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Conference play is starting to brew up and there's no place better to look for great games than the SEC. Both of these teams are coming off road losses, although the Gators had a bye last week so they're a little fresher, especially since Tennessee just had to deal with the Oregon offense. Florida is currently a -17 point favorite at GTBets.
There was a time when you could easily predict which sides the public would be all over each week. They would never back an underdog, especially a big underdog. But, that's what they are doing in this one. A whopping 79% of the early action on this game has come in on the underdog Vols at sportsbook.com, courtesy of their betting trends feature.
The Gators have won eight straight games in this meeting, but have not covered in two straight home matches, pushing back in 2011 and failing to cover by 20 points four years ago. As only 3.5-point favorites last year, the Gators went into Tennessee and won by 17 points. Now the Volunteers have a new QB and are dealing with the unfortunate situation explained above. What's the likelihood they can stay close in this game?
Florida's main issue might be its ability to stay focused. This was a team having hopes of playing in a BCS bowl, but a loss to Miami (FL) all but removed those thoughts unless they can go undefeated in SEC play. The Gators had zero trouble moving the ball on the Volunteers last season, rushing for 336 yards as a team and Jeff Driskel managed 219 yards and two TDs through the air. There's no reason to believe they can't do that again. Running back Mack Brown will look to come back from his poor 29-yard performance against the Hurricanes while Driskel should have no problems on ground or air. Quinton Dunbar and Trey Burton will cause havoc for the Tennessee secondary all day. That is if the Gators actually have to pass.
The Volunteers defense went from getting five turnovers in six plays against Western Kentucky, to getting thrashed for 59 points in three quarters against the Ducks. Florida's offense isn't as good, but they're not going to turn it over on every play.
To cover this game, Tennessee bettors have to have faith in quarterback Justin Worley. He hasn't been asked to do much this season as the Volunteers are running a ton with Rajion Neal and Marlin Lane. The two have a combined 455 yards and seven touchdowns through three games. The only problem is that the Gators have a strong rush defense. They contained Tennessee last season and also the Hurricanes a couple weeks ago. Worley has not thrown for more than 142 yards in the first three games. If Worley can't get things going, the result might be worse than last year's 37-20 Gators win last season.
Florida is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games following a bye, but surprisingly has not covered in five straight home games. The Vols don't have much going for them, most notably going just 4-11-1 ATS in its last 16 conference games. In this meeting, the road team is 4-0-1 ATS in the last five contests, but Tennessee is only 1-4-1 ATS in the last six overall.
We'll use the total for our pick in this one. Tenn/Fla UNDER 47
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