The #9 overall Florida Gators (3-0) host the Tennessee Volunteers (1-2) on Saturday for an SEC showdown from Gainesville. Kickoff is set for 12:00 PM EST on Saturday, September 21st at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and the game will be televised on ESPN.
Taking a look at the Week 4 college football odds, Florida opened as a 14-point home favorite earlier this week. That line has yet to move at all after early betting, as the Gators are currently listed at -14. The total for the game is sitting at 49 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Florida vs Tennessee
Tennessee finally won their first game of the season in Week 3, demolishing Chattanooga 45-0 at home. The Vols took a 38-0 lead into the locker room at halftime before putting it on cruise control over the final two quarters with the game basically already decided. QB Jarrett Guarantano only made eight passing attempts but still managed to pass for 142 yards and three touchdowns. RB Ty Chandler led the way on the ground, rushing for 46 yards and a touchdown. Three Tennessee receivers also found the end zone, as Marquez Callaway, Cedric Tillman, and Jauan Jennings all scored in the victory. As a whole, the offense gained over 300 total yards of offense and scored five touchdowns.
The Volunteers defense looked good in Week 3 after giving up 67 points combined over their first two games of the season. Tennessee held the Mocs scoreless for the duration of the contest and barely gave up more than 200 total yards of offense.
Florida stayed perfect to start the season after a thrilling 29-21 comeback victory on the road over Kentucky. The Gators trailed 21-10 heading into the 4th quarter before they exploded for 19 unanswered points over the final 15 minutes. QB Feleipe Franks didn’t have his best game through the air, going 12/17 for 174 yards and a touchdown while also giving up an interception. However, the biggest story involving Franks was the dislocated ankle he suffered at the very end of the third quarter. Head Coach Dan Mullen confirmed on Monday that Franks would be out for the remainder of the season, leaving backup Kyle Trask as the new starter. Trask performed well after entering the game against the Wildcats, as he was under center for the entirety of Florida’s huge fourth quarter rally. Josh Hammond had a massive game on the ground, as his one carry resulted in a 76-yard touchdown. WR Van Jefferson lead the way for the receiving corps, hauling in seven passes for 93 yards.
The Gators defense didn’t look all that great over the first three quarters but showed up when it mattered most, holding Kentucky scoreless in the fourth quarter. Florida caused several extremely important turnovers to help turn the tide late, racking up three interceptions and holding Wildcats QB Sawyer Smith under 300 yards.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Tennessee +14
While I am pretty confident that the Gators should win this game outright with relative ease, I don’t feel comfortable laying two full touchdowns in this particular spot. First, I think it’s prudent to take a “wait and see” approach in regards to new starting quarterback Kyle Trask. Yes, Trask performed admirably after entering the game for Franks for the fourth quarter against Kentucky. He certainly looks capable of leading the offense moving forward and should help keep Florida inside of the AP Top-25. However, outside of a lopsided victory over TN-Martin, the Gators offense has struggled with consistency a little bit. They beat Miami by just four points in Week 1 and probably should have lost to the Wildcats last weekend after scoring just ten points over the first three quarters.
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Tennessee should also have a bit more confidence after finally winning their first game of the season. An argument could easily be made that the Vols record should be much different through three weeks after losing to BYU in overtime in Week 2 and giving up a 4th quarter lead against Georgia State in Week 1. While there is no doubt that Florida is the better team in this matchup, I’d rather have the 14-points in my pocket in what very well could be a tightly contested divisional game. Throw in the fact that the Gators offense is playing their first game with a new starter at quarterback and I’m more than happy to take Tennessee on Saturday afternoon – give me the Vols.