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Florida Gators vs. Kentucky Wildcats CBB Betting Predictions & Preview

Florida vs Kentucky Basketball Gambling Lines

The third-ranked Florida Gators will make the trip out to Lexington on Saturday for a date with the 14th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats as college basketball’s Rivalry Week continues. [ad-4468020]

3 Florida Gators (22-2) at 14 Kentucky Wildcats (19-5)
Date: Saturday, February 15, 2014
Time: 9:00 PM ET
Venue: Rupp Arena
City: Lexington, Kentucky
O/U Odds: 130.5
Spread: Kentucky -2

Matchup Stats | ATS Insider Preview

The Gators look to match a program record with their 17th consecutive win, while Kentucky enters having won seven of its last eight games.

The Wildcats have won four in a row, doing so sending out an all-freshman lineup for each of their last three games, which isn’t a strange site on a John Calipari-coached team. The team is 4-0 when sending out that all-freshman lineup this season, and those youngsters are expected to get the nod again in this one. They’ll be going up against a tough opponent, but will do so in the friendly confines of Rupp Arena, where they are 14-0 on the season and have won 22 in a row.

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Don’t expect the Gators to be intimidated by that fact, as they’ve already broken a similar streak, beating Arkansas on Jan. 14 to end the Razorbacks’ 25-game home winning streak. Florida has surprised many this season, sitting as low as 19th in the AP Poll at one point this season, now climbing to the No. 3 spot and staring down a top spot in the NCAA Tournament. A win on Saturday would all but assure them the SEC regular season title, already holding a two-game lead over the second place Wildcats.
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Neither of last year’s meetings between these teams offers fond memories for either side. When the teams met in Florida, the Gators came away victorious, and Kentucky came away with a season-ending injury to its top player, Nerlens Noel, whose career in Lexington ended that night. Then, when the teams met in Kentucky in March, Florida was upset by the host Wildcats, 61-57.

Two players worth highlighting in this matchup both have a lot to offer at the defensive end. Florida point guard Scottie Wilbekin ranks second on the team in points and first in assists, but is known more for his work on the other end, and is considered one of the top on-ball defenders in the conference, leading the team with 1.6 steals per game.

On the other side, Kentucky sophomore Willie Cauley-Stein has been relegated to a bench role and has been limited to 23.9 minutes per game, but still average 3.0 blocks and better than a steal per game.

When SEC teams meet on the football field we often say that points will come at a premium, and that will surely be the case in this matchup. Both sides have the athleticism and attention to detail at the defensive end to give the other side fits, so expect this matchup to be similar to meetings in the past.

The under is 5-1 in the last six meetings between these teams, and 8-3 in the last 11 meetings in Lexington.

The under is 3-0-1 in Kentucky’s last four home games, and 24-8-1 in Florida’s last 33 games overall.

The play: Under 130.5

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