USF vs. Florida Odds, Picks: College Football Betting Guide for This Sunshine State Battle
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images. Pictured: Anthony Richardson (Florida)
- One week after upsetting Utah, Florida had a letdown game against Kentucky in its SEC opener.
- Now the Gators will face off against in-state opponent USF, which is also 1-1 this season.
- How long will the Gators have their foots on the gas pedal? That will decide if they cover or not, according to our expert Thomas Schlarp.
USF vs. Florida Odds
It doesn't take long to go from Heisman-hopeful to the other end of a Heisman humbling. Just ask Florida's Anthony Richardson, who came crashing back down to Earth in the Gators' loss to Kentucky, only a week removed from upsetting a top-10 Utah team.
Richardson and the Gators have an opportunity for a get-right game on Saturday against South Florida, a rematch of a 2021 contest that the Gators won 42-20.
Will Billy Napier's Florida team iron out the flaws from last week, or is South Florida catching the Gators in the classic sandwich spot?
Third-year head coach Jeff Scott picked up just his fourth win (three of which are over FCS opponents) with the Bulls last week in their 42-20 victory over Howard.
South Florida's run game got the job done, as the Bulls rushed for 205 yards and six touchdowns. South Florida returned all four of its top rushers from 2021 and is led by sophomore Brian Battie, who rushed for 105 yards and a touchdown on just seven carries against Howard.
The Bulls leaned on their run game last year, but were expected to receive an upgrade at quarterback this season in the arrival of Baylor transfer Gerry Bohanon.
While Bohanon passed for over 2,200 yards and 18 touchdowns last season with the Bears, he hasn't had much success with his new team. South Florida is averaging 195.5 yards per game through the air — which ranks 100th in the country — and is 115th in Pass Success Rate.
The Bulls have been equally poor defending the pass. South Florida is 93rd in passing defense and has a Defensive Pass Success Rate rank of 117.
Fortunately for South Florida, the Gators have yet to hit their stride throwing the ball.
However, new defensive coordinator Bob Shoop has inherited a run defense that ranked 90th in Run Success Rate last season. Through two games, the Bulls are allowing 241.0 yards per game on the ground (127th in the country), so it could be a long day trying to consistently stop the Gators.
This'll be an easy spot for the Gators to have a letdown, as they're playing the only unranked opponent in their first four games and have a trip to Neyland Stadium looming next weekend.
After scoring three touchdowns on the ground while leading the upset against Utah in Week 1, Richardson mustered just 147 yards of total offense, zero touchdowns and two interceptions against Kentucky in Week 2. Development is never linear for a young quarterback making just his fourth career start.
Aside from several errant throws on Richardson's end, the biggest week-to-week change from Florida was its success — or lack thereof — in the run game.
The Gators bullied a physical Utah defensive line for 283 yards and 7.5 yards per carry, but managed only 136 yards against Kentucky, 40 of which came on one run.
The good news for the Gators is South Florida is one of the worst teams in the country at stopping the run and the likely blowout means Florida will have plenty of opportunity to build confidence on the ground.
That said, the Florida defensive line hasn't exactly been outstanding in its own right. The Gators' run defense, which ranks 116th and 91st in Defensive Havoc and Defensive Line Yards, respectively, has been unable to put a full four quarters together.
Kentucky and Utah were both held to under 50 yards rushing in the first half, only to have the Utes finish with 225 yards and for Kentucky's Kavosiey Smoke to go off for 70 yards in the final two quarters.
USF vs. Florida Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how USF and Florida match up statistically:
USF Offense vs. Florida Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Florida Offense vs. USF Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||119||29|
|Seconds per Play||25.1 (43)||25.5 (53)|
|Rush Rate||—||53.9% (60)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
USF vs. Florida Betting Pick
This game will come down to how much Napier wants to show the country that Week 2 was a one-off and not a trend. In a vacuum, the Gators are 24.5 points better than South Florida, but how long will Napier keep his foot on the gas with an important SEC East matchup against Tennessee on deck?
There's been a significant defensive drop-off when Florida's starters aren't on the field, and that's likely to be a factor here when the Gators are up big after three quarters.
Let's also not forget the Gators were up 35-3 last year against South Florida, only to win 42-20.
I think Richardson rebounds nicely and has a big day using his legs, but South Florida marches down the field late to keep this within the number.
Action Network projections have this closer to a 17-point game, so give me the Bulls as Florida calls the dogs off early to rest for Tennessee.