MISSOURI TIGERS (16-5)
at FLORIDA GATORS (19-2)
Stephen C. OíConnell Center - Gainesville, FL
Tip-off: Tuesday, 9:00 p.m. ET
Line: Florida -12
Undefeated in the SEC, No. 3 Florida hosts Missouri as double-digit favorites, even though the Tigers havenít lost a game by more than six points all season.
Missouri is coming off an 84-79 home loss to Kentucky on Saturday, moving the Tigers to 4-4 SU (3-5 ATS) in SEC play. Overall the Tigers are 8-11 ATS, but are 3-2 ATS on the road. The Kentucky game was their second of the season against a ranked opponent, beating then-No. 18 UCLA 80-71 earlier in the season on Dec. 7. For Tuesday's game, Missouri faces a Florida squad that is 1-11 ATS over the past two seasons after covering two of their previous three ATS. However, favorites with 67 to 74 PPG facing a defense allowing 67 to 74 PPG, after three straight double-digit wins are 240-156 ATS (61%) since 1997. The Gators have rolled through SEC play this season at 8-0 SU (4-4 ATS), winning these games by a hefty 15.4 PPG margin. Their lone defeats of the season came on the road to ranked teams, falling to then-No. 20 Wisconsin on Nov. 12 and then-No. 12 Connecticut on a buzzer beater on Dec. 2. After that loss to the Huskies, they rattled off back-to-back wins against ranked opponents in Kansas and Memphis. They also will get a lift in this game as highly touted freshman SF Chris Walker is expected to make his debut after missing the first part of the season due to NCAA violations. These two teams split their two meetings last season, each winning and covering on their home court. This includes the Gators destroying the Tigers 83-52, outshooting them 59% FG to 33% FG in that home blowout.
Can Florida stay unbeaten in SEC play with another lopsided victory? For the latest college basketball picks, check out The Platinum Sheet for all the StatFox Experts selections every week throughout the entire 2013-14 season. The StatFox Experts have been rolling in college basketball Best Bets this season with a 59% ATS (188-129-5) mark, including a stellar 62% ATS (156-95-3) record since Nov. 23. StatFox Brian is at 65% ATS (41-22-2) in Best Bets for the season and 69% ATS (34-15-1) since Nov. 26. StatFox Dave is 61% ATS (39-25-1) for the season and 69% ATS (22-10) since Dec. 18, while StatFox Scott is a hefty 59% ATS (38-26-1) for the season and 62% ATS (28-17-1) since Dec. 2. StatFox Zach is a strong 57% ATS (36-27-2) on Best Bets this season, including 60% ATS (30-20-1) since Nov. 22, while StatFox Gary is 54% ATS (34-29-2) for the season, and 58% ATS (28-20) since Nov. 29.
Missouriís offense averages a respectable 75.0 PPG (90th in Div. I) on 46.4% shooting (75th in nation), but dishes out a mere 10.6 APG (319th in Div. I). With 38.9 RPG (31st in Div. I), they outrebound their opponents by 6.9 RPG, and by not giving up easy second-chance points, the Tigers have held teams to a meager 39.4% FG clip (31.4% threes) and 67.4 PPG allowed (96th in nation). Missouri is led by one of the most productive backcourts in the nation in Jabari Brown (20.4 PPG, 4.7 RPG) and Jordan Clarkson (18.9 PPG, 3.4 APG). Clarkson shoots 48% FG and leads the team in passing, and he is coming off a big effort against Kentucky on Saturday in which he scored 28 points on 11-of-17 shooting, extending his streak of double-figure scoring for all 21 games this season. Brown had an ever bigger game against the Wildcats, scoring 33 points (10-of-17 FG, 3-of-6 threes) to mark his sixth straight 20-point effort, where he's averaged 25.8 PPG on a blistering 60% FG (66% threes). Brown struggled mightily last year against Florida, however, going a combined 8-of-28 FG in the two contests. Senior SG Earnest Ross (14.2 PPG, 6.6 RPG) rounds out the teamís double-digit scorers and is the teamís second leading rebounder despite standing just 6-foot-5. Freshman PF Johnathan Williams III (6.5 PPG, 7.4 RPG) paces the team on the glass, also adding 1.5 BPG down low.
Floridaís offense isnít particularly scary, tallying 71.2 PPG (191st in Div. I) on 46.0% shooting (93rd in nation) and 12.6 APG (196th in Div. I). With 37.7 RPG (66th in nation), they outrebound their opponents by 6.1 RPG, but where the Gators continue to shine brightest is on the defensive end. Head coach Billy Donovanís stifling defense yields a mere 57.4 PPG (6th in Div. I) on 38.4% shooting (13th in nation) and 32.4% threes. Senior SF Casey Prather (16.2 PPG, 5.2 RPG) is the teamís top offensive threat, hitting 63% of his shots. Although he played just 20 minutes against the Tigers last season, Prather still managed to produce a well-rounded stat line of seven points, seven rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Prather is joined down low by C Patric Young (10.6 PPG, 6.6 RPG) and PF Dorian Finney-Smith (10.3 PPG, 7.8 RPG) who combined for 20 points and 23 rebounds in Saturday's 69-36 rout of Texas A&M. SF Will Yeguete (5.2 PPG, 5.4 RPG) can also be a factor in the paint, mainly as a tenacious defender. The addition of SF Chris Walker will only make this unit more formidable. PG Scottie Wilbekin (11.9 PPG, 3.6 APG) runs the offense adequately with a 2.1 Ast/TO ratio, while also pacing the team with 1.6 SPG. He scored 13 points (6-of-8 FG) and dished out 10 assists in last season's home victory against the Tigers. SG Michael Frazier II (12.6 PPG, 3.6 RPG) complements him well on the perimeter, knocking down 2.8 threes per game on a 43.3% clip. Although Frazier made just 3-of-11 threes in Saturday's blowout win, he still finished the game with 21 points and eight rebounds.