

This number is surely inflated by playing poor teams. USC and Memphis carved the Auburn defense up inside, and did so by drawing fouls, too. Also, the one solid team the Tigers beat (Northwestern) does not have a true inside presence.

Auburn ranks 214th in fouling on defense. Castleton has already shot 63 free throws. He should be fouled plenty in this ball game.

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Auburn Tigers

Now, Castleton is also a menace defensively. He can haul in boards, but he’s also a disruptive shot-blocker. Fudge is, as well.

Florida is holding opponents to around 43% on 2-pointers despite playing a stronger set of teams than Auburn. Look for Fudge and Castleton to clog the paint and not allow too many open looks for Auburn.

One issue the Gators have defensively is guarding the arc, where they are permitting over 35% of 3s to fall. They force opponents to take these shots, too (32.3% of the time).

Luckily for them, the Tigers are one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in college basketball, ranking 311th at 30.2% from outside the perimeter.

Jaylin Williams is the only deep, efficient threat for the Tigers at 41.9%, but they’ll try to get the ball inside. Florida matches up exceptionally well against a team that can only really produce points by driving to the hole and getting fouled.

Photo by CBB Analytics

This brings up another matchup problem. The Gators do not foul as often as the Tigers would like, particularly with Fudge and Castleton. Between the two Florida bigs, only one game has featured a big fouling out (Fudge).

Auburn ranks 42nd in free-throw attempt percentage, so its game plan consists of attacking the basket every time down floor. The internal defensive roadblock should be there all game long to throw a wrench in Bruce Pearl’s traditional offensive schemes.


Florida vs. Auburn Betting Pick

Florida has yet to show it can win a game against a great opponent, but Auburn could be its first major victory. If this game was in Gainesville, the Gators would have a major edge.

The Florida big men will take away any inside shots for the Tigers and will not foul too much while doing so. Meanwhile, Broome has at least two fouls in every game this season.

Castleton gets to the line multiple times per game, so he could win the battle down low easily.

Take the Gators at +6 (-110), and play it to +4 (-110).

Pick: Florida +6 (Play to +4)

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