January 24, 2014 at 2:06 PM #53130
Qbin Missile CrisisKeymaster
Tennessee Volunteers (12-6) vs. Florida Gators (16-2)
Saturday January 25
O’Dome – Gainesville, FL
Moneyline: No moneyline currently listed
Spread: No spread currently listed
O/U: No total currently listed
The Volunteers have missed some opportunities this season but this will be the grandest of them all in terms of trying to punch their ticket for the dance. The problem is they have struggled on the road this season with just a 1-3 record, including a loss last weekend against Kentucky which I think they could have gotten. This is a good team but it doesn’t seem to be able get itself over the hump.
Wing Jordan McRae may be the leading scorer but the thing I like best about Tennessee is their beef inside. Jarnell Stokes and Jeronne Maymon are burly productive beasts weighing in at more than 500 pounds while chipping in 24 points and 18 rebounds per game. Some teams have one post player with that kind of heft but few have the beef to pound those guys for an entire game.
The Vols have been earners this year but it has been almost all at home where they are 6-3 ATS. At this point in the season I like to see how teams fare when they are playing good teams and I like what I see from the Vols in that they have covered against the likes of Kentucky and LSU and even laid a whooping on Virginia. This team can challenge the better teams out there
The Gators are getting healthy and are looking like a force to be reckoned with this year, no more stopping at the Sweet Sixteen. They have rattled off 10 wins in a row and their two losses are on the road by a combined 7 points. They are clearly the best team in the SEC and they are a mature team too. I don’t know if they will ever get the services of their top freshman but would just be icing on the cake at this point.
Senior SF Casey Prather had the line go on this season and he has become an important piece of the puzzle. He has nearly tripled his scoring average to 17ppg but you hardly even notice because he is so efficient, making 61% of his shots. The best thing is that he scores without taking opportunities away from the other top Gators. Coach Billy Donovan seems to be good about that.
The Gators are a great defensive team but they do not blow a lot of opponents out. In conference play they are 3-2 ATS with no great indicators, they have covered and not covered both large and small numbers. You really have to forecast wisely as there are no easy rules.
Spread Pick: N/A
O/U Pick: N/A
Score Prediction: Florida 74 – Tennessee 64
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