The Florida Gators can make one huge statement to push their campaign for an at-large bid if they could take down the Kentucky Wildcats in Lexington this coming weekend. Will the Gators end their regular-season campaign with an exclamation mark in the form of a win over Kentucky? Or will the Wildcats give their home fans a reason to party on a Saturday night? At press, Florida has +15,000 odds, while Kentucky has +900 odds, to win the 2019 National Championship.
Betting Preview for the Florida Gators vs. Kentucky Wildcats College Basketball Game on March 9, 2019
Where: Rupp Arena, Lexington
When: Saturday, March 9, 2019, 2:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: ESPN
Betting on the Florida Gators (17-3 Overall / 9-8 Conference)
Florida had been coasting since a loss to then No. 1 Tennessee Volunteers last month, as the Gators stitched together five-straight wins that seemed to show that they have finally turned the corner. But just when the Gators were starting to convert naysayers into believers, they got tripped up at home last Saturday by the Georgia Bulldogs in a 61-55 loss. Florida’s offense simply sputtered in the Georgia game, as the Gators shot just 37.5 percent from the field. None of their starters scored more than right points, with season leading scorer KeVaughn Allen mustering just five points on an extremely salty 1-for-10 shooting from the field. Although not known as a high-scoring team, the Gators need to find their shots in the rematch with Kentucky, which beat them in Gainesville last month, 65-54. The Gators’ defense is also relied upon to show up. After all, Florida is 11th in the nation in defense, per KenPom.
Florida, which gave the LSU Tigers a run for their own money in a 79-78 home loss Wednesday, are 6-4 against the spread (ATS) in road games this season.
Betting on the Kentucky Wildcats (25-5 Overall / 14-3 Conference)
Kentucky got victimized too over the weekend, absorbing a crushing 71-52 loss in Knoxville to the No. 7 Volunteers. Kentucky just didn’t have it in the rematch with Tennessee, as the Wildcats went only 14-for-44 from the field. They were a mess offensively, committing 17 turnovers while also going 5-for-19 from behind the arc. However, they should be in a better form against the Gators, largely because Kentucky seems to be very much capable of dictating the pace with the use of their superior rebounding. The Wildcats are second in the SEC with 42.1 rebounds per game, while the Gators are last with just 36.9 boards per contest. That advantage on the glass was as clear as day in the first meeting with Florida in which Kentucky had 46 rebounds to just 34 by the Gators. The pair of Reid Travis and PJ Washington combine for 19 rebounds.
Kentucky, which is coming off an 80-76 road win over the Ole Miss Rebels, is 3-1 ATS in its last four home games against Florida.
Kentucky win 67-58.
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