Home | News | Alabama vs. Florida NCAAB Odds and Preview – March 5th, 2024

Alabama vs. Florida NCAAB Odds and Preview – March 5th, 2024

By Hank Blaine

Important game in the SEC on Tuesday in the final week of college basketball’s regular season, as No. 16 Alabama needs a win at No. 25 Florida to keep its regular-season conference title hopes alive. The Gators are looking to improve their conference tourney seeding.

These teams played a great game in Tuscaloosa on Feb. 21 with the Tide pulling off a 98-93 overtime victory. Grant Nelson had 22 points, eight rebounds and six blocked shots to lead Alabama, which scored the first seven points of overtime. Aaron Estrada finished with 20 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and four steals. Walter Clayton Jr. led Florida with 27 points but missed a potential tying 3-pointer at the end. Alabama’s Mark Sears collected the rebound, drew an immediate foul and made two free throws. Sears had 17 points and eight of Alabama’s 19 assists. The Tide had rallied from a 10-point deficit over the final 9 minutes of regulation. It was the first time since 2007 the teams had met when both were ranked.

Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Florida Gators Game Information

  • When: Tuesday, March 5th, 2024 at 7:00 pm ET
  • Where: Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center, Gainesville, FL
  • TV: ESPN
  • Radio: Tide 100.9 FM (Alabama) // 1010XL AM (Florida)
  • Live Stream: ESPN+
  • NCAAB Betting Odds: Alabama (+2) // Florida (-2)

Why Bet on the Alabama Crimson Tide?

Alabama (20-9, 12-4) is tied for second in the SEC, a game behind Tennessee. The Tide lost at home to those No. 4 Vols on Saturday, 81-74, as UT held the nation’s No. 2 scoring team without a field goal for more than nine minutes down the stretch. Josiah-Jordan James’ 3-pointer from the left corner gave Tennessee a 75-70 lead with two minutes left. Alabama finally snapped a 1-of-17 shooting stretch with Sears’ layup with 1:14 left. It was the team’s first basket since the 10:17 mark, but it wasn’t nearly enough.

The Crimson Tide had won 16 straight SEC games at home, which held College GameDay earlier in the afternoon for the first time ever. In a matchup of two vaunted offensive attacks, both sides shot under 40 percent on the night, but Tennessee took three more 3-pointers, all of which were makes, as it went 12-of-40 (30.0 percent) and allowed a 9-of-37 (24.3 percent). The Volunteers also had a 15-10 advantage in second-chance points.

“It’s out of our hands now,” Alabama coach Nate Oats said of the SEC title. “We’ve still got a shot at it, but we’re going to have to get some help to earn a share of it at this point. It’s a little disappointing.”

UA’s Sears led all scoring with 22 points to go along with a team-best six assists. Sears ranks No. 2 in the SEC in scoring (20.6 ppg), No. 5 in field goal percentage (51.1) and No. 8 in assists (4.1 apg). Estrada collected 16 points and eight boards, with Nick Pringle chipping in with 13 and a team-high nine rebounds. The Tide had scored at least 80 points in nine straight contests entering the game.

Alabama’s two lowest point totals in SEC play have come against the Volunteers (71 at Tennessee and 74 Saturday). Alabama has scored 100 points in nine games this season, which is the most by an SEC school since Kentucky’s 1995-96 team (nine games). Bama, which at 90.7 points per game is tied for No. 1 nationally, scores at 57.8 percent from the 2-point area (9th nationally), 37.5 percent from the 3-point line (22nd) and knocks down 79.0 percent of its free throws (8th).

“We have to get our guys back together,” Oats said after the loss. “Florida was an overtime game here, and it is not going to be easy playing down there. But we will try to win two and go out on a good note this week.” Alabama is now 17-22 all-time against AP Top-25 opponents under Oats.

Why Bet on the Florida Gators?

No. 25 Florida (20-9, 10-6 SEC) had a two-game winning streak snapped in an 82-76 loss at No. 18 South Carolina on Saturday. USC’s Meechie Johnson had 25 points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer with 43.4 seconds left, to fuel South Carolina’s rally from 10 points down in the second half. Johnson had three tie-breaking shots in the final five minutes, including his 3-pointer from the left elbow that put the Gamecocks ahead for good.

The Gators were led by junior guard Walton Clayton’s six 3s and 20 points, but he also had a season-high six of his team’s 12 turnovers, eight of which came in the second half and assisted the Gamecocks’ cause. UF turned it over five times in the final three minutes against a 1-3-1 zone defense the Gamecocks rolled out midway through the period and completely altered the flow of the game.

“I thought it was obviously a good move to try to change the pace for them,” UF coach Todd Golden said. “We just weren’t aggressive enough attacking it and just moving [the ball] a little too much side to side at the top. We got it down early in the corners a couple times and had a turnover or two, which had us playing on our heels a little bit.”

The Gators have had 31 individual 20-point performances this season, the team’s most dating back to the 1996-97 season. Clayton Jr. leads UF with 11 such games, and five Gators have at least four 20-point outings.

Florida shot 48 percent for the game Saturday, including 52 in the second half, and made 10 3-pointers. The Gamecocks shot 47 percent for the game, but 58 in the second (when they hit six of their last eight field-goal tries) and only turned the ball over four times after intermission. USC shot twice as many free throws (31 to 15) and outscored UF 23-12 from the line. The Gators’ late fade may have cost them a shot at a top-four seed and a little extra rest before the SEC Tournament.

Florida has two of the top three offensive rebounders in the SEC in Micah Handlogten (3.7) and Tyrese Samuel (3.1). UF’s 39.4% offensive rebounding rate is third-highest in the nation, while Handlogten’s 18.6% offensive rebounding rate ranks second nationally.

The game will mark the first matchup between two ranked teams at the O’Dome in the month of March since the No. 1 Gators faced No. 25 Kentucky in the 2014 regular-season finale.

Alabama vs. Florida Betting Trends

  • Alabama is 12-6 ATS in the last 18 games.
  • Crimson Tide are 14-4 SU in its last 18 games.
  • The total went over in 7 of Alabama’s last 8 games.
  • Florida is 2-4 ATS in the last 6 games.
  • Gators are 9-3 SU in its last 12 games.
  • The total went over in 4 of Florida’s last 5 games.

Alabama vs. Florida Expert Prediction

Alabama 85, Florida 83.

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*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.

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