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Missouri Tigers at Florida Gators Betting Preview

Two SEC rivals will square off on Wednesday night as the Missouri Tigers (14-7) take on the Florida Gators (13-6). The Gators will host this one from the Stephen C. O’Connell Center, with tipoff scheduled for 6:30 pm ET.

It has been a bit of a tough stretch for the Missouri Tigers as they have now dropped four of their last five. Their lone win in that time came in a 93-78 win over South Carolina. In their last matchup, they lost to Mississippi 60-53. In the loss, Jeremiah Tilmon had a double-double with 10 points and ten rebounds.

Florida comes into this one, having won three games in a row. Their last victory was a 71-67 win over Kentucky on Saturday. The Gators currently sit in third in the SEC and would love to pick up another conference win with just two games to go in the regular season.

Playing at home, Florida is the favorite in this matchup. They are -200 to win while the Tigers’ moneyline sits at +168. The spread features Missouri +4 while the over/under for total points sits at 141.

By The Numbers

Offensively, Florida has been the stronger of the two teams. They rank 59th in the nation in scoring, averaging 75.9 points per game. Missouri ranks 90th, averaging 73.9 points per game.

Defensively, it is once again Florida with the advantage. They rank 149th in scoring defense allowing opponents 69.9 points per game. In their last three games, that number has been 62.3. Missouri falls to 200th in scoring defense, allowing 71.5 points per game.

Missouri Looking To Get Above .500 In The Conference

While Florida is 14-7 overall, they are a very disappointing 7-7 in the conference. That is good enough for seventh place in the SEC with just a couple of games remaining. They will hope to get their conference record above the .500 mark as they take on a tough Florida team.

Leading the way for Missouri this season are guards Xavier Pinson and Dru Smith. Pinson has averaged 14 points, three rebounds, three assists, and one steal this season. Not to be outdone, Smith is averaging 13.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.8 steals.

These two don’t have to do it alone, though. Jeremiah Tilmon and Mark Smith are also averaging double digits. Tilmon is averaging 12.9 points and 7.7 rebounds, while Smith is averaging 10 points and 2.9 rebounds.

The problem for Missouri is they lack depth. Once you get past these four, there is a big drop-off in offensive production. That is only intensified if Javon Pickett can’t go as he is currently questionable with an ankle injury.

Florida Hoping To Secure Third Seed

At 9-5, Florida sits just a game ahead of the LSU Tigers for third place in the SEC. With the SEC tournament scheduled for next week, securing the third seed is of the utmost importance to the Gators. With Missouri and Tennessee left on the schedule, the Gators can’t take anything for granted over the next week.

Like the Tigers, the Gators also have four players averaging double-digits in scoring. Leading the way for Florida is sophomore guard Tre Mann. He is currently averaging 14.7 points on 43% shooting (including 39.8% from the three). He is also averaging 5.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.6 steals.

Other notable contributors include Colin Castleton (12.9 points, 5.8 rebounds), Tyree Appleby (10.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists), Noah Locke (10.6 points, 2.5 rebounds), and Scottie Lewis (9 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.8 steals).

Taking Florida To Win And Cover

There is something to be said about momentum, and the Gators have it right now. Florida has won three in a row, while Missouri continues to find ways to lose over the last couple of weeks.

Throw on top of that the fact that Florida is 6-2 at home (while Missouri is 5-4 on the road), and I like Florida to not only win but cover the modest four-point spread as well.

Pick: Florida -4.0 points

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