Florida Gators (15-6) at Georgia Bulldogs (12-8)
We picked up another win last night when we backed the Nebraska Cornhuskers on the road, getting four points at Wisconsin. This was a truly terrible line as I was shocked that Wisconsin was a favorite. Nebraska is an NCAA tournament level team, and the Badgers simply are not. The game was close for the first half, and Nebraska pulled away late and eventually ended up winning outright by double digits 74-63, as road underdogs.
The Badgers have been a favorite punching bag of mine this season. This is just not the same Wisconsin team that we have known over the last couple of decades, and it looks like the books and the public are slow to adjust. I said it yesterday, and I will say it again today, Wisconsin shouldn’t be favored against any remotely competitive team this season, on the road or at home. If you find the Badger with a – symbol by their name, you know what to do.
Today I will shift focus to the SEC as the Florida Gators will play against a struggling Georgia Bulldogs team.
The Florida Gators will travel to Athens to play the Bulldogs of Georgia Tuesday night. The Gators have had a bit of an up and down start to the season but as of now trail only Auburn by one game for the SEC regular season crown. Florida is ranked #23 in the country.
The Bulldogs have really struggled in league play and at 3-5 are just one game out of the cellar in the SEC. Georgia has lost five out of its last six games. The Florida Gators will be -3-point road favorites tonight. The game total over-under is set at 136.5 points. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:0 PM PST from Stegeman Coliseum.
The Florida Gators have spent time looking like an elite top five type of school this year. They have huge wins over Gonzaga, Cincinnati, Texas A&M, and Kentucky already this year. They have always spent time looking like complete frauds and losing or struggling against some subpar teams. Losses to Loyola Chicago, Mississippi, and South Carolina made Gator fans really scratch their heads.
You never quite know what Florida team is going to show up and that is why this line is as manageable as it is. If the Gators consistently played at the same level, that they did when they hung with Duke the entire game or when they beat Gonzaga or Cincinnati, they could be double-digit favorites tonight. But there is a chance they just completely no-show and lay an egg.
Thus, is life backing the Gators this season, they can beat any team in the country on any floor, and they can lose to any team in the country as well. They will need a strong, consistent effort tonight if they want to win an SEC league game on the road against Georgia.
The Georgia Bulldogs aren’t a terrible team. They have some decent wins. They beat St. Mary’s early in the season, a team that hasn’t lost since and is now ranked. They beat a game Alabama Crimson Tide team, at home, in league play, but that’s really it for strong wins for Georgia this year. At just 12-8 on the season, the Bulldogs would need a really strong finish to have any shot at an at-large bid into the NCAA tournament.
Luckily for the Bulldogs, the SEC is the best it has been in a decade, and they will have some opportunities left on the schedule to pick up big wins. The Bulldogs still have games against Auburn, Tennessee twice, Texas A&M, and the Gators again before the season ends. Not to mention the SEC tournament that will give plenty of opportunities for big wins. The Bulldogs have a lot of work to do to get their resume together, but they will have ample time and opportunity to do so if they get hot.
Right now, the Bulldogs are basically a one-man show. It is one heck of a show though as Forward Yante Maten has been dominating in league play. Maten leads the SEC in scoring at twenty points a game and is second in the league in rebounds at over nine boards a game. When Maten struggles, the Bulldogs really don’t have any way to win games. They will need a huge effort from him tonight if they don’t want to lose yet another home game in league play.
I mentioned above the reason that this line is so small is because of Florida’s inconsistency this season. They are just a bit all over the place, and that scares some bettors off. Not me. I think physically this is just a major mismatch. Florida has a much better roster, and unless Maten goes nuts tonight, I don’t know how they are going to be able to hang with the insanely athletic Gators.
Georgia has lost recent home games to Arkansas and South Carolina, so it’s not like they are a dominant home team. And to top it off Florida has been more than commendable on the road in league play, as they beat Texas A&M, Missouri, and Kentucky on the road. To me, this all adds up to a Florida win and it might even be an easy one. If the Gators give their best effort, and that might be a very big if, they could win this game by double digits.
Give me the Florida Gators -3-points tonight at Georgia.