Kentucky at Florida Odds, Prediction & TV Info

Posted by Kenny Bell on Friday,February 3, 2017 10:34, EDT in

No. 8 Kentucky is fortunate it’s not on a three-game losing streak when the SEC-leading Wildcats play probably their toughest conference road game of the season on Saturday night when they visit No. 24Florida. It’s still the best basketball rivalry in the SEC. The Cats should be small college basketball betting favorites.

Kentucky at Florida Odds, Prediction & TV Info

When: Saturday, Feb. 4, 8:15 PM ET
Where: Exactech Arena, Gainesville, Fla.
TV: ESPN
Stream: WatchESPN
Radio: Kentucky / Florida
Opening NCAAB Lines: Kentucky by TBA

Why Bet On Kentucky?

After losing at Tennessee and home to Kansas the last two times out, UK was very lucky to beat visiting Georgia on Tuesday at Rupp Arena. The Wildcats appeared headed to their third straight loss until Malik Monk’s jumper with 8 seconds remaining in regulation tied the game at 76.

Monk made two 3-pointers and scored eight of 37 points in overtime, and Bam Adebayo and Dominique Hawkins added baskets. Hawkins’ drive got the Wildcats started in OT before Monk made his first 3 for a five-point lead. His second made it 85-81 and Adebayo followed with a slam off Monk’s lob for a six-point cushion. Isaiah Briscoe (23 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists) made a free throw and Monk added two more with 43.3 seconds left to seal the win. Kentucky held UGA scoreless for the final 3:10 of the overtime session – an 8-0 run to finish.

“We had a lot of toughness,” Monk said. “We had two guys sick and Mike (Mulder) out too. We showeda lot of toughness and just executed well and just listened to (Coach John Calipari).”

The players missing were De’Aaron Fox, UK’s point guard, and Sacha Killeya-Jones, as well as Mulder, who sat for the fourth straight game. Beset by illness, Kentucky’s depth took another hit when Adebayo picked up his second foul just four minutes into the game. That only served to exacerbate the situation, as UK was already down 12 points at that point en route to a 19-5 deficit at the 14:07 mark of the first half.

The last time UK trailed by at least 14 and came back and won was when it beat Miami (Ohio) 72-70 on Nov. 16, 2009. Kentucky trailed by 18 in the first half of that game. That was the second game of the John Calipari era. It was the first time a UK SEC regular-season game in Rupp Arena reached overtime since Jan. 6, 2015 – an 89-86 win over Ole Miss.

Monk’s 37 points are the second-most ever by a freshman at Kentucky. His 47-point game vs. North Carolina in December was the only better output. He has scored 25 or more points in seven games this year – a single-season record in the Calipari era.

Why Bet On Florida?

The Gators are at a disadvantage as they had to play Thursday night, beating Missouri. That’s a short turnaround. Sophomore guard KeVaughn Allen leads the squad with a 13.6 scoring average despite a recent dip in production that has seen him score 11 or fewer points in five of the past six games. Senior backup guard Canyon Barry (12.6) and junior forward Devin Robinson (12.0) also average in double digits for the Gators.

Florida has had two players — Barry (three times) and Kevarrius Hayes — come off the bench and score at least 20 points this season, making for just the third time that’s happened in the last 20 years. The others? Matt Bonner (twice) and Brett Nelson in 2000-01; Casey Prather and Michael Frazier II in 2013- 14.

Being back at the O’Dome brings a built-in comfort level the Gators have not handled well this season — for whatever reasons — with opposing teams shooting 49 percent against the UF defense since the new doors opened in late-December.

ESPN College GameDay will be on hand. This visit marks the seventh time that GameDay has been to a Kentucky vs. Florida tilt; only more common matchup is Duke vs. North Carolina (8 times). Florida is hosting for the fifth time (only Duke (7), Kansas (7) and Kentucky (6) have more). Florida is 5-2 all-time as the featured College GameDay game, including 5-1 against Kentucky and 3-1 against the Wildcats in Gainesville.

Kentucky at Florida Prediction: Florida Gators

Fox might not play so I like Florida here getting the points.