College Basketball Picks Against the Spread: Florida Gators vs. Kansas State Wildcats

Florida Gators vs. Kansas State Wildcats
Saturday, 12/22/12, 8:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN2
Opening Point Spread:  Florida -9
Current Betting Line:  Florida -10
Opening Total:  126.5
Current Total:  126.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Florida Gators are 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 games versus non-conference opponents

Florida bounced back after suffering its first loss of the year in capturing a lopsided 82-43 win over Southeast Louisiana, as it now tries to improve upon its 18-12 record against current members of the Big 12 Conference.  “We already were over that loss as a team,” stated Gators guard Scottie Wilbekin.  The Gators really need senior guard Kenny Boynton to up his performance, as he’s scored seven or fewer points in four of his last six games—shooting 27.9 percent from the floor in that span.  Florida is 12-7 ATS on a neutral floor over the last two-plus seasons, which must be considered when looking over the college basketball odds page Saturday.

The Gators have been getting it done this year with a suffocating defense, holding six of their last nine opponents to under 50 points.  Florida ranks first nationally in allowing just 49.6 points per game.  Mike Rosario is the player to watch on the offensive end with Boynton in a funk, averaging 16.7 points over his last three games.  In the last meeting between these two schools, Florida earned a 57-44 victory on Dec. 18, 2010, as it held Kansas State to 27.3 percent shooting, including 15.8 percent from beyond the arc.

Kansas State makes its annual trip to Kansas City to play at the Sprint Center, as it comes off a 78-69 win over Texas Southern earlier this week, which directly followed a 68-52 defeat to the Gonzaga Bulldogs.  The Wildcats two losses this year have come against ranked opponents, as they are under the direction of first-year head coach Bruce Weber, who was fired last year at Illinois.  Kansas State is 0-2 ATS as an underdog this year, with the UNDER cashing in both of those opportunities.

The Wildcats are playing a regular-season home game at this facility for the sixth consecutive season—picking up wins in four of those previous five contests.  Kansas State has a chance to pull off an upset if senior Rodney McGruder continues his strong play, averaging 16.6 points and 6.4 rebounds in his last five games.  He has scored in double figures 63 times in his career.  On the defensive end, the team ranks third nationally in allowing opponents to hit just 22.5 percent of their shots from beyond the arc, which will be an important statistic to monitor tonight.

Sports bettors will likely back the Gators due to their 8-3-1 ATS mark in non-conference games, while the Wildcats are 0-4 ATS in the same situation.

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