February 26, 2013
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Two great late games in NCAAB tonight
College basketball has plenty of great games each day as the season winds down and tonight is no exception. Two huge conference rivalries conclude the card at 9 pm tonight as Florida plays Tennessee in SEC play while Nebraska and Wisconsin meet in the Big 10.
Florida (-8.5) vs. Tennessee: Total set at 124.5
Although they haven't played yet this season, Florida is looking for a bit of revenge after getting swept in the season series last year; losing both as huge favorites.
Florida were listed as 12.5-point home favorites and 7.5-point chalk on the road last year and lost outright in both meetings as their shooting and defense failed them both times. The Gators allowed Tennessee to shoot nearly 50% in both meetings and that was their downfall in games Florida should have at least won SU.
Well the Gators won't be making that same mistake tonight as they hope to shoot the lights out against a Tennessee team that has been doing just that in recent outings. Tennessee has put up 82 or more in each of their last three contests and is 5-0 ATS in their last five overall. They have been looking forward to this game for some time now and will do everything they can to make it three in a row against the Gators.
But I don't feel comfortable in taking the side in either case. Tennessee should be able to keep this one within a few possessions, but after last year's two ugly outings against the Volunteers, Florida will want to make amends with a blowout. That's why I believe the total is a better play here.
Both these teams love to get out and score and have put up big numbers in recent outings, yet the number is quite low at 124.5. It is that low for a multitude of reasons and I believe we see both these defenses bog down and play quite well in an intense rivalry game. Three of the last four between these two in Tennessee have cashed tickets for "under" bettors and the only one that didn't would have stayed below the number if it didn't go to OT. Tennessee is coming off a 4OT game themselves this weekend and the fatigue in their legs will likely show up come the 2nd half. That means they will need to take care of business on their own end to pull off an upset and it's not like Florida has shot well recently against the Volunteers either. On top of that, Tennessee is 3-13 O/U after scoring 90 or more and 1-4 O/U against a winning road team. I expect another low scoring game from these two.
Nebraska vs. Wisconsin (-16); Total set at 113
Speaking of low scoring games, bettors shouldn't expect many points in this Big 10 rematch. The first meeting saw a grand total of 88 points scored and since Nebraska moved into the Big 10 last year, none of their three meetings have seen more than 104 points scored. Wisconsin has held their last two opponents under 50 points (Ohio State and Northwestern) and if their game @ Minnesota didn't go to OT it would be three in a row.
Nebraska just isn't a good team in general (4-10 SU in conference play) and is 2-7 SU on the road this year. They will struggle mightily against a Wisconsin team that is very stingy at home and loves to bleed the clock.
16 points is a lot to cover for a Wisconsin team that takes the full 35 seconds to get a shot off, so instead of taking the side, expect another low-scoring affair between these two.
Take the under.