Alabama vs. Florida NCAA Basketball Betting Analysis and Free Pick

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Keon Ellis #14 of the Alabama Crimson Tide. Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP

Idle since before Christmas, the Florida Gators return to the hardwood on Wednesday’s NCAA basketball odds schedule when they begin a tough 3-game SEC gauntlet with a visit from the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Florida Gators

Wednesday, January 05, 2022 – 07:00 PM EST at Exactech Arena at Stephen C. O’Connell Center 

For the time being, everyone in the Southeastern Conference is chasing the red-hot Auburn Tigers who won their 10th in a row on Tuesday night to move to the top of the league ranks by themselves. Alabama is definitely one of those teams that could unseat Auburn by the end of the season, but only if the Crimson Tide can smooth out their performances with some consistency.

Florida was projected to be a middle-of-the-road SEC team by the college basketball futures, and the Gators have a chance to prove they belong in the discussion over the next seven days. After taking on No. 16 Alabama on Wednesday, Florida will face No. 9 Auburn this weekend and No. 21 LSU a week from now. 

Totals Split Last Four Matchups in Gainesville 

Alabama can step into a tie with its Yellowhammer State rivals if the Crimson Tide can earn a victory on Wednesday, but it’s Florida drawing the small chalk line for this one. After the contest officially opened as a pick, the Gators are favored by a bucket at most outlets with the total hanging steady at 149 points. 

Florida has won 12 of the last 15 get-togethers, but Alabama still holds a 76-70 all-time lead in the rivalry per rolltide.com. The Gators beat the Crimson Tide in double overtime when the schools last played at O’Connell Center in January 2020, but Alabama pulled off upsets the previous two trips to Gainesville. 

Alabama won the lone matchup last season, but it wasn’t an upset, the Crimson Tide pulled off on their home floor in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson’s Tide’s 86-71 triumph marked just the second time since February 2010 – a string of 15 clashes – that Alabama was favored at the betting sites against Florida, albeit on a modest 2-point spread. The final crept past a 151½-point total. 

Gurley Coming Off Breakout Game vs. Vols 

Nate Oats’ team moved up four places to No. 15 in the AP, but dropped a rung in the coaches' poll to No. 20, pointing to what a mysterious bunch the Crimson Tide have been. Alabama’s mix of outstanding performances and unexplainable poor efforts also show up in a 6-7 record against the spread. 

A late surge last week at home against Tennessee helped the Crimson Tide to a 73-68 dubya in their conference opener. Alabama trailed by six with a little more than six minutes to go but used a big game from Furman transfer Noah Gurley who helped the Crimson Tide dominate the Volunteers in the paint. The final push wasn’t enough for Alabama to cover the 7-point chalk at the top-rated sportsbooks, and Tennessee was playing without leading scorer Kennedy Chandler along with John Fulkerson. 

Darius Miles was not part of Alabama’s win over Tennessee last week after being held out for disciplinary reasons. The sophomore guard had come off the bench in the previous 12 games and was averaging 17.4 minutes and 7.3 points per game. He is officially listed as questionable for Wednesday’s game

Who’s Healthy for Gators? 

Florida was last on the court two weeks ago and looked like the same bunch that took down Florida State and Ohio State back in November with an 87-62 cruise past Stony Brook. Mike White’s group was favored by 19 at GTbets (visit our GTbets Review) and was in control the whole way with the biggest offensive output of the season. Phlandrous Fleming Jr. reached the 20-point plateau for the first time this season and knocked down four of his five 3-point tries. 

Their original SEC opener last week was called off because of virus issues for both the Gators and the Ole Miss Rebels. Myreon Jones missed the game against Stony Brook because of a positive test and is still listed as questionable to face Alabama, but no other names show up on the official injury report. Jones leads the team averaging more than 31 minutes a game and is fourth in scoring (9.5 PPG). 

Alabama hasn’t covered a game since the upset of Gonzaga in early December, and the Crimson Tide put forth a sad effort in their only true road contest of the season in a 14-point loss at Memphis as small favorites. And yet my gut says to trust them with a free college basketball pick tonight in Gainesville. 

NCAAB Pick: Alabama +1.5 (-108) with Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Alabama +1.5 (-108)
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