Georgia vs. Florida Betting Preview: Odds, Picks, Preview for College Football Week 9 SEC Matchup

Georgia vs. Florida Betting Preview: Odds, Picks, Preview for College Football Week 9 SEC Matchup article feature image
Credit:

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images. Pictured: The Georgia Bulldogs and Florida Gators.

  • No. 1 Georgia and its elite defense travels to Jacksonville to take on Florida in a critical SEC clash.
  • Will this finally be the week that Anthony Richardson takes over at quarterback for the Gators?
  • Collin Wilson talks about Richardson, previews the matchup and offers up his best bet.

Georgia vs. Florida Odds

Saturday, Oct. 30
3:30 p.m. ET
CBS
Georgia Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-14
-105
51
-110o / -110u
-600
Florida Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+14
-115
51
-110o / -110u
+430
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Another edition of the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party is set to kick from Jacksonville on Saturday.

Dan Mullen notched his first victory over Kirby Smart last season, cruising to a 16-point victory.

The dynamics of the Gators’ offense have completely changed, while the Georgia defense is putting up all-time numbers at the FBS level.

As for changing offenses, the battle between Stetson Bennett and a healed JT Daniels remains at quarterback for the Bulldogs. Smart indicated practice would be the grounds for identifying a starter and not game play.

If Daniels is at full strength, then Georgia could go vertical against the Gators.

As for Florida, this could be the week Anthony Richardson takes over starting duties from Emory Jones at quarterback. Smart is aware of the change and is coaching the defense for both, as each of the Gators’ quarterbacks “run the same package.”


Georgia Bulldogs

The toughest part in Georgia’s advanced analytics is poking a hole in the numbers.

Smart and defensive coordinator Dan Lanning have created a scheme that runs 3-3-5 on standard downs and 2-4-5 on passing downs with a 23% blitz rate.

The Bulldogs are the top overall defense in tackling, coverage and Finishing Drives. Not only is Georgia the top team in strength of record, but the Bulldogs are also the top team in game control and average win probability rank.

This is just not even fair. Jordan Davis (#99) splits the double team and ends this play. pic.twitter.com/Fyf8m5iQ4e

— Ben Glassmire (@BenGlassmireNFL) October 25, 2021

Georgia owns a Defensive Stuff Rate ranking of 21st in the country, thanks in part to Jordan Davis filling the gaps. No matter who is under center for the Gators, expect the zone-read option to be mobile outside the tackles.

The issue is that no offense has had success against Georgia, with opponents creating just two explosive drives in 83 attempts and two-plus first down drives 16% less than the national average.

If Florida is to sustain drives and create chunk plays, it would be the first offense to do so against this Bulldogs defense.

The biggest question on the offensive side of the ball is the availability of Daniels. Smart has hinted that when players are 100%, they return to the field — as targets Jermaine Burton and Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint should be ready for Florida.

Although Bennett has run the offense with efficiency, his passing beyond 20 yards has been limited to just 12 attempts for six big-time throws.

The market has been cool to react to the Daniels news. He was announced out before the Arkansas game, and the point spread fell just two points for the Bulldogs.

The reason for the modest reaction is the rushing attack led by Zamir White and James Cook.

Zamir White, grown man TD 💪#CFB pic.twitter.com/ScmdZuJnZE

— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 9, 2021

With Kendall Milton and Kenny McIntosh not expected to play, Georgia’s stable of running backs will rotate Daijun Edwards and a number of explosive freshmen.

Georgia should have plenty of success running the ball, as Florida ranks 125th in Defensive Stuff Rate and 66th in Line Yards.

The Bulldogs have a tempo rank of 115th, but by design, can eliminate opponents with the run and maintain the best rank in average third-down distance to go.

This is an uphill climb for the Florida defense.

The must-have app for college football bettors

The best NCAAF betting scoreboard

Free picks from proven pros

Live win probabilities for your bets

Florida Gators

“Continue to grow and develop” was the way Mullen summed up the quarterback battle between Jones and Richardson.

Florida is expected to play a two-quarterback system against Georgia and generally play with the hot hand.

Richardson was thought to be used in short-yardage situations but has recently flashed deep passing skills that could cause separation in the depth chart.

Florida redshirt freshman quarterback Anthony Richardson has some of the best tools in college football at the QB position.

The ball just explodes off his hands, he displayed perfect velocity and ball placement on this touchdown throw. pic.twitter.com/WJaJROCrwy

— Luca Sartirana (@SartiranaLuca) October 22, 2021

The offensive packages are essentially the same with either quarterback, as 89% of snaps come out of the 11 formations with a balanced run-pass ratio.

There is an uptick for Richardson in play-action passing — 43% of his dropbacks against Jones’ 34%. Mullen will ride the hot hand, as the Georgia defense is top six in every standard and passing down metric.

Florida’s defense is where this game will be won or lost. The Gators have been excellent at rushing the passer, boasting a rank of eighth, per PFF.

To get the quarterback throwing, containing the rush is where this game will be handicapped.

Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham continues to struggle in building a unit to contain the run, evidenced by LSU’s Tyrion Davis-Price rushing for 287 yards before Florida hit the bye week.

Tyrion
Davis

Price@LSUfootball | #GeauxTigerspic.twitter.com/ZdibnQ1KtC

— Collin Wilson (@_Collin1) October 16, 2021

Opponents are averaging five yards per play in standard down,s as the Gators cannot work behind the line scrimmage. Florida is 87th in tackles for loss and support a Havoc rank of 99th.

Grantham is in the last year of his deal with Florida and maintains that improvements will come after the bye week. If a tackling grade of 93rd doesn’t improve, plenty of rushing attempts by Georgia may end up being explosive.


Georgia vs. Florida Matchup Analysis

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

Georgia Offense vs. Florida Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 59 88
Line Yards 45 66
Pass Success 33 32
Pass Blocking** 17 8
Big Play 34 71
Havoc 14 99
Finishing Drives 28 49
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Florida Offense vs. Georgia Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 12 5
Line Yards 10 10
Pass Success 52 1
Pass Blocking** 49 10
Big Play 10 6
Havoc 47 13
Finishing Drives 35 1
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 1 93
Coverage 1 113
Middle 8 18 18
SP+ Special Teams 30 50
Plays per Minute 115 73
Rush Rate 62.6% (17) 56.5% (56)

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


Georgia vs. Florida Betting Pick

For Florida to cover this spread, the offense will have to score. Georgia is the clear leader in Finishing Drives and special teams, leaving little space for the Gators to attack.

Mullen will create plenty of motion and move the pocket to find a way to attack the best defense in college football. Despite all of the love for the Georgia defense, it hasn’t faced many opponents that had the ability to utilize the vertical pass.

Auburn generated six explosive passes from the arm of Bo Nix, with a Success Rate above the national average in passing downs. Richardson has the tools to put explosive passes in the air if the ground game isn’t available.

Florida should be the first offense to score two touchdowns or more against the Bulldogs defense.

The Florida defense is where the handicap resides, as every offense has been successful at moving the chains and creating chunk yards on the ground.

The Action Network projection makes this total at 52, just above the key number of 51. Any news of Daniels under center only helps in the vertical passing game to obtain more available yards.

The side projection calls for Georgia -15, close to the market at 14.5. That leaves no value on the spread.

Pick: Over 51 or Better

How would you rate this article?