College Football Odds, Picks, Predictions for Florida vs. Missouri: Back the Underdog on Senior Day
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- Florida travels to Columbia to take on a Missouri team looking to clinch a bowl berth.
- Dan Mullen is on the hot seat in Gainesville as the Gators have a 5-5 record and have lost three of their last four games.
- Keg has a preview and prediction for this SEC clash.
Florida vs. Missouri Odds
-115o / -105u
-115o / -105u
The Gators will hit the road to take on the Missouri Tigers in their last SEC game of the season.
While the all-time series is tied at five, head coach Dan Mullen has had success against the Tigers — 3-1 in his career at Florida and 1-0 since Eli Drinkwitz took over in Columbia.
However, things are maybe as bad as they’ve ever been at Florida, specifically for Mullen. After a three-game SEC losing streak was capped off by a 70-52 victory over Samford, rumors started swirling around The Swamp about an eventual departure for Mullen.
A big win at Missouri could be his saving grace.
Florida has totaled 300 or more total yards and 200 or more passing yards in six straight games against Missouri. This game has also never been decided by less than 17 points.
Florida is also one of three FBS teams averaging over 490 yards and 200 rush yards per game.
Can Mullen cool down the hot seat with an impressive win this week?
Florida Defense Needs to Step Up
Florida has lost three straight road games and it has not covered the spread once in any of its four total road games. The offense has been productive however, averaging 29.4 points per game on 467 total yards.
The Gators have been led by quarterback Emory Jones, who has completed 68.5 percent of his passes for 2,139 yards. He’s also recorded 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Jacob Copeland and Justin Shorter have combined for 937 receiving yards and six touchdowns.
Jones also leads the running game for the Gators with 629 rushing yards, tacking on four touchdowns along the way. Florida is averaging 227.8 rushing yards per contest.
But things might not come as easy as they did against Samford. The Missouri defense ranks 47th in opponent pass yards per game.
The defense for the Gators has been somewhat lacking and showed just how bad it could be, allowing 52 points to Samford.
On the season, the Gators allow opponents to average 371 yards per game and 27.4 points per contest.
Tigers Eyeing Bowl Bid
The Tigers have been great at home, winning four of their last six. Since he arrived last year, Drinkwitz has made strides for the program, making a bowl game in his first year.
However, they were 5-5 last year and got to the bowl game due largely to COVID-19 scheduling, which came back to bite them as the Music City Bowl they were slated to play Iowa in was canceled.
With one more win, the Tigers could become bowl eligible again this year and against a Florida team that seems to be flying off the rails, that has to be at the front of Drinkwitz and his players’ minds.
Quarterback Connor Bazelak doesn’t get the credit he deserves as one of the top five quarterbacks in the SEC. This year, he has completed 67.9% of his passes while averaging 256.7 yards per game. He’s recorded 15 touchdowns but has struggled with accuracy, adding 10 interceptions.
But even with the interceptions, he ranks third among SEC quarterbacks in completions. Bazelak and his opposing quarterback this week, Jones, also align in many ways. Both are in the bottom three in sacks. However, they’re also tied for second in interceptions.
Missouri splits runs and passes relatively evenly, and when it does run, it has had success.
As a team, the Tigers average 5.1 yards per rush and 172 rushing yards per game. Leading the way has been Tyler Badie, who has racked up 12 touchdowns on the season and averages 124 rush yards per game.
The Missouri defense has been one of the worst, allowing 35.9 points and 453.3 yards per game. But it has been successful against passing attacks. Missouri ranks 47th in the country, limiting the opponent to just 220 passing yards per game.
Florida vs. Missouri Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Florida and Missouri match up statistically:
Florida Offense vs. Missouri Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Missouri Offense vs. Florida Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||118||4|
|Plays per Minute||70||55|
|Rush Rate||54.7% (64)||48.% (109)|
Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.
Florida vs. Missouri Betting Pick
Missouri is fighting for bowl eligibility while the Gators seem to be in a tailspin. The Gators’ players appear to have given up on Mullen, who is already halfway out the door by many accounts.
I think turnovers will also play a huge factor in this game. Florida has racked up 18 in total on the season, while Missouri has 11. But Florida has had at least one turnover against every SEC team it’s played.
Both teams have been awful defensively and Florida has been consistently productive on offense, but I can’t back the Gators in what I think will be the last straw in Mullen’s career at Florida.
Additionally, the Gators haven’t covered a spread on the road in their previous seven games. The last time Mullen won an SEC game on the road was December 2020.
That’s enough to convince me to back the Tigers as an underdog in their last home game of the season, which is also senior day and likely their last chance to secure bowl eligibility.
The spread opened at +7.5 and ballooned up to 9.5 before finally dropping back down to 8.5, where it currently sits. I’ll take one unit at 8.5 now and place a small wager on the Tigers to win outright.
But if the line gets to 10.5 or higher pre-game, I will be looking to add another unit.
Pick: Missouri +7.5 or better
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