Florida (-3) vs. Ole Miss
The last win for Ole Miss in Gainesville, Florida, was a 62-61 win on Feb. 12, 2015. Before that? Oh, that was just Feb. 28, 1953, and 27 total meetings ago! UF is 10-2 all-time at home versus Ole Miss and has owned them since 2000, going 9-1 with every win coming by more than three points. Florida is 5-2 overall against Ole Miss under their current Head Coach Mike White.
The Gators over the last four meetings in Gainesville are 4-0 SU, with all four wins coming by four or more. I like this matchup for plenty of reasons outside the history or strong trends in favor of Florida.
Last four home meetings in Florida:
2019-20: 71-55 UF
2018-19: 90-86 OT UF
2016-17: 70-63 UF
2015-16: 77-72 UF
Ole Miss was home for three-straight games, going 1-2 overall and 1-1 in SEC play. Unfortunately for Ole Miss, they will be on the road for four of the next six games, starting with Florida. In my opinion, Ole Miss has not played anyone that's going to take me away from backing Florida to cover.
All six of Ole Miss' wins have come by double-digits, but only one of those teams are ranked higher than 189 in Kenpom's rankings (Auburn). In the four other games versus top 100 opponents, Ole Miss is 0-4 with losses to Alabama (27), LSU (24), Dayton (71) and Wichita State (78) – all by three or more points.
Florida is ranked 40th in Kenpom and has one win versus a top 100 team (LSU) and three losses to Alabama (27), Florida State (31), and Kentucky (43). Ole Miss is ranked 53rd, so this will be a big matchup for both teams in terms of not only rankings, a resume builder, but SEC seeding too. Florida is 2-2 in the SEC and Ole Miss 1-2. Ole Miss' only conference win was over Auburn, who is 0-4 in the SEC, 6-6 on the season and has one top 100 win themselves (Memphis) while being terrible versus top 100 teams (0-5).
Ole Miss is also 17-22 in SEC play under current Head Coach Kermit Davis and 41-34 versus all opponents in his third year. There common opponents with Florida this year were Alabama and LSU. Ole Miss lost by 18 at Alabama and 14 at home to LSU. Florida lost to Alabama by 15 on the road and beat LSU by four at home.
Ole Miss struggles beyond the arc, hitting 28.6% of their triples, 303rd in the country. On the road in Gainesville, a place where they have not had much success at all, I think Florida could pull away with their three-point barrage. The Gators are hitting 38.5% of their triples (27th) and 51.9% of their two-point field-goals (107th). Ole Miss defends the three-ball at the 219th-ranked clip (34.4%), a worrisome factor for a Rebels' team that has lost all four games by one or more possessions.
Florida has scored 83 (LSU), 90 (Boston College) and 91 (Vanderbilt) on three quality and semi-similar opponents to Ole Miss while putting up 71 on Alabama and Florida State. Florida scored at least 70 points in every game this season up until their 76-58 loss to Kentucky on Saturday. That also marked the Gators' first home loss of the season (2-1). Florida's last three opponents are 10-1 (90.9%) in the SEC to start the season.
This is a favorable matchup for Florida to get back on track after losing two-straight, especially since Florida has scored 70 or more points in seven-straight wins versus Ole Miss. I'm going to back that trend again as the Gators' Team Total is 70.5 (-106), right on-line with what Florida has been able to do versus Ole Miss.
TRENDS TO NOTE:
Ole Miss is 1-5 ATS in their last six road games.
Florida is 5-1 ATS in their last six games following an ATS loss.
Ole Miss is 0-5 ATS in their last five road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Over is 4-1 in Gators last five overall.
Over is 11-5 in Gators last 16 games following an ATS loss.
Game Pick: Florida -2.5 (3u), Florida Team Total Over 70.5 (1u)
Toledo (-10.5) vs. Eastern Michigan
Toledo is going for the first season sweep over Eastern Michigan (EMU) since the 2016-17 season. Toledo's 5-0 start in MAC-play is their best since 7-0 in 2006-07 while EMU is 1-2. These two teams met on Dec. 4, and Toledo won handily, 91-74. Toledo has won three of its last four home games versus EMU.
Toledo led by 16 at halftime and maintained their lead, outscoring Eastern Michigan 45-44 in the second half. Five different scorers for Toledo reached double-figures and four for EMU. In EMU's three losses, they allowed 83, 87 and a season-high 91 from Toledo.
