The No. 11 Florida Gators (6-1) are set to face off against the Georgia Bulldogs (5-2) in a huge SEC East rivalry matchup that will be played on a neutral field in Jacksonville for a 20th consecutive season. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 EST at EverBank Field and will be televised nationally on CBS. Our Week 9 NCAAF betting lines show the Gators currently listed as a 3-point favorite with the total set at 46 points.
Both teams have had an extra week to prepare for this contest coming off a bye. The Bulldogs defeated Missouri at home 9-6 as a 15-point favorite in their last game, failing to cover the spread in a fourth straight game. Florida suffered their first loss of the season in a 28-35 defeat at LSU.
It just so happens that last year it was Georgia who came into this contest ranked No. 11 in the country and were a hefty 11.5-point favorite. The Gators stunned the Bulldogs 38-20 behind 418 rushing yards. It snapped a 3-game winning streak in the series by Georgia and also ended up being the difference in the Bulldogs winning the SEC East and playing in the SEC Championship Game.
Early Lean on Florida -3
There was a lot of concern with the Gators and what kind of impact the suspension of quarterback Will Grier would have on this team the rest of the way. While it came in a losing effort, I think backup Treon Harris provided plenty of reason to be optimistic on Florida going forward. Harris completed 17 of 32 attempts for 271 yards and 2 touchdowns in his first start in place of Grier. What’s even more impressive is he did it in one of the most hostile environments in all of college football.
The good news is that the loss of Grier and the Gators losing their last game, has kept this line low and I believe we are seeing some great value with Florida laying just a field goal. Georgia is actually the team with the more significant injury with the loss of star running back Nick Chubb. The Bulldogs managed just 120 yards on 45 attempts against Missouri (2.7 yards/carry) and as a team only managed 298 yards.
Florida is 11-2 ATS in their last 13 road games off a conference loss by 7 points or less and 26-12 ATS in their last 38 road games when coming off a bye.
With a strong running game to force the defense to load the box, I think Georgia’s offense is going to find it very difficult to get anything going against this stingy Florida defense that is going to be playing with a chip on their shoulder after giving up 35 points to LSU. I just don’t trust Bulldogs quarterback Greyson Lambert to play at the level needed for Georgia to have success offensively.
Georgia is a team that also has a history of not showing up in the big games. Just look at their 10-38 home loss against Alabama earlier this season. In fact, they haven’t really beat anybody noteworthy this season. Their 5 wins have come against ULM, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Southern and Missouri. Florida on the other hand has only lost once all season and it came on the road against a damn good LSU team. They also have that impressive 38-10 win over Ole Miss to go along with a victory against Tennessee. I wouldn’t be shocked if the game was close, but in the end I expect the Gators to pull away in the 2nd half for a comfortable 7-10 points win.
Florida is 11-2 ATS in their last 13 road games off a conference loss by 7 points or less and 26-12 ATS in their last 38 road games when coming off a bye. Georgia on the other hand is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games against a team with a winning record and 0-5 ATS in their last 5 when coming off a bye. It’s also worth noting the Gators are 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings in the series.