Florida State vs. Florida Odds & Picks: Why to Bet on Gators Even After Firing of Mullen

Florida State vs. Florida Odds & Picks: Why to Bet on Gators Even After Firing of Mullen article feature image
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James Gilbert/Getty Images. Pictured: rey Dean III (0) of the Florida Gators.

Florida State vs. Florida Odds

Saturday, Nov. 27
12 p.m. ET
ESPN
Florida State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+3
-105
59
-110o / -110u
+135
Florida Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-3
-115
59
-110o / -110u
-155
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Florida fired head coach Dan Mullen after it had three consecutive embarrassing performances against South Carolina, Samford and Missouri.

The Gators lost by 23 to South Carolina, allowed 52 to Samford and then lost to Missouri in overtime. One year after Mullen and the Gators played for an SEC title and came closest to beating national champion Alabama, the head coach is out of a job.

Regardless of what is happening at Florida, one of the more heated rivalries in all of college football is renewed on Saturday in The Swamp. Both teams are also fighting for bowl eligibility.

Florida State rallied from an 0-4 start and Mike Norvell seems to be turning the program around, slowly. Jordan Travis’ return at quarterback has sparked the offense and the Seminoles have won five of seven games with the only losses coming to Clemson and NC State.

You won’t find a better buy-low, sell-high spot this entire season than on Saturday in Gainesville, where the Gators will show effort with a chance at a bowl at home against a hated rival.

Florida State is improved, but Florida is the better team overall.


Florida State Seminoles

Florida State Offense

The season-long numbers for the FSU attack are weighed down by a few games that featured backup quarterback McKenzie Milton, who was largely ineffective as a passer.

The Seminoles are an explosive run offense — they rank 12th in Rushing Explosiveness on early downs — and that will be a major key against a Florida defense that has issues with tackling.

The Seminoles are 0-4 in games where Milton started. Travis threw for 250+ passing yards in each of the last two games against solid pass defenses in Miami and Boston College.

Florida State should be able to score points, but it won’t be able to hit the big plays through the air against a Gators secondary that should put in a better effort against a big rival.


Florida State Defense 

The Seminoles’ last two wins have been nothing short of impressive, beating both Miami with Tyler Van Dyke and Boston College with Phil Jurkovec in consecutive weeks.

Both are efficient passers from the pocket and were held in check for large parts of both games until the fourth quarter.

With that being said, Anthony Richardson will present a very different challenge for the ‘Noles defense, one that they have struggled against this season.

The two best running quarterbacks that the Seminoles have faced — Malik Cunningham of Louisville and Garrett Shrader of Syracuse — have diced them up on the ground.

Those games were back before the Seminoles started playing better, but some issues in the linebacking corps were exposed.

The Gators’ offensive line should be able to generate good push in this game, as they’ve done against better defenses like Alabama earlier this year.

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Florida Gators

Florida Offense

The biggest mismatch in the advanced stats sheet and matrix for this game is the Florida offensive explosiveness against the Seminoles. The Gators are 13th in Big Play offense in the entire country and the Seminoles are 62nd defensively.

But the problems for the ‘Noles run even deeper than that. In overall explosiveness, Florida is 47th offensively and FSU is 120th in defense, one of the 10 worst in the country at preventing huge gains and long scores.

Florida’s offense is even better at generating big plays on early downs, where the Gators rank 22nd in Standard Explosiveness and FSU is 96th at stopping that. The Gators have Success Rate edges on passing downs and edges in the trench, where Florida is 21st in Line Yards and FSU is 58th.

The Gators should have no problems at all moving the ball up and down the field with chunk plays against a Seminoles defense that hasn’t really stopped a good offense all year. Good run offenses like Syracuse and Louisville had zero issues moving the ball, and Florida shouldn’t either.

Richardson appears to be getting the start for the Gators and while he’s had issues with consistency, he’s a walking explosive play and should be able to exploit FSU’s questionable linebackers in space.


Florida Defense

Florida’s defense has been a nightmare for the better part of two years now and is a major reason Mullen is out of a job. They haven’t been able to stop anyone, including Samford, South Carolina and Missouri.

The strength of the FSU offense has been on the ground and the Gators’ defense has gotten pushed around this year up front. UF is 88th in Rushing Success Rate Allowed and 88th in Defensive Line Yards.

The unit as a whole produces very little Havoc in general, but given FSU’s poor Havoc metrics itself, the Gators might be able to force a turnover or two, or at least some negative plays to get Florida State behind the chains.

Even then, though, the Gators have struggled to get off the field on passing downs and the improvement of Travis as a passer this season certainly hurts their ability to get stops.

FSU’s pass blocking is pretty mediocre overall and that is a potential area where the Gators’ pass rush can force some mistakes by generating pressure, which they have done at an above-average rate this year.


Florida State vs. Florida Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Florida State and Florida match up statistically:

Florida State Offense vs. Florida Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 42 88
Line Yards 31 88
Pass Success 74 29
Pass Blocking** 57 19
Big Play 74 69
Havoc 108 92
Finishing Drives 28 69
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Florida Offense vs. Florida State Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 22 24
Line Yards 21 58
Pass Success 26 36
Pass Blocking** 51 41
Big Play 13 62
Havoc 58 30
Finishing Drives 32 33
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 12 75
Coverage 57 109
Middle 8 21 58
SP+ Special Teams 33 85
Plays per Minute 64 69
Rush Rate 57.4% (48) 54.6% (67)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.


Florida State vs. Florida Betting Pick

SP+ still rates the Gators as the 22nd-best team in the country, 22 spots ahead of the Seminoles. Our own Action Network power ratings sees these two teams much closer but still shows an edge to the Gators overall.

Florida still has significant offensive explosiveness edges against a defense for Florida State that has allowed big plays left and right all season long.

Florida may have defensive issues, but there’s not much in the numbers that suggests FSU will be able to stop the Gators on the ground or prevent big plays.

This line opened at UF -2, and despite 71% of bets coming in on a Florida State team that has “momentum,” the line is moving toward Florida.

For all of the Gators’ issues defensively with tackling and coverage, this is a buy-low spot on them and a chance to sell FSU’s recent improvements.

Anything a field goal or less is worth a play on Florida to win this and reach bowl eligibility.

Pick: Florida -3

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