Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#673 South Carolina vs.
#674 Florida
Wednesday, January 25, 2023 at 7:00pm EST
Written by Chris King

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A pair of teams from the SEC take the floor in the Sunshine State looking to earn a conference victory. The South Carolina Gamecocks are on the road as they make the trip to face the Florida Gators Wednesday night. South Carolina was beaten 81-66 at home by #16 Auburn in their previous game Saturday, failing to cover the line as a 13.5-point underdog. Florida earned a narrow 61-59 road win over Mississippi State in their most recent game Saturday, winning outright as a 2.5-point underdog. In the all-time series between the teams, the Gators own a 40-20 advantage, including a 71-63 road win in the most recent matchup on January 15, 2022.

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South Carolina Gamecocks Trying to Get on Track

South Carolina dropped their third straight game and its fifth in the last six as they were beaten at home by #16 Auburn in their previous game Saturday. The Gamecocks fell to 8-11 overall and stand 11th in the conference with a 1-5 mark this season. Against Auburn, South Carolina trailed 9-2 less than three minutes into the game and never recovered. The Gamecocks didn’t get closer than four, trailed by 17 at the half and were down as many as 26 in the second half en route to the loss. South Carolina shot 35.7% from the field, including seven of 28 from three-point range, and allowed Auburn to shoot 50% in the game. Gregory Jackson II led the Gamecocks with 30 points and eight rebounds in the loss.

The Gamecocks put up an average of 63.8 points per game this season, leaving them 343rd in the nation in scoring offense. South Carolina collects 34.4 boards a night (224th) while dishing out 10.6 assists per contest. The Gamecocks are slightly below average on the defensive end, ranking 274th in the country by allowing 72.6 points a night. Hayden Brown is fourth on the team this season in scoring as he puts up 10.8 points plus 4.8 boards a game. Gregory Jackson II (15.9 points, 6.7 rebounds), Jacobi Wright (and Chico Carter Jr. (10.9 points) are good secondary scoring options. Meechie Johnson (13.1 points, 4.3 boards, 3.6 assists), Josh Gray, Daniel Hankins-Sanford and Zachary Davis each are looked at to contribute on both ends of the floor. South Carolina shoots 39.6% from the field in the contest. The Gamecocks knock down 7.6 triples per game while shooting 31.3% from beyond the arc as a team. South Carolina is sinking just 65% of their attempts at the line so there is room for improvement there.

Florida Gators Looking to Maintain Momentum

Florida won for the fourth time in five games as they slipped by Mississippi State in a defensive struggle Saturday on the road. The Gators improved to 11-8 and stand tied for fifth in the conference with a 4-3 record entering this game. Against Mississippi State, Florida erased an early 3-0 deficit with an 11-0 run and controlled the first half. The Gators were up nine at intermission and led by as many as 16 before seeing the Bulldogs claw back into the game. Florida saw Mississippi State tie the game at 43 midway through the second half only to regroup and take a 60-50 lead with 4:02 to play. The Gators scored just one point the rest of the way but managed to escape with a win. Florida shot 41.8% from the field, including 10 of 24 from three-point range, and went only five of 10 at the free throw line in the game. Colin Castleton led the Gators with 13 points in the win.

The Gators are above average offensively as they are 164th in the nation in scoring offense with an average of 72.3 points per game on the year. Florida averages 36.1 rebounds per contest and dishes out 12.2 assists per game. The Gators are good defensively, ranking 75th by allowing 65.3 points per contest. Colin Castleton leads the team with 14.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.1 blocks a game this season. Will Richard is the only other player scoring in double figures with 10.2 points plus 4.2 rebounds per game this season. Kowacie Reeves, Kyle Lofton, Trey Bonham, Alan Fudge, Riley Kugel, Myreon Jones, Jason Jitoboh and CJ Felder are key pieces in Florida’s rotation this season for Todd Golden. The Gators shoot 43.9% from the field as a team this season. Florida knocks down an average of 6.9 triples a night while hitting 33.5% from beyond the arc. The Gators are very good at the charity stripe, shooting 74.5% as a team this season, which is 62nd in the nation.

Felder left the team for personal reasons January 13 and it’s unknown if he’ll return this season.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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We are looking at two teams heading in opposite directions as conference play rages on. The Gamecocks are continuing to struggle offensively, which is a major reason they have dropped five of their last six games heading into this one. Meanwhile, Florida has won four of five with their lone loss in that stretch a two-point defeat at Texas A&M last week. The Gators are 6-3 at home this season while the Gamecocks are 2-3 on the road this season. Their two road wins each came by three points as they slipped by Georgetown in overtime and beat an inconsistent Kentucky team. We’ve also seen them lose by 24 at George Washington in addition to a 14-point loss at UAB plus losses by 43 to Tennessee and 41 against Texas A&M with both those games coming at home. Based on what we’ve seen from the Gamecocks, you can’t trust them here. Take Florida on the road as they earn the win here.

Prediction: Florida Gators -17

Full-Game Total Pick

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South Carolina has stayed under in 10 of their 19 games in relation to the total this season. The Gamecocks are just 331st in effective field goal percentage (46.1%), 233rd in turnover percentage (19.4%) and 320th in two-point shooting (45.5%) this season. According to KenPom, the Gamecocks are 329th in adjusted tempo with 63.8 possessions a night. Florida enters this game having seen the under post a 13-6 mark in their 19 games this season. The Gators are a stellar 13th in defensive efficiency, 15th in effective field goal percentage defense (44.9%), 34th in field goal percentage defense (39.9%) and 18th in two-point field goal percentage defense (43.9%) this season. Florida is 82nd in the nation in adjusted tempo as they average 69.2 possessions a night according to KenPom. This one stays under the total as Florida plays sound defense and the Gamecocks continue to flounder offensively here.

Prediction: Under 133.5
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Written By Chris King , "Chris King"

Chris King has been immersed in the world of professional and collegiate sports for more than three decades. Whether it's playing pickup games or being involved in organized sports to being a fan, he's checked all the boxes. From the NFL to arena football, the NHL to the KHL, the NBA to the WNBA to college hoops, and even MLB to the KBO.  If it's out there, he's covered it and bet on it as well, as Chris has been an expert bettor in his career.  Before joining Winners and Whiners back in 2015, his work appeared around the internet and in print. He's written books for Ruckus Books about college basketball, the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, golf, and the World Cup. If you're looking for the inside track on hitting a winner, do yourself a favor and read what Chris has to say.