EMU has lost the last two meetings and three of the last four against Toledo overall. In the previous two losses to Toledo, EMU was crushed by 17 and 22 points. In the past seven years, they met in the MAC Tourney four times, and Toledo won three.
The Rockets have won four of their five MAC games by double digits and rank second in the league with a plus-14.0 scoring margin. In Toledo's last win, a 97-78 victory over Ohio, six different players scored 10 or more points, and it's hard to see Toledo not repeating their first performance of the season against EMU, at least offensively.
EMU beat Akron 71-59 on Saturday, the Eagles' first game since Dec. 29. Since then, Toledo has played three games, scoring 70, 84 and 95 points versus MAC opponents. The Rockets won those games by two, 11 and 17 points. The difference between the two lies with Toledo's success from beyond the arc. The Rockets shoot 38.5% from deep (26th), and the Eagles allow opponents to hit and an alarming 67.0% from two (345th) and 35.8% from three (262nd).
Another red flag is EMU currently ranks 342nd in defensive effective field goal percentage (60.4%). Toledo shot 50.8% from the field in the first meeting, 45.45% in the first half and 57.14% in the second half. Toledo hit 11 total triples in the game, 35.5% in the game on 31 attempts. If they can capture a more considerable halftime lead than the first meeting, Toledo should roll in this matchup once again, and I love both the spread (-10.5) and Toledo Team Total (75.5). Both are in the -110 and -120 odds range on most sportsbooks. It's fair to sprinkle a little something on both in hopes of 2-0 or at the least splitting 1-1 on a bad beat.
TRENDS TO NOTE:
The home team is 22-9 ATS in the last 31 meetings in this series.
Eastern Michigan is 2-7-1 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
Eastern Michigan is 1-4 ATS in their last five road games.
Toledo is 6-0 ATS in their last six games overall and 11-2 on the year.
The Over is 5-1 in Eastern Michigan's last six overall.
The Over is 7-3 in Rockets' last 10 games following a straight-up win.
Game Pick: Toledo -10.5 (2u), Toledo Team Total Over 75.5 (1u)
USC (-14.5) vs. UC Riverside
USC should be set to obliterate this UC Riverside team tonight at home. UC Riverside has yet to play a top 100 team, so USC will be their first taste after playing Hawaii on Friday and Saturday, UC Riverside's first action since Dec. 10.
USC lost a heartbreaker to UConn (61-58) earlier in the season and a 10-point loss (72-62) at home to a talented and tough Colorado team. The Trojans have had six games versus top 100 opponents going 4-2 versus them with two double-digit wins and one nine-point victory. USC has also played a fair amount of teams outside the top 100 – four to be exact – going 4-0, winning by 8, 14, 23 and 35 points. They scored 76, 86, 91 and 95 in those games.
UC Riverside is 4-2 on the year and ranked 173rd in Kenpom. UC has yet to play a top 100 team. UC played two teams in the top 200, losing 66-60 to Pacific (138th) and a 57-42 win over Washington (141st). The four teams UC has beaten are a combined 8-26, with three of those wins coming versus non-Division I opponents, so really 5-26 excluding those games.
UC will be overmatched in the second half of this game, and the talent level will take over if it hasn't by halftime. USC is 5-0 all-time against UC Riverside, winning the last meeting 70-26 on Dec. 15, 2012. The Trojans are now 76-4 in its previous 80 games when holding opponents under 70 points dating back to Feb. 28, 2015. UC has scored 70 or more in three of their four wins, while USC has held three-of-four teams outside the top 100 under that total.
USC is ranked second in the country, holding its opponents to 35.7% from the field. Only three-of-10 teams cracked 40% versus them, and I highly doubt UC Riverside will be the fourth. The Trojans rank second in the Pac-12 with 77.1 points per game and a +13.4-scoring margin. I simply don't see many ways, if any, for UC Riverside to hang around and stay within 15 points of USC. The -15 line being such a big spread, I'll go 1u for it, but a live bet is probably going to occur here whether it's a spread or team total for one of the two squads.
TRENDS TO NOTE:
The favorite is 3-1-1 ATS in the last five meetings.
USC is 19-7 ATS in their last 26 games overall.
USC is 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games following a straight-up win.
UC Riverside is 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games vs. a team with a win % of .600 or better.
USC is 5-2 ATS in their last seven home games vs. a team with a road win % of .600 or better.
Game Pick: USC (1u)