SEC Basketball Betting Preview: (7) Florida Gators at Auburn Tigers

Big South Tournament(7) Florida at Auburn
Time: 4 PM ET, Jan 18, 2014
Spread: FLA -8

Betting odds courtesy of Bovada

The Florida Gators are 14-2 on the season and a perfect 3-0 in SEC play and it will face SEC opponent Auburn today in a game college basketball oddsmakers are favoring the visiting Gators by 8 points.

Florida has been without its leading scorer, forward Casey Prather. He’s expected to return, but don’t expect Billy Donovan to press Prather into big minutes in this contest. Prather was a reserve last season and saw just 17 minutes a game, but his 62.2 percent field goal percentage indicated he could assume a much larger role. Prior to injury this season, he was attempting 10.1 shots per game at the same 62 percent clip and averaging 17 points per game along with 5.5 boards.

Florida can safely ride its defense though. The Gators held Georgia to just 16 first half points, which enabled it to build a 20-point lead. Prather’s scoring ability will just make the victories come even easier for the No. 7 ranked Gators.

Moreover, the Gators opponent is still winless in SEC play (0-3). Auburn cannot be written off, however, due to the fact that it has been close in all its losses. Gator center Patric Young said they “know (they’ll) have a fight on (their) hands,” to ESPN.

Auburn is something of a two-man team in some respects, but Chris Denson and KT Harrell are both seasoned guards capable of having big games. Denson is leading the SEC in scoring with 19.4 points per game and Harrell is right behind him at 19.0.

The Tigers defense has been suspect mores, though, and the team isn’t rebounding particularly well, either. Denson said the team needs to “boost (its) intensity,” and if that doesn’t happen in today’s game against Florida, it could be a double-digit win for the Gators who have won its past seven road games.

Florida Trends: UNDER 7-1 in last 8 Saturday games; UNDER 9-2-1 in last 12 vs SEC; UNDER 19-7-1 in last 27 overall.

Auburn Trends: 1-11 ATS in last 12 vs SEC; 5-14 ATS in last 19 overall.

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