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Florida Gators

vs.

Tennessee Vols

SEC Football Pick

9/15/12

Tennessee hosts Florida Saturday in a huge early season SEC tilt. The Vols are favored for the first time in years, as 5 Dimes and Betonline both have the Vols favored by 3 with a total of 47 at SBG Global. The betting trends at the largest sportsbook in the world, sportsbook.ag show us that most of the action there has been on the Vols to the tune of over 70%.

With the two teams starting hot, this game has become a little bigger than it originally was at the start of the season. In fact, the Volunteers haven’t been favorites in this game since 2004. They now find themselves as slight home favorites. Tennessee comes into the match ranked No. 24 and Florida jumped to No. 18 in the AP Poll.

Tennessee beat North Carolina State at the Georgia Dome 35-21 in their first game and handled Georgia State 51-13 last weekend. Florida has had tougher games, although they had some trouble with Bowling Green in their first game. Most recently, the Gators travelled to Texas A&M and got a real nice 20-17 win against the SEC newcomers. After falling behind 17-7 in the first half, the Gator defense picked it up and didn’t allow the Aggies to score after the 7:01 mark in the second quarter.

Much like in the Tebow days, Florida is a run-first offense. Quarterback Jeff Driskel only has 276 passing yards and one TD, but has been extremely efficient, completing 71.9% of his passes. Instead, the Gators are led by Senior running back, Mike Gillislee. He has 38 carries for 231 yards and four TDs on the year. That’s 6.1 yards per carry for a workhorse. Gillislee has as many carries as Driskel has pass attempts. The Gators have 90 carries as a team. If you stop the running game, you stop Florida.

Tennessee hasn’t played a team like Florida yet, so it will be hard to tell, but so far the Volunteer defense has been solid allowing just 2.8 yards per carry in their first two games. Even with their defense stepping up so far, the Tennessee offense is what you have to watch out for.

Tyler Bray has been killer so far, completing 45-for-61 passes for 643 yards and six TDs. Their running game is also quality led by Rajion Neal who has 118 yards and three TDs for them. Marlin Lane has also gotten the job done on 17 carries for 106 yards.

In the receiving game, speedsters Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson lead the way. After tearing his ACL in 2011, Hunter will look to have a great season, already with 17 grabs, 219 yards and three TDs. Patterson has made some big plays as well totaling nine catches for 164 yards and a TD.

Florida has owned this series as of late, winning seven straight games. Florida was also a favorite in all of those games. This time around, the Volunteers are slight favorites.

The Gators are 4-1-1 ATS in their last six games in Tennessee, but again, this is a much different squad than they have faced in recent years. A lot of the numbers are also pointing to an under. For Florida, their last four games have been under and last five road games have been under. For the Volunteers, the under has hit 4-1-1 in their last six home games.

The Vols are loaded with returning starters and lettermen. This is Derek Dooley's 3rd year as head coach at Tennessee and it's safe to say that he is on the hot seat. It hasn't been so much a talent gap between these two that has caused the 7 game skid, rather the coaching carousel as Dooley took over as the 3rd coach in as many years, enough to set any program back. Things are more stable now and the Vols look ready to turn the corner. No better way to prove it than with a win over the Gators. Tennessee -3

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