NCAA Betting Preview: Florida at Auburn

By: Joe Freda | Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Florida Gators have a 3-2 spread record in their last five games, with the ‘over’ cashing at 5-0.  Billy Donovan’s squad heads north for Thursday’s matchup against the Auburn Tigers, who are 1-2 ATS against Southeastern Conference foes.

Florida ended a five-game winning streak with Saturday’s 72-69 loss as an 11 ½-point home favorite against the South Carolina Gamecocks.  The Gators nearly erased a 10-point halftime deficit, rallying to trail, 63-62, with 1:55 remaining.

Gators guard Erving Walker notched a team-high 17 points, while adding four boards.  The New York native drained 3-of-6 beyond the arc as part of his 6-for-12 day from the field.

Florida’s Vernon Macklin logged his first double-double in six games, finishing with 12 points and a team-high 10 rebounds.  The senior center added two of his team’s five blocks.

The contest’s combined 141 points leaped above the ‘total’ of 134.  Florida shot a scarce 12-for-22 at the foul line, while being outrebounded by South Carolina, 36-32.

The Gators are 4-1 against the spread in their five ‘board’ games away from home, with the ‘under’ going 3-2.  Macklin and Co. have allowed a stingy 58.8 PPG in that span.

Auburn picked up its third straight loss in Sunday’s 85-66 defeat as a 10-point road dog against the Mississippi State Bulldogs.  The Tigers were held to 35.8 percent field shooting, while allowing Mississippi State to connect at 62 percent.

Tigers guard Earnest Ross put up a team-high 15 points, while finishing with four assists.  The sophomore added six boards and one of his squad’s seven steals.

Auburn’s Kenny Gabriel and Adrian Forbes each notched a team-high seven rebounds off the bench.  The two forwards united to hit 7-of-16 from the field en route to 20 points.

The lopsided affair’s combined 151 points soared above the ‘total’ of 135.  Both squads struggled from the charity stripe, uniting to sink 27-of-50 free throws.

Auburn is 2-3 ATS in its five home ‘board’ dates, with the ‘under’ collecting at 3-2.  Tony Barbee’s troops have scored 68.8 PPG in that stretch.

Florida is 4-2 ATS in its last six meetings against the Tigers, with the ‘total’ splitting at 3-3.

The Gators won last March’s SEC tournament battle between the foes at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, 78-69, as a 5 ½-point favorite.  Auburn shot a meager 4-for-25 from three-point land, while the Gators drained a stellar 7-of-15.

Thursday’s tip is scheduled for 4 p.m. (PT), with ESPN providing the national television coverage.

Both squads will have one day off before resuming action as part of Saturday’s college hoops slate.  Florida returns home to face the Arkansas Razorbacks, while Auburn hosts the Alabama Crimson Tide.

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