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#13 Florida at #22 Kentucky
Betting Preview with Prediction
The 13th-ranked Florida Gators (22-5, 11-2 SEC) are peaking at the right time heading down the stretch of the regular season while the 22nd-ranked Kentucky Wildcats (19-8, 7-6) will be happy to be back home for Saturday’s conference showdown after dropping their last four road games. The Wildcats have struggled mightily away from home in SEC play with a poor 1-6 mark, but they have gone a perfect 6-0 against conference opponents and 13-0 overall at Rupp Arena.
Kentucky is coming off a tough 77-76 overtime loss at Arkansas on Wednesday after the team could have closed out the Razorbacks in regulation. Freshman Brandon Knight scored a team-high 26 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Wildcats, but he missed two 3-point attempts in the last eight seconds after giving the team a 70-68 lead with 1:15 left. Knight made only 1 of 8 attempts from 3-point range for the game and shot 8 of 23 overall in 43 minutes of action.
The team fell to 2-6 against the spread in its last eight games overall and has seen the OVER go 5-1 during that stretch. Kentucky has covered only one of seven road games despite being favored in each, including a 70-68 loss at Florida on February 5. The Wildcats were 1-point favorites in that game, and they have lost four of their last six road games by two points or less.
The Gators are riding a six-game winning streak with the OVER cashing in four of their past five. They completed a sweep of Georgia on Thursday with a 71-62 victory behind Kenny Boynton’s team-high 18 points. Boynton made 5 of 14 shots from the field, including 3 of 7 from 3-point range. He has scored 12 or more in the last six games along with eight of the past nine, including the earlier win over Kentucky.
Florida has failed to cover two of its last three road games, including a 71-64 loss at Mississippi State on January 29. That stands as the team’s last loss, with an important visit to #18 Vanderbilt still remaining in the regular-season finale on March 5.
The Gators can clinch the SEC East with one win in their last three games, as the Commodores (8-5) must win their last three to have any shot at the division title following a 60-51 home loss to Tennessee on Tuesday. Vandy visits Kentucky next Tuesday.
How about this.....Kentucky is 39-0 under John Calipari when holding opponents to 67 points or less! Our prediction model has the Gators scoring just 63 in this one. Yeah, we like Kentucky here.
Predicted Score: Kentucky 73 Florida 63
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