Before the season, not many could have predicted that Florida would be the ranked team in this matchup. The Gators are looking to bounce back after their first loss of the season and a week off, while Georgia is still hoping to find an identity after three straight poor performances in SEC play. The Gators sat as a -3 point road favorite as of Monday at mybookie.ag.
The most important thing for Florida and bettors is that Treon Harris looked capable in his first start of the year at LSU. While he wasn’t amazing, Harris did enough to keep the Gators around and have a chance against a Top 10 team on the road. Can he keep that up?
Things haven’t been great for Georgia, they lost back-to-back Games as well as Nick Chubb for the season. Sure, the Bulldogs are coming off a win, but beating Missouri 9-6 probably won’t instill too much confidence in this team. With quarterback Greyson LAmbert struggling and Chubb gone, they’ll need to win with defense more often than not.
Florida’s defense was key in their first six wins, but LSU had their number, or mainly Leonard Fournette. The Heisman favorite gashed the Gators for 180 yards and a couple touchdowns in Florida’s only loss of the year. Georgia has the ability to do that, but it won’t be as likely. Sony Michel is Georgia’s lead back, who’s averaging 2.4 less yards per carry than Chubb averaged through almost the same number of carries. Even if that isn’t working, Georgia will run the ball a ton. LAmbert hasn’t done a whole lot recently with two TDs and two INTs in the last three Games combined. In the two losses, he completed less than 50% of his passes, which could be the case against the Gators.
Georgia’s defense will need to step up in order to help an offense that will likely struggle. Treon Harris is worse than Will Grier, although he will try and turn that statement around in the final half of the year. Harris had a real accuracy issue last year and went 17-of-32 against LSU. Because of Harris, Florida will have the same basic strategy as Georgia, run the ball as much as possible. Kelvin Taylor is a good running back, but is only averaging 3.6 yards per carry for the year with eight touchdowns. The Bulldogs will likely stack the box and make Harris beat them through the air.
With Florida having the better defense, they are listed as favorites on the road. However, don’t forget about the struggles that the Gators have had in wins over Kentucky and Tennessee, or even a 21-3 win against Missouri. This would be a pretty sensible upset pick with the Bulldogs playing at home against a backup quarterback. Should Treon Harris be a favorite on the road against a team with a winning record?
The spread may have something to do with last year’s result when Florida won 38-20 as a double-digit underdog with Harris at quarterback. Kelvin Taylor and Matt Jones rushed for a combined 389 yards and Four touchdowns in that win. Georgia will obviously look to stop that run Game.
The Gators are 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings between these teams and the Bulldogs have failed to cover in Four straight overall. Both teams have trends that point to the under in this one, including the under being 5-0 in Georgia’s last five vs. teams with a winning record.
In some rivalry series, we see a back and forth trend with teams trading wins. In this one, over the last half a dozen years anyway, one team has held serve for a few years. Well, after Georgia won 2011 thru 2013, the Gators came up with a big win last year.
We see the trend continuing with another Gator win. We have them as the superior team this year and winning by at least 10. It’s the Gator DEFENSE that should be the difference here. Florida -3