College Basketball Odds — Florida Goes For Clean Sweep of Kentucky, #1 NCAA Seed

The Florida Gators are the #1 team in the country, and so it makes sense that if they can emerge victorious on Sunday in the SEC Championship game, they will get the #1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, unless there is a bias from the Selection Committee that is unusually high. The Kentucky Wildcats supply the opposition that will try to beat the college basketball odds by pulling off an upset and gaining a high seed of their own. The game will tip off at 3:15 PM ET at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

Florida is at the top of the heap in both major polls, and the likelihood is high that even if they do not beat Kentucky, they will be a top seed in one of the regionals. But they will not be the overall #1 seed, and frankly, we are not sure if that really means anything. At 31-2 straight-up, they are riding the crest of a 25-game winning streak. Kentucky is not so fortunate; the ‘Cats, who were a pet pick on the part of a lot of “experts” to go all the way at the start of the season, are not being mentioned in that vein very much; in fact, they are not even in the national rankings at the moment. If they can upset Florida, however, they could find themselves with a top-four seeding, which could mean a great deal to them, at least for opening-round action.

In the college basketball odds posted on this game by the folks at WagerWeb, the Gators are favored on this neutral floor:

Florida Gators -6
Kentucky Wildcats +6

Over 139 points -110
Under 139 points -110

Florida has beaten Kentucky twice this season, both by double-digit margins. The first game was a 10-point decision at the upper arena in Lexington. The rematch was pretty much a runaway from the get-go, with the Gators getting off to 21-point lead at the half and cruising home by an 84-65 margin.

Basketball bettors would not be unjustified to point to a massive difference in experience between these two sides. It is something you don’t see all that often in college basketball these days. Certainly we know Kentucky as a program that brings in a bunch of prize freshman every year, in sort of a “revolving door” phenomenon that sees most of them leave for the NBA after one season. With this year’s crop, one could probably say that about Julius Randle, either of the Harrison Brothers – Aaron or Andrew – or James Young, all of whom are in the starting lineup. The “veterans” here are the sophomores, like Willie Cawley-Stein. These guys have just not played all that long together, as WagerWeb customers know, and that sometimes causes mistakes that may or may not be unforced.

By contrast, Florida is a team dominated by seniors. The two most prominent may be Patric Young and Scottie Wilbekin, but Casey Prather is also extremely dangerous; he had 24 points when Florida won at Lexington this season. This may not be as talented a team is the one featuring Joakim Noah, Al Horford and Corey Brewer that won two national titles in a row, but college basketball odds bettors have seen that they are talented and they know how to control the pace. Florida gave up a little less than 58 points per game, and played 18 of their 26 posted contests under the total. We don’t really know that Kentucky possesses that kind of discipline, although when you put a bunch of blue-chip recruits together like they do, they could, on any given day, bring about a surprise.

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