Tennessee vs Florida Picks and Odds (Feb. 1)
- No. 2 Tennessee and Florida meet in an SEC game on Wednesday, February 1
- Tennessee is a 6.5-point road favorite over Florida at the O’Connell Center in Gainesville
- Read below for Tennessee vs Florida odds and prediction
No. 2 Tennessee (18-3, 7-1 SEC) is a 6.5-point road favorite against Florida in an SEC game at 7 pm ET Wednesday on ESPN2. The Volunteers have won nine of their last 10 games, the most recent over No. 10 Texas in the SEC/Big Challenge on Saturday.
Florida (12-9, 5-3 SEC) has split its last four games and is coming off a 64-50 loss at No. 7 Kansas State in the SEC/Big Challenge on Saturday. At this point, the Gators are considered fifty-fifty to make the NCAA Tournament.
Tennessee vs Florida Odds
|Tennessee Volunteers||-6.5 (-102)||-275||Over 131.5 (-118)|
|Florida Gators||+6.5 (-120)||+220||Under 131.5 (-104)|
Odds from FanDuel on Jan. 31. Claim the FanDuel Sportsbook bonus code.
Tennessee is a 6.5-point road favorite against Florida in a series that the Volunteers have dominated in the lasts half-dozen seasons. Tennessee is 8-2 SU and 7-3 ATS in the series since the 2016 season in a series that typically is played only once a year, although they met three times in 2021, Tennessee winning the rubber match the quarterfinals of the SEC tournament. Florida has had the upper hand in Gainesville, however, going 4-1 SU and ATS snice 2014.
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The Volunteers are 13-8 ATS this season, 3-2 on the road. Florida is 11-10 ATS (5-5 at home) and 6-2 ATS in SEC games. The total has gone under in 14 of Florida’s 21 games. Tennessee has been under in nine of 21.
Tennessee Leads With ‘D’
Tennessee has multiple ways to beat you, as it showed in its easy 82-71 victory over Top 10 Texas the last time out, but the Volunteers start with the basics — defense, rebounding and ball security. The numbers tell it. Tennessee leads Division I in field goal percentage defense (34.5 percent) and fewest points given up per game (54.5). Building on that, the Vols’ scoring margin (plus-19.9) is second. They are fifth in rebound margin (8.1) and rank in the top 20 in steals and assists per game.
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What stands out? pic.twitter.com/iBeyNvhLhr
— Evan Miyakawa (@EvanMiya) January 30, 2023
Guards Santiago Vescovi (12.2 points, 46 three-pointers) and Zakai Zeigler (11.2 points, 5.1 assists, 36 threes) are the ringleaders, but coach Rick Barnes has plenty of other options. Junior forward 6’8 Olivier Nkamhoua had a career-high 27 points and eight rebounds against Texas, boosting his season scoring average to 11.0 points per game. Josiah-Jordan James (10.1 points) appears to have fully recovered from a knee injury that has limited him to 13 games, and freshman Julian Phillips (9.7 points, 5.1 rebounds) has not played like a freshman.
The Vols had a 38-24 rebounding edge over Texas and led by as many as 22 points in the second half. They have been outrebounded only three times this season — in losses to Colorado, Arizona and Kentucky.
Florida Faces Tough Stretch
First-year coach Todd Golden is one game into the Gators’ most testing stretch of the season. After falling 64-50 at No. 7 Kansas State on Saturday, Florida faces No. 2 Tennessee, improved Kentucky and No. 4 Alabama in the next eight days. The Gators come in on a nice SEC run, having won five of their last six, but all those victories are against teams that do not have a winning league record and three were at home.
Your @SEC player of the week: COLIN CASTLETON 🐊 @Castleton_ @GatorsMBK #GoGators pic.twitter.com/ti0wSDYot9
— Ellie Shreve (@ellie_shreve) January 16, 2023
Senior 6’11, 250-pound center Colin Castleton is the main man here. Castleton leads the Gators in scoring (14.9 points per game), rebounding (7.6), blocked shots (67) and steals (21). He is is third in Division I with 3.1 blocked shots per game and needs 15 blocks to pass Andrew DeClercq, Joakim Noah and Al Horford for second in school history. With Castleton at the rim, the Gators are holding foes to 39.7 percent shooting and are ranked eighth in KenPom in defensive efficiency.
The Gators struggle to score. They are shooting 43.5 percent from the floor and had a season-low 50 points on 31 percent shooting against Kansas State. They have scored fewer than 60 points six times. Guard Will Richard (10.2 points, 4.5 rebounds) is the only other double-digit scorer.
Tennessee vs Florida Prediction
Defense travels, and Tennessee is 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS on the SEC road, never as fewer than a five-point favorite. The Vols are 4-0 SU and ATS since Zeigler and James joined the starting lineup following a 63-56 home loss to Kentucky on Jan. 14, with Zeigler averaging 17.3 points and 7.8 assists with 11 steals and 12 threes in those four. There is no question this is a special Tennessee team, but the Gators play well in this spot.
- Pick: Florida +6.5 (-102)
- Season CBK: 29-16 ATS
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