Florida Gators vs. Auburn Tigers Predictions

Tue 2/23 7:00 ET
Florida Gators
Auburn Tigers
Auburn, AL

Pickswise's Expert Predictions & Analysis

Point Spread Prediction
Game Totals Prediction

Point Spread Pick

It seems Auburn has hit the point where they are ready for their season to end. They’ve lost six of the last seven games, with the lone win coming in comeback fashion against Vanderbilt. Remember, Auburn won’t be playing in the postseason in any form or fashion, as they self-imposed a postseason ban for this year. Lack of motivation might be setting in for the Tigers, making Florida the preferred side. It’s nearly impossible to truly know how hard a team will try on a given night, so the matchup for Florida also must make sense, and it does in a few key areas. The first is with the Gators’ defense, where they are the 36th best team in the country and first in SEC at limiting three-point attempts, which is key against Auburn. Only 26 teams in the country shoot a larger percentage of their shots from three than Auburn, so it could be tough for them to score with the focus of Florida’s defense. Another area where Florida’s defense should cause some issues is in transition. Auburn ranks 46th in the country in the percentage of shots taken in transition. However, Florida ironically ranks 46th in effective field goal defense in transition. If Florida is able to defend in transition, plus take away Auburn’s preferred three-point attempt, it could be a long night for the Tiger offense.

On the other end, Florida should be able to do a large amount of damage from inside the arc. The Gators are third in SEC play in two-point percentage, while Auburn’s defense ranks eighth in two-point percentage allowed. Auburn also won’t be able to exploit Florida’s lack of ball security, as Auburn ranks 11th in forcing turnovers. Turnovers have been the main issue for Florida’s offense, but if Auburn isn’t taking the ball away, the Gators should have an efficient offensive night. Florida is still playing for NCAA Tournament seeding, something Auburn is not even eligible for, so take the Gators to win this game on the road.

Game Totals Pick

This game should be extremely fast paced, so the over is the recommended side of this total. These are two of the fastest teams in the country in terms of average offensive possession length, with Auburn at 52nd and Florida at 46th. Each team also ranks in the top 60 of the percentage of shots taken in transition, so we should see a very high volume of shots in this game. Auburn’s last game against LSU is enough to give an immediate lean to the over again, as that was a 104-80 final. Scoring 80 points and losing by 24 certainly seems like a team that is no longer giving much effort on defense, which makes some sense given that Auburn is ineligible for the postseason. Florida’s last game actually went under by quite a bit, but there is still a positive from that game to take into this over, and that is the possession total. The game played to a very high 75 possessions, but only resulted in 133 total points thanks to a combined 10/43 from three. It’s hard to imagine Florida playing another game with that many possessions that features shooting that poor.

In addition to the likely very high possession count, there’s a metric that also correlates with the over, and that is offensive rebounding. Both Florida and Auburn rank in the top 80 in the country in offensive rebounding rate, and both also rank in the bottom 50 in defensive rebounding rate. This is great news for the over, as even missed shots will likely lead to several put-back opportunities. Expect another fast-tempo game for both of these games, resulting in a cash of our over ticket.

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