College Basketball Picks: Arizona Wildcats vs. Florida Gators

Arizona Wildcats at No. 12 Florida Gators
Wednesday, 12/7/11, 7:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  Arizona -11
Current Betting Line:  Arizona -11.5
Opening Total:  143.5
Current Total:  143.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Florida Gators guard Kenny Boynton is the team's leading scorer early on

Arizona hits the road for Gainesville, FL, and will face its toughest test to date, taking on the 12th-ranked Florida Gators Wednesday night.  “This program is all about having big games, we play tough teams day in and day out,” commented Wildcats forward Solomon Hill.  “This is what is going to make our future.”  Watching the shooting percentage for both teams will likely tell the story, as the Wildcats are 4-0 this year and 35-3 in the Sean Miller era when outshooting the opposition.  Arizona is 0-2 ATS versus SEC opponents the last two-plus years.

The Wildcats tallied an unimpressive 53-39 win over the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks last time out as 21-point home favorites, as Hill led all scorers with 15 points.  Arizona will be meeting Florida for the third time, winning the first meeting in 2001, while dropping a 78-77 decision in 2003.  Both games were played on a neutral court.  Despite being one of the proudest programs in the country, Arizona is just 13-23 all-time against teams from the Southeastern Conference, but 5-6 in the last 11 games played since the 1999-2000 season.

Florida will be hosting a Pac-12 Conference opponent for the first time inside the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.  The Gators are 10-9 all-time against teams that make up the conference, including wins in seven straight.  Head coach Billy Donovan has made things tough for his squad early against some major opponents, as both losses came against the Ohio State Buckeyes and Syracuse Orange on the road.  “We’ve played two road games against two legitimate top-five teams,” stated Donovan this week.  Florida is 11-16 ATS at home the last two-plus seasons.

The Gators will be looking for their 10th straight home victory dating back to last season, posting a 3-0 record inside Wednesday night’s venue already.  Florida is led offensively by the play of guard Kenny Boynton, who is averaging 19.0 points per game, coming off a 22-point performance against Syracuse.  Offensively, the team ranks fourth nationally and first in the SEC in averaging 87.6 points per game.  The roster also crashes the boards, out-rebounding six of seven opponents.

Bettors will likely back the Gators due to their 6-1 ATS mark versus Pac-12 foes, while the Wildcats are 1-4 ATS versus SEC teams.

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