NCAA Hoops Predictions: Florida Gators vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

No. 8 Florida Gators at No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes
Tuesday, 11/15/11, 8:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN2
Opening Point Spread:  Ohio State -10.5
Current Betting Line:  Ohio State -10.5
Opening Total:  135.5
Current Total:  136.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Florida Gators are double-digit road underdogs against the Ohio State Buckeyes Tuesday night

Florida opened its season with a 99-59 win over Jackson State as it served as the program’s 21st consecutive season-opening win.  The Gators saw five players score in double figures, with Kenny Boynton and Mike Rosario scoring 19 points each.  Revenge is likely on the minds of the program after suffering a 93-75 loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes in last year’s meeting as 2.5-point home favorites, while the game went over the posted total of 141.  Florida is 13-7 ATS as an underdog the last two-plus years, while the ‘over’ is 12-7 in that situation.

The Gators have six wins over top-three teams in program history, with one at home and five taking place in neutral-site contests.  Florida returned its starting guards from its SEC Championship team of a year ago, as both Boynton and Erving Walker were named to the conference’s second team.  It’s important to note that the team posted a .750 winning percentage away form home last season, which was the third best in the nation.

Ohio State is coming off a dominating 73-42 win over Wright State inside the Value City Arena, covering the 27-point number with ease, while the contest stayed under the posted total of 127.  The Buckeyes are 38-1 inside the venue since the start of the 2009-10 season, while owning an 81-5 mark overall against non-conference opponents since it started hosting games there.  Head coach Thad Matta is in his eighth season in Columbus, tallying a 33-5 record in November.  Ohio State is 3-1 ATS as home favorite of 9.5 to 12 points, while also going 8-5 ATS when playing on Tuesdays.

The Buckeyes were led by sophomore Jared Sullinger’s 19 points, as he scored in double figures for the 35th time in his career.  Senior William Buford is the team’s overall leader, coming in with 1,437 career points, sitting in 21st place in program history in that particular category.  Focusing more on the team’s dominance at home, Ohio State outscored opponents by 24.1 points per game on its way to a perfect 20-0 record.

Bettors will likely back the Gators due to their 6-0-1 ATS mark as an underdog, while the Buckeyes are just 2-2 ATS versus SEC opponents.

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