Basketball Pick: Florida Gators vs. Vanderbilt Commodores
- Updated: February 25, 2014
Date/Time: February 25 at 7:00 pm EST
College Basketball Betting Odds from BetOWI
College Basketball Betting Favorite: Florida -8.5
The Florida Gators are now the number one ranked team in college basketball. Billy Donovan’s team was number one back in 2007 as well, and they went on to win the NCAA Tournament that season. Florida will travel to Nashville for a battle with the Vanderbilt Commodores on Tuesday night. Can the Commodores give the Gators a tough time or will this be a comfortable win for Florida?
Florida is once again the number one team in the land. The Gators had a surprising tough test at home against Auburn last week, but when they won that game and their weekend game at Ole Miss they were pretty much assured of moving to the top spot. The top spot had been occupied by Syracuse, but the Orange lost two times last week. Billy Donovan’s Gators are a very good team, but I do worry about their schedule strength in the SEC. The SEC is great in football, but there isn’t much depth at all in this conference in basketball. Will that hold this team back come tournament time?
The Gators are so good largely because they don’t have any clear weaknesses. This Florida team can beat you from long range or on the inside. They can win with their offense or their solid halfcourt defense. Casey Prather is one of the most versatile players in the nation, and he is this team’s most important piece. Scottie Wilbekin has had an up and down career with Florida, but he’s been great this season. Patric Young gives the team an elite big man on the inside. Depth isn’t a problem for the Gators either. This is a very good basketball team.
Vanderbilt is always a tough place to win. Kevin Stallings’ teams don’t have as much talent as many other programs in the conference, but Stallings does a nice job coaching his teams and the Commodores have a nice home court advantage. They haven’t pulled off any big upsets at home this year, but the Commodores would love to change that against the top team in the country on Tuesday night on ESPN.
Vanderbilt is led by Rod Odom, who averages 14.2 points per game. Kyle Fuller and Damian Jones both average 11.6 points per contest. The Commodores got a nice road win at Auburn this past weekend. Auburn was favored in that game after playing Florida so tough the game before, but Vanderbilt came back from a 16 point first half deficit to win at Auburn 67-59. Vanderbilt held Auburn to 17% shooting from three-point range in that one. The Commodores defense will have to step up in this game if they have any chance of knocking off the Gators.
Free Pick: Vanderbilt +8.5
The Vanderbilt Commodores will be very fired up for this one. It will also be a slow-paced game, which means points are at a premium. I lean to Vanderbilt here with the points, but Florida should get the straight up win.
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