Florida Football Predictions

The Florida Gators will be happy to get the 2014 season underway. Florida didn’t come close to the standard that we have grown accustomed to over the last 20+ years. The Gators finished up the 2013 campaign with an overall record of 4-8 (3-5 SEC). It was the first time that Florida failed to post a winning record since 1979 and their first time not going to a bowl since 1990.

Given the way that Florida recruits, it’s unlikely they will be down for long. There’s plenty of reason for them to be optimistic heading into 2014, as they get back 14 starters from last year, including quarterback Jeff Driskel, who was lost for the season just three games in. The only significant loss for Florida was defensive tackle Dominigue Easley, who was selected in the 1st round of the NFL Draft. However, that was the only player from Florida taken in the first 3 rounds.

Last Season
SEC (East)
ATS Record
Points For
Points Against
2014 Florida Gators Schedule
Date Opponent
Spread (Est.)
Win Chance
8/30 Idaho
9/6 Eastern Michigan
9/13 Kentucky
9/20 @ Alabama
10/4 @ Tennessee
10/11 LSU
10/18 Missouri
11/1 Georgia (Jacksonville)
11/8 @ Vanderbilt
11/15 South Carolina
11/22 Eastern Kentucky
11/29 @ Florida State
Estimated Wins: 6.91

One of Florida’s problems last year was they struggled in close games. Five of their eight losses came by 9-points or less and they were 0-4 in games decided by less than a touchdown. The only team to have worse record in games decided by 7-points or less was Temple at 0-5. You have to expect the Gators to be a lot stronger in 2014 in close games.

Another promising sign for Florida is that the schedule is a bit more favorable. While they draw Alabama and LSU out of the West, they host both Missouri and South Carolina. They also figure to benefit from an easy start to the season, that should see them build some confidence with a 3-0 start.

Last year the Gators finished -2 in the turnover department. While that’s not horrible, it’s only the second time in the last seven years that they failed to finish positive. Just two seasons ago they were +15. Chances are Florida will see a jump in this department, which should translate to more wins.

More good news for Florida in 2014. Last year the Gators had a poor 16.8 yards per play (ypp), which means they scored just 11.9 points for every 200 yards of total offense they gained (200/16.8=11.9). It was the worst mark Florida has posted in over 5 years. Even with they went just 7-6 back in 200, they still had a respectable 12.9 ypp. Florida’s offense should be much more efficient this year, especially with a returning starter at quarterback and six others starters back on that side of the ball.

Regular Season Win Total
SEC Championship Odds
National Championship Odds
15 to 1
55 to 1
Odds Courtesty of Bovada
Season Predictions

The SEC East is a bit of a mystery this year with Missouri, South Carolina and Georgia all coming in with a new starting quarterback, which should make it easier on the Gators bouncing back. I don’t think it’s going to come as a surprise that I have Florida finishing with a winning record, but there could be some disagreement with where I have them in ending the year in the division. While I have Georgia winning the East, I expect Florida to be right there and if they can beat the Bulldogs in Jacksonville on Nov. 1, they will have an excellent shot at playing in the SEC Championship Game for the first time since 2009.

The Gators OVER 7.5 is one of my stronger win total bets. Even though they have two likely losses with road games at Alabama and Florida State, every other game on the schedule is winnable. Basically what it’s going to come down to is the Gators going 4-2 in their six games against Tennessee, LSU, Missouri, Georgia, Vanderbilt and South Carolina, assuming Florida wins their other three non-conference games and at home against Kentucky.

Florida should also be a great team to back against the spread, as no one is going to be on them coming into 2014. Not only did they win just 4-games last year, they went awful 4-8 ATS. That was just the second time in the last seven years that Florida finished with a losing record against the spread. I’ll be on the Gators early and often.

2014 Projections
SEC (East)
SEC Record
Overall Record
Win Total Prediction
OVER 7.5
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