The Florida Gators (11-5) visit the No. 6 Tennessee Volunteers (12-4) in an early start on Tuesday. The Gators have had their problems on the road this season, while the Vols are 8-0 at home. The two teams split their games last season, with the home team winning both times. The Florida vs Tennessee betting odds show the Volunteers have moved from 9.5-point favorites to 10-point chalk. The total has moved downward slightly, going from 159.5 to its current 159.
Gators Off to Slow Start in SEC
Florida finds itself in an early hole as far as SEC plays go. In a conference where every win matters, the Gators dropped their first two conference games. Florida defeated Arkansas last time out to move to 1-2 in SEC play. But with an extremely tough game here, UF could find itself three games back in the conference standings early. The Gators are just 6-9-1 against the NCAAB lines this season. Florida is simply allowing too many points, which is why the team is 12-4 in total. The Gators average 86.4 points per game and allow 76.
Offensively, the Gators are going to get up-and-down the court. Florida ranks No. 11 in Ken Pomeroy‘s adjusted pace ratings and is No. 13 in the nation in time spent per possession. The Gators average just 15 seconds per offensive possession. Florida is shooting 46.7% from the field, making 33.2% of 3-pointers and 3.7% from 2-point range. The Gators are one of the best teams in the country grabbing offensive rebounds, and ranking No. 3. But Florida is poor from the foul line (65.7%) and allows too many steals.
On defense, UF holds teams to 42.2% shooting. The Gators are better inside, where they hold teams to 46.1% shooting on 2-points. Florida is pretty average against the 3-pointer and doesn’t force many turnovers. The Gators are one of the taller teams in the country and it shows defensively.
Tennessee Depends on Defense
The Volunteers aren’t a bad offensive team. But when you talk Tennessee basketball, you have to start with the defense. The Volts are allowing 66 points per game and holding teams to 38% shooting. Tennessee’s strength is its inside defense, where it allows 42.7% shooting on 2-pointers. The Volunteers hold teams to 30.8% shooting on 3-pointers. Tennessee is decent at forcing turnovers, but it does send the opposition to the foul line often.
The college basketball scores show the Vols averaging 78.7 points per game offensively. Tennessee shoots just 44.1% from the field but keeps the turnovers down and is solid from the foul line. The Volunteers score 33.1% of their points from 3-point range. So you can expect to see Tennessee putting it up from downtown.
Tennessee has played a pretty tough schedule, ranking No. 9 overall. The Volunteers have played three teams ranked in Pomeroy’s top 10, which helps with the strength of schedule ratings. Tennessee is just 6-10 against the point spread and 9-6-1 in totals for the season.
What to Expect
The Gators are going to come out and run. That’s the way Florida plays and it does well. The Gators will look to get the ball inside, matching their strength against Tennessee’s. If Florida can continue to grab offensive rebounds, it can make a game of this. If the Vols can nullify Florida’s second chances, the Gators don’t shoot well enough to keep close.
For Tennessee, this game will be about the outside game. The Vols score plenty of points from 3-point range and Florida’s strength is inside the paint. If Tennessee can make some outside shots, it can force Florida to defend the perimeter a little more closely. That will open up things a bit on the inside.
Who to Bet On?
The Florida vs Tennessee betting odds of Vols -10 is a tough number. This is a game that could be close. But it could also be lopsided depending on how Florida does on the offensive boards. Mississippi just ate up the Gators inside two games ago in a 103-85 win and the Vols are a better team. Both teams have struggled against the spread this season, so you can’t really rely on trends. The game will be decided by which team can execute its game plan the best.
The Florida vs Tennessee betting odds on the total is a bit high. But both teams have decent over tendencies for the season. The Gators are 6-2 in totals away from home this season. The Vols are 4-4 at home. Tennessee is allowing a few more points per game now that SEC play has started. In three SEC games, Tennessee is allowing 73.3 points per game. This is easily the highest total Tennessee has seen all season. But it’s certainly justified in this case. Take the over 159 for one of your NCAAB picks for Tuesday.