Georgia and Florida Meet for Second Time This Year in Gainesville

Georgia Bulldogs at Florida Gators, Stephen C. O’Connell Center, Gainesville, FL
Thursday, February 24. 2011, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Florida -5 1/2
Current Line: Florida -6
Opening Total: 129
Current Total: 130
Money Line: Florida -260 / Georgia +220

Erving Walker and the Gators are 6 point favorites at home against Georgia in SEC action Thursday.

These two long time SEC rivals last played in Athens January 25. Florida won in double overtime 104-91. The two teams play again tonight in Gainesville. It is a crucial game for seeding in the SEC tournament. The top two teams in each division get first round byes. A Florida win would pretty much wrap up the division title as they would have a three game lead over Vanderbilt with 3 to play in the regular season. The Gators visit Vanderbilt to close out the regular  season. Florida is ranked #13 in both polls. They are 21-5 overall and 10-2 in the SEC. However if Georgia were to win tonight, they would be tied with Vanderbilt for the second seed in the SEC East, and both would be two games behind Florida. Georgia is 18-8 overall and 7-5 in conference.  Georgia’s probably needs a couple of more wins to bolster their tournament resume, and are on the bubble right now. They have wins over Colorado, UAB, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Ole Miss, Mississippi St, Arkansas, Auburn, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The Bulldogs won at Tennessee Saturday 69-63 in their last game. They have losses to Notre Dame, Temple, Vanderbilt twice, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Vanderbilt in addition to the Florida loss. Florida is looking like a top 4 seed in the NCAA tournament. The Gators have losses to Ohio St, Central Florida, Jacksonville, South Carolina, and Mississippi St. Four of the Gators’ five losses are at home this season. Florida has wins over Florida St, Kent St, Kansas St, Xavier, Rhode Island, Ole Miss, Tennessee twice, Auburn, Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, South Carolina, and LSU this season. The Gators have won 5 in row including a 68-61 win at LSU Sunday.

Florida leads the overall series against Georgia 104-98, including 59-33 in Gainesville. Florida has won 13 of the last 15 games in the series. The Gators are 3-2 both straight up and ATS in the last five meetings. The last five games have gone over the total in the series. Georgia is 3-12 ATS after a win over a conference rival the the last 3 seasons. The Bulldogs are 7-1 ATS this season in road games. Florida is 3-13 ATS as a favorite this season.

Georgia has no significant injuries. The Bulldogs are led by forward Trey Thompkins. Thompkins is averaging 16 points to lead the team, 7.7 rebounds to also lead the team, 1.7 assists, 1.3 steals to lead the team, and 1.8 blocks a game to lead the team. Guard Travis Leslie averages 14 points, 7.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.2 steals a game. Guard Gerald Robinson averages 12.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, 3.8 assists to lead the team, and 1.2 steals a game. Georgia is outscoring opponents 70-66 on the season. The Bulldogs are shooting 45.4% from the field and 34.7% from 3-point range. Bulldog opponents are shooting 39.8% from the field. Georgia shoots 68.4% from the free throw line. Georgia averages 38.3 rebounds a game and has a rebounding margin of +4.9. Georgia averages 15.6 assists and 13.5 turnovers a game. They force 12.5 turnovers a game on defense. Georgia averages 6.6 steals and 5.5 blocks a game.

Florida  forward Chandler Parsons missed the Gators’ last game with a hip injury. He is listed as probable for the game against Georgia.  The Gators are led by guard Erving Walker. He is averaging 14.8 points to lead the team, 3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.2 steals a game to lead the team. He is shooting 39% from 3-point range. Guard Kenny Boynton is averaging 13.1 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 2.3 assists a game. Center Vernon Macklin is averaging 11.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, and leads the team in blocks with 0.9 a game. He struggles from the free throw line converting only 43.1% from the stripe. Parsons averages 10.8 points, 7.7 rebounds to lead the team, 3.6 assists to lead the team, and 1 steal a game. Florida is outscoring opponents 71-62 on the season. The Gators are shooting 45.7% from the field and 34% from 3-point range. Gator opponents are shooting 41.7% from the field. The Gators shoot 66.2% from the free throw line. Florida averages 38.3 rebounds a game and has a rebounding margin of +6.7. They average 13.7 assists and 12.9 turnovers a game. The Gators force 13.2 turnovers a game on defense. Florida averages 6.3 steals and 3.8 blocks a game.

Florida is one of the hottest teams in the country right now. They have struggled at home this season losing 4 times already and as a favorite ATS. Florida has a very tough schedule down the stretch, as they play at Kentucky, play Alabama at home and play at Vanderbilt. Florida really needs to win this game to secure at least a tie for the division and a first round bye.

Our college basketball handicappers are red hot in 2011. Don’t miss out on any more winners this season.

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