SEC foes will battle when the No. 18 Kentucky Wildcats (14-4, 4-2 SEC) clash against the Florida Gators (13-5, 5-1 SEC) at Rupp Arena. The Over/Under (O/U) for the game opened at 149 points with Kentucky set as a 3-point favorite. Action gets underway at 8:15 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 20, 2018, and it can be seen on ESPN.
Florida Gators vs. Kentucky Wildcats ATS Preview
In the Gators last matchup, they beat the Arkansas Razorbacks, 88-73. KeVaughn Allen was the games leading scorer with 28 points on 8-for-12 shooting. The Gators made 19 of their 22 free throws (86.4 percent) and had an effective field goal percentage of 0.595 (above their season average of 0.518).
The Wildcats are trying to rebound after their 76-68 loss to the South Carolina Gamecocks in their last outing. Kevin Knox led Kentucky in scoring with 21 points on 6-for-16 shooting. South Carolina had a turnover percentage of 10.4 (better than their season average of 16.8). Kentucky, meanwhile, had a free throw rate of 0.469 (above their season average of 0.296).
The offensive glass should be a major advantage for Kentucky in this battle. The Wildcats are among the nations elite on the offensive glass, ranking 45th in offensive rebounding percentage at 34.5 percent. Meanwhile, Florida ranks 199th in the NCAA at corralling defensive rebounds with a defensive rebounding percentage of 70.9 percent.
Egor Koulechov has taken his game to another level over the last five games for Florida, averaging 18.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game.
This will be the first matchup of the year between these two teams, after splitting two games last season. In the most recent contest, the Wildcats won 76-66. The Wildcats dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had a fantastic free throw rate of 0.415 and a fantastic offensive rebounding percentage of 38.7. For those same stats, the Gators were 0.056 and 23.4, respectively.
Florida Gators vs. Kentucky Wildcats Free Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Kentucky, ATS Winner – Kentucky, O/U – Over
- The Gators rank 34th in blocks per game (4.8) while the Wildcats rank 73rd in blocks allowed per game (3.3).
- Florida ranks 65th in three pointers attempted per game (24.8) while Kentucky ranks 281st (14.1).
- The Wildcats average 38.1 rebounds per game, which ranks 62nd in the nation. The Gators rank 166th in rebounds allowed per game (36.1).
- Florida ranks 17th in steals allowed per game (4.8) while Kentucky ranks 104th (6.3).
- The Wildcats have been outscored by an average of 1.6 points in their last five games. On the season, Kentucky has defeated opponents by an average of 7.7 points. During their last five games, the Gators have scored an average of 78.2 points per game (3.8 below their season average) and allowed an average of 69.2 points per game (3.4 below their season average).