Can the top-ranked Kentucky Wildcats finish off the 2014-15 regular-season campaign at 31-0 and go 18-0 in conference play when they host the Florida Gators in an SEC matchup today?
The college basketball odds makers don’t think so. They have the home town Kentucky Wildcats as a whopping 16-point favorites over Billy Donovan’s Gators today at the Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky.
“Every game seems to be an event,” Wildcats coach John Calipari said Friday as he tried to downplay its significance. “This will be another event.”
A Closer Look At The Florida Gator at UK Wildcats Spread, Analyzing My ATS Pick & How To Stream The Game Live
Matchup: Florida Gators at (1) Kentucky Wildcats
Date: Mar. 7, 2015
Start Time: 2:00 p.m. ET
Location: Lexington, Kentucky
Stadium: Rupp Arena
TV Info: CBS
Radio: Florida Vs Kentucky
Point Spread: Kentucky Wildcats -16
Click here for Live College Hoops Odds
Florida Will Cover the Spread 16-point If
The Gators can keep shooting high percentage shots.
Kentucky’s defense is the best in all of college basketball. The Wildcats are ranked second in points allowed per game at 53.2. They are ranked first in field goal percentage allowed at 34.4%. Kentucky is ranked third in college basketball in three-point percentage allowed at 27.3%.
— GatorVision (@GatorVisionTV) March 6, 2015
As good as the Wildcats’ defense is, Florida found a way to really exploit it in the first meeting between these two, a 68 to 61 Kentucky victory. As a +8 point home dog, the Gators shot 49% from the field versus the Wildcats. They connected on 24 out of 49 shots from the field. Where Florida failed was in the three-point department. The Gators made only 6 of 21 shots from behind the arc. If Florida wishes to cover the spread on Saturday, they’re going to have to shoot close to 50% from the field again and close to 35% from the three-point line.
“You have to play a game where you can’t be inconsistent at all against them,” Florida coach Billy Donovan said.
Kentucky Will Cover the Spread 16-point If
The team approaches this game like any other game.
Florida did a good job of making Kentucky play their slow down style of basketball in the first game. While Florida took 49 shots, the Gators held Kentucky to 47. That’s well below the number of shots that Kentucky is capable of shooting during any given matchup.
The Wildcats made 22 of 47 for 46.8%. They’ll want to get the number of shots from the field above 50. The Wildcats will also want to do a better job from the three-point line than they did in the first game. Kentucky took only 21 three-pointers. They made only 3 of those 14 shots for 21.4%. If the Wildcats wish to cover what should be a larger spread than 8 points, possibly even double that number come Saturday, they’re going to have to force the pace, get more shots and hit their three pointers. If the Wildcats get bogged down into a slow game, they won’t score enough points to cover the spread versus the Florida Gators.