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Auburn vs. Florida CBB Predictions – Preview/Pick

Auburn Tigers vs Florida Gators Game Odds

As it stands now, the best Auburn can probably hope for, unless it wins the SEC tournament, is a berth in the NIT or CBI. For Florida, however, there is still the possibility of an at-large spot in the NCAA’s, but truth be told, the Gators have to really start hustling to get there. The road loss to South Carolina and the home defeat to out-of-conference opponent Xavier have not helped their cause.

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On the schedule, they have games remaining against Ole Miss, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Kentucky, but they are in a position where they can’t look past anyone, so here they are in “must win” territory against these Tigers, who come into this contest as a loser against the NCAA basketball odds in only one of their last eight contests.

Auburn Tigers (12-13 SU, 8-9-2 ATS) at Florida Gators (17-8 SU, 11-9 ATS)
Thursday, February 18 — 7 PM ET
NCAA Basketball Betting Odds: FLORIDA -9

Here are some of the NCAA basketball odds-related betting trends as they relate to this matchup:

AUB has lost seven of its last ten games SU
AUB is 5-1-2 ATS in its last eight games
AUB has played six of its last seven games OVER the total
AUB has lost five of its last six road games SU
AUB is 4-1-1 ATS in its last six road games
AUB has played its last four road games OVER the total
FLA has won six of its last nine games SU
FLA has covered four of its last six games
FLA has won four of its last five home games SU
FLA has played four of its last five home games UNDER the total
FLA has covered five of the last seven meetings
FLA has won ten of the last 11 meetings SU
Four of the last five meetings have gone UNDER the total
FLA has won the last seven meetings SU as the home team
FLA has covered six of the last seven meetings as the home team
The last three meetings in Gainesville have gone UNDER the total
FLA has had the shooting edge in eight of the last ten meetings
FLA has had the rebounding edge in four of the last six meetings
FLA has made more three-pointers in five of the last seven meetings

Auburn has pulled a couple of minor upsets, over Virginia and Alabama, but aside from that, they have had to settle for some losses in which they were competitive enough to beat the spread in the NCAA basketball odds. This is a team that does not excel on the defensive end (45% FG’s allowed), but gets balanced scoring, with four players averaging between 13 and 16 points a game.

The key for them is that DeWayne reed has to play under control on the offensive end. The 6’1″ senior guard leads the Tigers in scoring, but he’s only a 38% shooter, and has not been hot lately, hitting just 28% in his last five games (even worse from the arc, at 25% during that period).

It’s a good thing for him that backcourt mate Tay Waller has been picking up the slack. The senior, who missed the first six games of the season, has made some noise lately, averaging 19.2 points in the last five, and his five three-pointers kept Saturday’s game with Mississippi State from becoming a rout. We don’t want to forget Lucas Hargrove, another senior, who had 24 against Georgia and 20 against Mississippi State, reaches double figures in rebounds in both.

Florida has five players in double figures, but this is an atypical Billy Donovan team in that they are not an exceptionally accurate shooting team (44.7%) and do not make up for it with a lot of threes. They will unquestionably challenge Auburn with their front line, but they are depending a lot on freshman Kenny Boynton, who, like Reed, is erratic with his shot selection (37.6%). The same can be said for 5’8″ fellow guard Erving Walker (36.7%). Can these guys get hot?

These two teams split a pair of meetings last year, which each game decided by just three points. We see a close one again, as Auburn brings some more experience and probably some steadier leadership (Nick Calathes is still missed by the Gators). We’re not confident Florida can put a lot of distance between itself and this opponent, so we’re on the “take” with Auburn, the nine-point underdog in the BetUS NCAA basketball odds.

OUR PLAY: AUBURN +9 ***(Graded on a scale of 1-4 stars)

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