Vanderbilt likely spent most of this week trying to remove their blowout loss to Alabama from their memory. The Commodores were absolutely throttled by the No. 1 team in the country and now have to travel to Florida to take on a team that’s been extremely lucky in two prior SEC East Games. The Gators, playing at home, were early -10 point favorites at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
It’s a month into the season, but it remains unclear to how the rest of the year will play out for these teams. Florida was dominated by Michigan in the opener and then used a Hail Mary and two late Fourth quarter touchdown drives to upend Tennessee and Kentucky, respectively. The Gators still have numerous issues on offense, but conveniently get another team that has similar problems.
Vandy was looking good coming off a win over K State and then the Alabama Game happened in which they lost 59-0. Florida clearly isn’t as good as Alabama, but any time you give up 496 rushing yards and fail to score, that’s not a good thing. Unless something crazy happens, this is going to be another low-scoring contest between these schools and it won’t be much different than last year’s 13-6 result. There weren’t many offensive positives to take away from that Game with neither team really doing much. The main reason Florida won was because of two interceptions thrown by Vandy quarterbacks as the Commodores actually outgained the Gators.
Starting with the favorite, it looks like Florida will have quarterback issues all season. Feleipe Franks won the Tennessee Game, but then LUke Del Rio came in and won the Game against Kentucky. And so, Del Rio was named the starter for this one, which probably won’t change much. The Gators will still want to run the ball as much as possible behind Malik Davis and there’s a decent chance he struggles. Florida won last year’s meeting, but only ran for 92 yards on 2.6 yards per carry.
It would appear that Vandy has more offensive potency than Florida, but with 14 points in the last two Games, it’s hard to confirm that. Quarterback Kyle Shurmur looked great in the first couple Games, but he threw for just 18 yards against ‘Bama and was just 9-for-25 passing against this Gators secondary last year. The surprising thing about last year’s Game is that Vandy actually found room on the ground as Ralph Webb ran for 110 yards. Unfortunately, the ‘Dores have struggled to run against any opponent early this season as Webb is averaging just 2.6 yards per carry and still hasn’t ran for more than 54 yards in a Game.
This could end up being the ugliest Game of the weekend with neither team reaching double-digits on the scoreboard. Florida is at home, but that doesn’t mean the offense is going to become good overnight. Favored by 10 points, the spread seems large for a team that could easily be 0-3 right now and doesn’t have an offense that’s going to blowout anyone.
Our Pick – More often than not, the best time to wager on a team is when they are coming off one of the most lopsided and embarrasing losses in recent memory. Such is the case with Vandy. They simply aren’t as bad as Alabama made them look and these kids and coaches have pride.
Just a glance at the total, currently 40 bet down from 44, should tell you the type of Game most expect. In a low scoring Game, getting +9 could loom large. Vanderbilt +9