SEC rivals duke it out in Sweet Home Alabama on Tuesday night in one of the showcase NCAA basketball betting affairs between the Florida Gators and the Alabama Crimson Tide.
For as well as the Gators have done this year getting into the Top 15 in the nation and staying there, they haven’t really played well on the road. They have just two wins against five losses, and some of those defeats seem to be awfully bad. All of a sudden over the course of the last week, UF has dropped a pair of games, including its first home loss of the year against the Tennessee Volunteers. There is at least a mild level of concern right now in Gainesville, especially since it was the second loss in a row, but there no real need for panic at this point. When at its best, these Gators are tough to take a bite out of. Kenny Boynton, Erving Walker, and Bradley Beal make up a great starting set of guards, and Mike Rosario and Scottie Wilbekin are both solid options off of the bench. The team isn’t all that deal at forward, but virtually all of the minutes are split between Patric Young, Erik Murphy, and Will Yeguete. These three average 24.7 points and 16.7 rebounds per game between them, numbers which aren’t fantastic, but are good enough for a frontcourt to come up with when the backcourt is a strong as this one is.
Last year, the Crimson Tide had a great resume for the NCAA Tournament but were left home. This is looking like another season where they are going to have their chance to play their way into the field of 68, or they could play their way out of the whole tournament and back into the NIT as well. Alabama developed a big problem this past weekend, as JaMychal Green, Tony Mitchell, Trevor Releford, and Andrew Steele were all suspended for the game against the LSU Tigers. The first three names are the top three scorers for the team. Needless to say, the offense didn’t even get into the 60s, and the team was dealt a terrible defeat. Releford and Steele are going to be available for this game, but Green and Mitchell aren’t going to be unless there is a change of heart before tip time. The Tide badly need a game like this one on their resume in the win column to help out their case, especially after losing to LSU, but the task is going to brutally tough with a very young team that doesn’t have its top two scorers.
The Final Word: We would love to back Alabama here, but we just can’t see doing it really under any circumstance. The top players for the Tide are out, and we aren’t all that sure that even with a full deck that they would be able to top the blue and orange, even on their home court. Take UF and lay the short spread in Tuesday night’s college hoops tussle.
Florida Gators @ Alabama Crimson Tide Pick: Florida -5.5
Aaron Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.