South Carolina looked like a great bet to make the NCAA tournament just a week ago, but two straight losses are cause for concern. Who do we back with our free NCAAB pick when the Gamecocks visit Florida Tuesday night (7 pm ET, ESPN)?
Most of Tuesday’s CBB betting market opened the Gators at -10, with a total of around 140. In early action many books then dipped Florida to -9.5.
South Carolina (20-7 SU, 10-12 ATS) lugs a two-game losing streak into Tuesday night, following a 71-62 loss at Vanderbilt Saturday. The Gamecocks led by six midway through the second half, but went dead cold from there, and faded. On the night South Carolina made just one of 11 shots from 3-point range and went 13/22 from the free-throw line.
Last Wednesday the ‘Cocks made just six of 22 from beyond the arc in an 83-76 upset loss to Arkansas.
Florida (22-5 SU, 15-10 ATS) owns an eight-game winning streak, following its 57-52 victory over Mississippi State Saturday. The Gators led by a dozen early in the second half, let the Bulldogs tie the score at 52, then scored the last five points of the game.
For the day Florida only shot 39 percent from the floor, but held MSU to 36 percent.
Last Tuesday the Gators shot a hot 56 percent in a 114-95 triumph over Auburn.
Big-picture, Florida is tied with Kentucky for first place in the SEC, with South Carolina two games back. But while the Gators are a lock for the NCAA tournament, the Gamecocks are not yet.
Florida had beaten South Carolina seven times in a row, but the ‘Cocks have won the last two meetings, including a 57-53 decision one month ago. The Gators led that game by eight early in the second half, but SC finished with a 36-24 run.
Also, as the teams combined to shoot just 32 percent from the field that game easily played UNDER a total of 135.
On the injury front Florida C John Egbunu (8 PPG, 7 RPG) is out with a bad knee, and G Canyon Barry (13 PPG) is iffy with a sprained ankle.
Gamecocks-Gators Betting Analysis
This one should be a grinder, and 10 points is a ton when it might only take 60 to win.
Free NCAAB Pick: South Carolina Gamecocks