SEC Basketball Predictions: LSU Tigers vs. Florida Gators

LSU Tigers at No. 14 Florida Gators
Saturday, 1/21/12, 6:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN3
Opening Point Spread:  Florida -13.5
Current Betting Line:  Florida -13.5
Opening Total:  137.5
Current Total:  137.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Florida Gators guard Kenny Boynton is one of the best three-point shooters in the nation

LSU has split its last four games with both losses coming on the road against Southeastern Conference opponents, as the team travels to Gainesville to take on the Florida Gators inside the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.  The Tigers tallied a 65-58 overtime win over the Auburn Tigers as 8.5-point home favorites last time out, while going ‘over’ the total for the third time in four games.  Sophomore guard Andre Stringer leads the offense in averaging 10.8 points per game, with the defense holding 12 of its 18 opponents under 60 points this season.  LSU is 5-2 ATS in its last seven road games.

The Tigers have lost the last two games in this series, including a 72-58 loss as 10.5-point road underdogs the last time they visited Gainesville on Jan. 16, 2010.  LSU will certainly hope that Justin Hamilton continues his recent play on the offensive end, posting double figures in all four SEC games.  It’s important to note that the program has lost 10 straight road games versus ranked opponents and 17 of 19 versus conference opponents away from home.

Florida has won four of seven meetings with LSU when hosting during the Billy Donovan era, as the squad has five starters averaging in double figures.  The Gators are led offensively by the play of guard Kenny Boynton, who is averaging 18.7 points per game.  “Florida, in goodness of guard play, is exceptional,” commented Tigers head coach Trent Johnson.  The team is 9-0 at home this season and has posted 15 consecutive wins inside Saturday’s venue.  Florida is 4-0-1 ATS in its last five games as a home favorite.

The Gators have won four of their last five games and registered an impressive 79-65 win over the South Carolina Gamecocks as seven-point road favorites last time out.  Total players will find that the squad has gone ‘over’ the total in five of its last seven games.  Hitting shots from beyond the arc is this team’s specialty, nailing 10 or more three-pointers in 13 games this year.  Boynton is third all-time in the SEC in hitting 218 shots from three-point range.

Bettors will likely back the Tigers due to their 4-1 ATS mark in the last five meetings, while the Gators are 2-7-1 ATS as a home favorite of 13 or more points.

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