Florida Gators vs. Vanderbilt Commodores betting odds, prediction, preview

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Florida is the new No. 1 team in college basketball and they get a road test at Vanderbilt. The odds suggest the Gators will win but the prediction is for Vandy to cover the spread.

With a 19-0 SU record over their last 19 games, the Florida Gators have taken over the No. 1 spot in the AP Top 25 Poll.

With all eyes now on the senior-rich Gators to see how they do in the top spot, Florida will head out on the road to take on SEC rival Vanderbilt. Florida is an 8.5-point favorite at most college basketball betting shops monitored by OddsShark.com.

Since losing on the road to Connecticut back on December 2, the Gators are 19-0 SU and 7-9-2 ATS. Florida possesses one of the stingiest defenses in the country, ranking eighth in the nation in defense allowing only 58.7 points per game.

The Gators have been sharp on the road recently beating Tennessee 67-58 as a 2-point favorite and Kentucky 69-59 as a 2.5-point underdog. Overall, Florida is a pedestrian 4-3-2 ATS on the road this season, per closing lines at 5Dimes.eu.

Vanderbilt has been playing well recently, compiling a 6-3 SU and 5-3-1 ATS record over its last nine games. Over that stretch, the Commodores picked up outright upsets on the road against Texas A&M, Georgia and Auburn and one at home over Tennessee.

Like Florida, Vanderbilt's game plan is built around a solid defense that is allowing opponents 65.2 points per game. Nine of their past 10 games have rewarded UNDER bettors.

Since 2004, Florida is 14-5 SU and 12-7 ATS in its last 19 games against Vanderbilt. The Gators are 4-1 SU and ATS over their last five game against the Commodores including a 66-40 win as a 19-point home favorite in their last meeting.

With the way both of these teams play defense, scoring is likely to be at a premium Tuesday night. The total has gone UNDER in each of Vanderbilt's last four games and in nine of its last 10, while the total has gone UNDER in six of Florida's last nine games.

Vanderbilt's offense isn't likely to give Florida's defense much trouble averaging only 66.5 PPG.

Vanderbilt doesn't appear to have the personnel to pull off an outright upset in this game. But with a good defensive performance and a lively home crowd, the Commodores could keep this one close and provide some drama as an 8.5-point home underdog.

Prediction: 64-58 Florida (Gators win but feel the pressure of being No. 1 and don't cover spread)

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