Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#641 Florida 120 vs.
#642 Butler -4
Saturday, December 7, 2019 at 12:00pm EST
Written by Adam Rauzino

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#641 University of Florida
#642 Butler University
6-2
8-0
16-19-1
13-19-1
11-25
17-16
67
71
63
70

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The Florida Gators will head on the road to battle the #24 Butler Bulldogs in an inter-conference showdown Saturday afternoon from the Hinkle Fieldhouse. The Gators tallied a 73-67 home win against Marshall in their previous action, and the Bulldogs posted a convincing 67-58 road win over Ole Miss on Tuesday night. Florida tallied a dominating 77-43 win against Butler last season.

Florida's Defense Key in Winning Streak

The Florida Gators are targeting their fifth consecutive win. They compiled a big win against #18 Xavier and a 73-67 home win against Marshall in their last two games. The Gators defense has especially thrived so far this season.

Keyontae Johnson is locked in, posting at least a 60% clip from the field six times this season. The sophomore forward scored 15 points in the win against Xavier, and he leads the Gators with 13 points on a 56% field goal efficiency. Kerry Blackshear Jr. is a great defensive player who has already earned five double-doubles on the season. The 6-foot-10 senior forward is averaging 12.9 points along with a team-leading 8.9 rebounds per game. Andrew Nembhard is playing better after a bit of a slow start, sinking 9 of 16 field goals in his last two games. The sophomore guard is posting 5.3 assists along with 10 points per game. Florida lost to Florida State and beat Miami FL.

The Gators are ranked 31st in the country in Ken Pomeroy’s college basketball ratings, and look for them to climb into the AP Top 25 if they win this game. Florida lost its lone true road game by a 62-59 score to UConn. The Gators are not a high-scoring team, averaging only 67.6 points, placing them 268th overall. They are limiting opponents to 62 points, positioning them 56th in DI.

#24 Butler Defeats Ole Miss to Remain Perfect

The#24 Butler Bulldogs' spectacular start to the season continues. They are sporting a perfect 8-0 record which included a solid 67-58 road win at Ole Miss on Tuesday in a tilt that had the Bulldogs as a one-point dog. Butler has also defeated Minnesota of the Big Ten and Stanford of the PAC-12 this season led by stifling defense.

Kamar Baldwin continues to dominate, scoring over 20 points in two straight games which included 31 points on 11 for 16 shooting in Tuesday’s win. The senior guard has now surpassed 20 points four times this season, and he features an average of 17.5 PPG on 51% shooting.

Bryce Nze is very tough to defend underneath the bucket, connecting on at least 60% of his field goals in five out of his last six games. The junior forward is posting 12.1 PPG and a team-leading 7.5 RPG. Sean McDermott is another forward that is tough to contain, compiling a 54.9% field goal efficiency for 10.4 PPG.

The Bulldogs are ranked #24th in the AP Top 25, and Ken Pomeroy has them at 16th in his ratings. They have won all five home games, and are averaging 71.1 points, placing them 210th overall. Butler is one of the top defensive teams in D1, holding opponents to 55.5 points, good for eighth overall.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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I am taking Butler in this clash. The Bulldogs have yet to lose and they have displayed more scoring punch than their Gators which should play a big factor in this game. Bulldogs’ top scorer Kamar Baldwin has scored over 20 points in two straight games and I expect a big game from the senior.

Furthermore, Florida has posted a few bad losses this season. They lost 63-51 to Florida State and 62-59 to UConn. Butler is better than both of those squads. The Gators are a great defensive team but offensively they are shooting below 44% which does not bode well going up against Butler.

Prediction: Butler Bulldogs

Full-Game Total Pick

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This game should be a defensive battle. This is a clash of two stellar defensive teams and points will be at a premium. Butler is limiting opponents to 40.6% shooting on the season, and have allowed 58 or fewer points in three out of their last four games. The under is 6-2 in the Bulldogs’ last eight games overall.

In addition, the Gators thrive on their defensive play and opponents are only shooting 39% from the field against them. They also play at a slower pace with an average of only 69 possessions per game. The under is a sizzling 22-5 in their last 27 road games overall.

Prediction: Under

Full-Game Prop Bet

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The under on the Florida team total offered on PointsBet is worth a look. This will be the best defensive team Florida has played this season. Three of their top five scorers are shooting below 39% on the season. They also do not attempt many three’s as they are only averaging 19.5 three-point attempts per game with limited success. The Gators are only shooting 30% from deep and the Bulldogs are holding opponents to a 27% clip from beyond the arc, good for 24th in DI.

Prediction: Florida Team Total Under

Half-Time Total Bet

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I am opting for the over on the first half total. The Gators have picked it up offensively in the first half recently where they have averaged 34 points over their last three games. Butler is having no issues scoring in the opening half where they are averaging a solid 35.2 points on the season, placing them in the top third of DI.

Prediction: Over
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Written By Adam Rauzino

Adam has been a sports fanatic his entire life, closely following hockey, baseball, basketball and football. Adam enjoys analyzing various stats, as well as studying Sabermetrics and analytics to take his picks to a whole new level. Adam has a passion for writing about various sports as well as personal finance and has brought his talents to us here at Winners and Whiners. He graduated with a diploma in business marketing and business finance.