Kentucky split a difficult two-game road trip and will be happy to welcome the red-hot Gators to Rupp Arena, where they are 10-1 this season.
Join me as I break this one down and share my best Kentucky sports betting picks for Florida vs Kentucky on Wednesday, January 31.
Florida vs Kentucky Best Bet
The Rupp Arena faithful are in for a real treat when two of the fastest tempo programs collide in what should be an epic SEC battle.
Florida has been hot as a pistol; they’ve won their last three matchups but needed overtime to sneak past Georgia in Gainesville this past Saturday by a score of 102-98. That made it three straight victories for the Gators, and they’ll need all the confidence they can muster to defeat the tenth-ranked Kentucky Wildcats.
Kentucky defeated Florida by two points in Gainesville on January 6 in a game ending in 172 points. That’s why the oddsmakers have set the total for this contest at 172 points, which will be a high number to reach.
They’ll definitely have the tempo to hit that total; these programs are two of the fastest-playing teams nationally, and both groups Over/Under records suggest we are in for an entertaining evening in Lexington, Kentucky.
The oddsmakers have been missing the Gators’ final outcomes on the regular; Florida has an Over/Under record of 12-7-1 to the Over but 1-3-1 to the Under when wearing the visitors’ jerseys.
Conversely, the O/U record is 14-5 to the Over in Wildcats games, but Kentucky is 9-3-0 to the Over at Rupp Arena and 5-2-0 to the Over in SEC matchups.
The oddsmakers again made a mistake with a Florida total, and 172.5 is too many for this contest.
Florida would love to avenge their early January home loss to Kentucky, and I expect two things to happen as a result: the Gators hold Kentucky under their 88.5 ppg average, and they continue to underwhelm offensively on the road.
The Gators’ defense is shaky but still ranks in the top ⅓ percentile at KenPom. Florida knows they won’t likely outscore Kentucky, so I expect them to put some extra effort into the defensive end of the floor against a Wildcats offense that has failed to clear 70+ in their last two and could be without second-leading scorer Rob Dillingham.
Dillingham missed Saturday’s away victory over Arkansas. The Wildcats won the ballgame but had scoring difficulties in each of the last two matchups on their calendar. Kentucky couldn’t get their shots to fall against the Razorbacks and instead proved they can also defend by allowing 57 points at Arkansas.
Finally, 171.5 is an overreaction to their last encounter. Florida averages 81 ppg on the road, but the Gators have failed to clear that number in each of their two SEC road matchups. Florida has trouble scoring in away SEC gyms, so the Under is 1-3-1 in the five Florida away games. Look for the Gators to slow down the high-scoring Wildcats, and this game ends Under the total.
My Best Bet: Under 172.5 (-110) at DraftKings Kentucky