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Florida vs. Memphis: What bettors need to know

Florida Gators vs. Memphis Tigers (+2.5, OFF)

Florida looks to build on its impressive win over Kansas when the 17th-ranked Gators face No. 14 Memphis on Tuesday in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden. Memphis is averaging 84.8 points and has won six straight since losing at Oklahoma State, while Florida is holding opponents to 60.9 points per game and forced 24 turnovers in last Tuesday’s 67-61 win over Kansas. Both teams were projected as top-four seeds of the NCAA Tournament’s West Region in Joe Lunardi's latest edition of Bracketology at espn.com.

Florida has been dealing with a number of injuries and suspensions all season, but the Gators are slowly reaching full strength. Guards Scottie Wilbekin and Kasey Hill played together for the first time this season against Kansas, and Wilbekin was named SEC Player of the Week after scoring a career-high 18 points in the victory. Memphis boasts a quartet of talented guards, but Florida can’t overlook sophomore forward Shaq Goodwin, averaging 13.6 points and a team-high 6.5 rebounds.

TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN

LINE: The line opened with Memphis as 2.5-point dogs. The total is currently off the board.

ABOUT FLORIDA (7-2, 4-2 ATS): Center Patric Young is averaging 10.4 and 5.6 rebounds, and the Gators’ frontcourt should be even stronger later this month when highly touted freshman forward Chris Walker (academics) joins the team. Virginia Tech transfer Dorian Finney-Smith continues to impress while leading the Gators in rebounding (8.2 rebounds per game), and senior forward Casey Prather averages a team-high 18.3 points. Prather has improved his offensive game this season by consistently getting to the foul line, where he’s made 50 of his 68 attempts.

ABOUT MEMPHIS (7-1, 4-2 ATS): Coach Josh Pastner is looking for more from his four senior guards – Joe Jackson, Geron Johnson, Chris Crawford and Michael Dixon – after they struggled in a lackluster 73-59 win over Arkansas-Little Rock last Friday. “When they don't play well, our team is not going to be as good,” Pastner said. “We need those guys to be really good every single time on the floor. We're counting on those guys to be elite - not individually, but collectively.” Freshman forward Austin Nichols has started every game and averages 10.8 points and 5.5 rebounds.

TRENDS:

* Florida is 4-1 ATS in its last five games overall.
* Memphis is 5-1 ATS in its last six neutral site games.
* Under is 5-1 in Florida's last six non-conference games.
* Under is 4-0 in Memphis' last four games overall.


TIP-INS:


1. Florida has held six of its past eight opponents to 61 points or fewer.

2. The teams have a common opponent in Arkansas-Little Rock, with Memphis winning by 14 and Florida cruising to an 86-56 win on Nov. 16.

3. The Gators and Tigers have met just once before, with Florida claiming an 84-83 victory on Dec. 18, 1976.

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