College Football Odds & Picks for Missouri at Florida: Bet the Over in SEC Showdown
Mark Brown/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyle Trask.
- Missouri will travel to Gainesville to take on a Florida squad that has been riddled by COVID-19 for the past three weeks.
- To add to Florida's difficulties, its defense hasn't played up to its standard this season.
- Missouri is also in the same boat. With two weak defenses, Darin Gardner explains why he's looking at the over for his betting pick for this game.
Missouri at Florida Odds
|Missouri Odds||+14 [BET NOW]|
|Florida Odds||-14 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||N/A [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||64 [BET NOW]|
|Time||Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET|
The Florida Gators will take the field on Saturday after a three-week layoff due to a COVID-19 outbreak among the team.
The last time we saw the Gators, they allowed Texas A&M to go up and down the field at will in a 41-38 loss in College Station.
Florida has been unable to figure out its defensive struggles all season long and now has to deal with a long break and will be without some players due to contact tracing.
Missouri, meanwhile, comes into Saturday riding a two-game win streak after victories over LSU and Kentucky.
The Gators are hoping the layoff will not interrupt the chemistry of an offense that has been one of the best in the nation thus far, and Missouri will be looking to catch the Gators sleeping in their first game since October 10.
No matter how you look at it, Florida has fielded one of the best offenses in the country this season. The Gators rank sixth in Offensive Expected Points Added, seventh in Success Rate, and fourth in percentage of plays gaining 20+ yards (10.3%).
Additionally, the Gators have been incredibly efficient after driving past the opponent 40-yard line, regularly scoring touchdowns rather than having to settle for field goals. Florida ranks third in that department, averaging six points per drive past the opponents’ 40-yard line.
Quarterback Kyle Trask has played his way into the Heisman conversation this season, as he ranks sixth in EPA per pass and sixth in adjusted yards per attempt.
The Gators have also excelled on the offensive line, which was easily the biggest weakness of this team in 2019. After adding a transfer and allowing some young players to develop in the system, the offensive line ranks 22nd in Sack Rate, 16th in Line Yards, and seventh in Stuff Rate.
Simply put, this defense has been horrendous, especially by Florida’s standards. Out of 101 teams that have played a game in 2020, the Gator defense ranks 91st in EPA and 90th in Success Rate.
At the root of this issue is players having to play out of position, especially along the defensive line. Coach Dan Mullen took over the program in 2018, and among the 2018 and 2019 recruiting classes combined, the Gators only signed one defensive tackle. Because of that, Florida is incredibly thin inside and has been forced to play defensive end Zachary Carter at defensive tackle. The severe lack of size has really crippled the Florida rushing defense. It ranks 97th in Rushing Success Rate Allowed, 74th in Line Yards, 84th in Stuff Rate, and 70th in Havoc generated by the front seven.
Florida is also in desperate need of consistency at safety and nickel. Shawn Davis has established himself as a starter at safety, but the Gators have yet to find a reliable second safety or a reliable player at the nickel position. With the team facilities being shut down for two weeks and knowing that players will be out due to contact tracing, I cannot see a lot of these defensive issues getting fixed by Saturday.
Missouri brought in former Appalachian State head coach Eli Drinkwitz to run the program, and the move has worked out well for the Tigers thus far.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Connor Bazelak has been quite effective since earning the starting quarterback slot. He currently ranks ninth in EPA per pass attempt this season. The offense, as a whole, has been efficient and owns a 45-point outing in a victory over LSU. Missouri ranks 32nd in Success Rate and 26th in Passing Success Rate.
Additionally, the Tigers have done well in keeping their quarterback clean, coming in at 19th in Sack Rate. Bazelak should have another relatively clean day this week, as he’s facing a defense that ranks 58th in Sack Rate.
While Missouri has fielded an efficient offense, the defense has not performed nearly as well as the 2019 unit.
The Tigers rank 87th in EPA on the defensive side of the ball, 61st in Success Rate, and 72nd in Havoc.
Missouri also struggles mightily in defending explosive plays, allowing 8.1% of opponent plays to go at least 20 yards, which ranks 80th in the country.
One area that greatly benefits the Gators in this matchup is finishing drives when Florida’s offense is on the field. As previously mentioned, Florida ranks third in the nation in points per trip past the opponent 40-yard line. Missouri defense ranks 95th in that same category. When the Gators get past the 40, expect more touchdowns than field goals.
Betting Analysis & Pick
I project this total at 68.8, so I like the over here. The model does not project this to be a particularly fast-paced game but still projects a score of about 40-28 in favor of Florida.
The large spread indicates a negative game script for Missouri, and I like its matchup against the Florida defense while playing from behind. Missouri’s offensive line should have the advantage against Florida’s defensive line on passing plays, and Florida’s secondary — which ranks 79th in EPA versus the pass — has been a mess all season long. Provided there’s not a COVID-19 cluster among any of the Florida offensive units, I think there’s an edge on the over at its current number.
Pick: Over 61.5