Free NCAA Basketball Picks: Our Best Bets for January 5

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Tyree Appleby #22 of the Florida Gators drives to the basket. Mark Brown/Getty Images/AFP.

Alabama might be vulnerable on the road. Is this good news for Florida according to the NCAAB odds? Are they the right college basketball pick?

Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Florida Gators 

Wednesday, January 05, 2022 – 07:00 PM EST at Exactech Arena

On the season, Alabama has played just one road game. In that road game, Alabama ultimately allowed 92 points to Memphis and lost that game 92-78. In their last neutral game, Alabama lost to Davidson, 79-78.

Sure, Alabama beat Gonzaga in a semi-road game, but they also have a loss, again, on a neutral court, to Iona.

The pattern here is that when Alabama isn't hitting shots, they're absolutely vulnerable.

Now they'll take on a Florida defense that is really, really good, on the road. The Gators are earning 25.1% turnovers on the season and have held opponents to 28.7% from three-point range this season.

The Gators have held opponents to a 47% effective field goal percentage and have watched their opponents miss a ton of foul shots. That's likely to continue with Alabama shooting just 67.5% from the foul line this season

On the other hand, Florida is going to shoot fewer threes in this game. They'll still shoot them, but they'll shoot less. Inside is where the game will be won for Florida. The Gators are shooting 51.4% inside the arc while Alabama is allowing teams to shoot 50.5% from inside the arc.

In the last three games, Florida has shot 35.5% from long range when they've averaged just 31.2% on the season. The Gators are starting to get comfortable offensively, and there's no better place to continue that than in a packed house, at home.

Meanwhile, Alabama is shooting just 27.8% from long range in their last three games and struggled against Tennessee from long range last week. That was all credit to that Vols defense, which is similar to Florida.

Florida, again, will force many turnovers and make your work offensively for a whole while. Teams have used 18.5 seconds per possession this season against the Gators… so when Alabama can't get an early shot, they're going to have a challenge scoring in the halfcourt against Florida.

Both offenses love to score early in the shot clock, but Florida is more equipped to play in the half-court if they need to. Alabama isn't going to force a whole lot of steals and blocks as Florida will. That all comes in the half-court sets when Alabama struggles to get a shot up until the last second.

Prediction

On the year, Florida has held opponents to just 59.9 points per game. At home, I like Florida to hold off Alabama defensively in this one. If Alabama struggles to score on the road, it's usually a good thing. Florida has the height advantage and is one of the more experienced teams in the nation. They won't play anyone with two fouls as Alabama will, but if one of Alabama's players gets a third foul in the first half, again, that would be an advantage to Florida.

So give me the Gators at home tonight on the money line with one of the top-rated sportsbooks. Florida defends the three so well that they're top 10 in the nation in 3PA/FGA - this means, many teams aren't getting many threes against Florida and are taking more attempts inside the arc.

NCAAB Pick: Florida (-130) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Florida (-130)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.