Kentucky vs Florida SEC Betting Preview & Prediction
№6 Kentucky Wildcats (18–4 SU, 12–10 ATS vs №23 Florida Gators (17–5 SU, 12–8 ATS)
When/Where: Saturday, February 4, 8:15 PM ET
Spread: Florida Gators -1
Featured Matchup by Frank Moone
The Kentucky Wildcats enter this important conference road game vs the Florida Gators, losers of 2 out of their last 3 games. Kentucky had to scrap and claw to beat Georgia in overtime on Tuesday night, 90–81. The Wildcats suffered a big upset on January 24th to Tennessee then lost a home game to Kansas on Saturday January 28th. It won’t get any easier for the Wildcats when they hit the road to Gainesville.
Florida will enter this contest with a high level of confidence after beating their last three opponents by an average of 35 points per game. Wins over over LSU, Oklahoma and Missouri have propelled them to an (8–2 SU) record their last 10 ball games and covering the spread in 6 of those games, including three straight ATS wins.
The Gators have been successful at forcing turnovers getting 8 steals per game. However, the Wildcats should win the battle of the boards considering Kentucky averages 36 RPG which ranks them 11th in the nation compared to Florida’s 30th which ranks them 109th.
Kentucky has one of the top offenses in college hoops which averages just north of 91 PPG but their free throw (69%) and 3 point percentage (35.8%) leave some room for improvement. Their free throw percentage must improve in order to come out on top down the stretch and heading into the NCAA Tournament.
Kentucky is 4–0 ATS the last 4 meetings and the favorite is 4–0 ATS the last 4 meetings, however, the home team is 4–1 ATS the last 5 meetings. The Gators are 9–4 ATS the last 13 home games while the Wildcats are 1–4 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
The Gators don’t match up talent wise and Kentucky is one of the top offensive teams in the nation. However, the Wildcats defense has not been good and the Wildcats seem to play to their competition and with losses to UCLA, Louisville, Tennessee and Kansas — they may be a touch overrated at this point in the season. They are still a young team that needs to develop as a cohesive unit and while they have some of the top talent in the country, the only top ranked team they beat was UNC in December. Kentucky is 1–4 ATS in their last 5 road games and 1–6 ATS in their last 7 games overall and they haven’t played up to expectations the past few games. Florida is a tough team and even better at home. Going to back the Gators in this matchup at home.
Kentucky vs Florida Prediction: Florida -1