Florida vs Alabama Odds, Picks and Predictions: Can't Counter Crimson Tide's Distance Attack

Florida has beaten up on some of the secondary teams in the SEC but the Gators get the ultimate test when they try to contain the Crimson Tide's perimeter attack tonight in Alabama. Bama thrives at home and won't sweat too much.

Feb 21, 2024 • 12:58 ET • 4 min read
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This article contains predictions for an old game!

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Mark Sears Alabama Crimson Tide NCAA College Basketball
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If you’re stumbling around the post-football haze and checking out college basketball odds for the first time this season, tonight’s SEC showdown between the No. 24 Florida Gators and No. 13 Alabama Crimson Tide is a good place to start.

This battle of ranked rivals promises plenty of points, with both programs sitting among the SEC leaders in scoring and tempo.

The Gators have won three straight games and have only one loss in the past eight outings. The Tide are tops in the conference and are 6-1 SU and 5-1-1 ATS in their previous seven contests.

I break down the point spread and Over/Under total for this SEC shootout and give my best college basketball picks and predictions for Florida at Alabama on Wednesday, February 21.

Florida vs Alabama best odds

Florida vs Alabama picks and predictions

The Florida Gators' recent surge has them back in the national rankings and on track for a solid seed in the NCAA March Madness Tournament. 

That run includes resume wins over Auburn and Mississippi State — both coming at home — while the bulk of those victories have been against lower-tier teams in the SEC. That’s especially true when you measure the Gators’ offensive output against their defensive competition. 

Florida has played six of its last eight games against teams ranked in the back half of the conference in defensive efficiency, with four of those coming versus programs rated No. 9 or worse among 14 teams. The Gators have pumped out an average of more than 80 points per game in that span.

While Florida can fill it up, it doesn’t do it on the same level as the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Tide not only score in tempo and get to the rim for easy looks, but they bury their opposition under a flood of 3-pointers. 

Alabama averages more than 13 triples per home game and has upped that output from distance in recent outings, draining an average of 15 downtown makes over the last three outings. 

Gators head coach Todd Golden knows his team doesn’t have that same long-range capacity (Florida averages just 7.7 threes per game) and is wary of his offense trying to go tit-for-tat from beyond the arc and getting sucked into a shootout with Alabama.

Nate Oats’ four-guard sets will force Florida to make some tough decisions in terms of matchups. The Gators have the size edge but will get exposed if their forwards have to keep pace with Bama’s speedsters. Alabama is the top transition attack in the land while UF ranks 222nd in points per play allowed in transition defense.

Game projections side with the Crimson Tide with models ranging from an 8.7-point edge to a 10-point win for Alabama tonight.

Even with the initial spread moving up to Bama -8.5, I believe the Crimson Tide can expose what is an overrated run for a Gators team that lacks the long-range punch and isn’t good enough defensively to slow down the top attack in the country.

My best bet: Alabama -8.5 (-110 at bet365)

Florida vs Alabama same-game parlay

Alabama -8.5

Alabama TT Over 91.5

Tyrese Samual Over 6.5 rebounds

The Tide are a tough matchup for the Gators, pushing pace and stretching their bigger lineup with superior outside shooting.

The Tide have point projections ranging from 91 to 95 on Wednesday and face a Florida defense ranked in the back half of the SEC.

The Gators are the best rebounding team in the land and given the pace of play, there will be a surplus of field goal attempts. Tyrese Samuel should snap up at least seven boards against a smaller Bama rotation as a result.

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

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Florida vs Alabama spread and Over/Under analysis

Alabama opened as short as a 7.5-point home favorite on Tuesday and drew money overnight, which pushed this spread to -8.5 as of Wednesday morning. According to Covers Consensus, 63% of early picks are siding with the host team.

The Crimson Tide have been a cash cow for basketball bettors, bringing a 15-9-1 ATS record into tonight’s tilt. Alabama’s offense ranks among the best in the land, including No. 1 in offensive efficiency at KenPom.

That output gets super-charged inside Coleman Coliseum where Bama averages a Div-I high 92.3 points per game, fueling an 11-2 against-the-spread mark at home. Bama is a huge “rim and three” team, thriving in transition and depending on high-percentage looks in the paint or 3-point attempts.

Florida is no slouch when it comes to scoring, either. The Gators are No. 10 in offensive efficiency in the country but don’t lean into the 3-point as much as Alabama. They do push the pace with one of the quicker tempos in the conference and are extremely active on the boards, sitting 10th in rebound rate (No. 2 in offensive rebound rate).

Florida is scoring 81.5 points per road game this season, but that hasn’t always offset the Gators' questionable defense as a visitor. They’re giving up 81.4 points on the road, leading to a 4-3 ATS mark in true road outings.

Those high-powered offenses have oddsmakers stacking up the points for tonight’s total. The number hit the board as high as 174.5 and has bounced between that opener and a low of 173.5, with most books dealing 174 points as of Wednesday morning. Covers Consensus shows 52% of early picks on the Under.

Alabama is 18-7 Over/Under on the year, with a 9-4 O/U count at home. The Crimson Tide have topped the total in four straight games and are 8-2 O/U in their last 10 games going back to January 13.

Florida is 14-10-1 O/U after a recent run of Under results in SEC play. The Gators have gone below the closing total in all but three of their last 10 games. They’re 3-4 O/U in true road games.

Florida vs Alabama betting trend to know

Alabama has gone Over its Team Total in 21 of its last 35 games, which has earned more than five units in that span. Find more college basketball betting trends for Florida vs. Alabama.

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Florida vs Alabama game info

Location: Coleman Coliseum, Tuscaloosa, AL
Date: Wednesday, February 21, 2024
Tip-off: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN2

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