Missouri vs. Florida Odds, Picks: Low-Scoring Clash Expected at ‘The Swamp’?

Missouri vs. Florida Odds, Picks: Low-Scoring Clash Expected at ‘The Swamp’? article feature image

James Gilbert/Getty Images. Pictured: Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson.

  • Missouri travels to "The Swamp" to take on Florida in an all-SEC tilt as part of college football's Week 6.
  • Both teams are searching for their first conference victories of the season.
  • Dan Keegan explains why you should expect a low-scoring, slow game.

Missouri vs. Florida Odds

Saturday, Oct. 8
12 p.m. ET
Missouri Odds
-110o / -110u
Florida Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

Missouri heads to the Swamp looking to rebound from a pair of tough losses to Auburn and Georgia. 

Florida plays host on a short week after handling FCS Eastern Washington in a game that was moved to Sunday due to Hurricane Ian.

Missouri has struggled against some of the SEC blue bloods since moving to the league in 2012, but not Florida. The Tigers have given the Gators fits, splitting the matchups, 5-5, including last year’s 24-23 overtime win.

Do the Tigers have enough in the tank coming off two emotional losses to pick up a road win, or will they be tamed by Billy Napier’s bunch?

Missouri Tigers

The Tigers are in the midst of an astonishing defensive turnaround. New defensive coordinator Blake Baker is authoring a complete rewrite of a stop unit that was one of the worst in FBS, let alone Power Five or the SEC, in 2021. 

Missouri’s defense finished 97th in SP+ in 2021 but sits at 40th so far in 2022. SP+ uses previous year data in its formula. For analytics that only include current-year data, Missouri’s defense ranks 10th in Beta_Rank and 21st in EPA/Play.

Baker deserves a lion’s share of the credit for scrapping a 2021 scheme that sat back, tried to control gaps and played “read and react” defense to disastrous results.

He also installed a scheme that attacks and creates Havoc. Missouri ranks 31st in the country in creating Havoc, and it comes from all levels — the linebackers and defensive backs have almost as many sacks (4) as the defensive line (6). 

Ty’Ron Hopper has been a bona fide star at linebacker after transferring from these Florida Gators in the offseason. Hopper leads the SEC in total tackles (29) and has a sack and a pick. He has been a chess piece for Baker, dropping into coverage, rushing the passer and stuffing the run. 

The turnaround up front has been nothing short of miraculous. Thanks to aggressive work in the portal, Missouri now sports a deep defensive line with 10 players averaging at least 10 snaps per game up front.

A season after defending the run like swinging saloon doors, Missouri’s run defense now ranks 33rd in Success Rate against the run.

As stout as the defensive line has been, the offense has been the opposite. Missouri’s offensive line has lost three anticipated starters, and the patchwork unit is having trouble creating running space. The offensive line ranks 80th in PFF’s run block grades, and against Georgia, Missouri’s backs were first hit at an average of -1.0 yard.

Head coach Eli Drinkwitz has a reputation as an offensive guru and is his own offensive coordinator and play-caller. But so far in 2022, that reputation has not been born out. Missouri’s offense ranks 66th in SP+ and 99th in EPA/Game.

Wide receiver Dominic Lovett is enjoying a breakout year. The true sophomore leads the SEC in receptions and yards and is by far the most important weapon for the Tigers.

Unfortunately for Mizzou, he turned his ankle on a gadget play last week against Georgia and is considered doubtful for Saturday. Missouri could be in trouble without his field-stretching and playmaking abilities.

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Florida Gators

Year 1 of the Billy Napier era in Gainesville has been a roller coaster. The Gators have alternated wins and losses each week. You’ve seen them squeak by Utah, struggle against Kentucky, survive a scare from USF, throw haymakers with Tennessee and dominate Eastern Washington. 

Despite the yo-yo results, some things are clear from the Gators' recipe. The passing game is inconsistent so far with precocious talent Anthony Richardson at quarterback, and the rushing attack is the strength of the offense. 

Richardson’s performance has been every bit as “strikes and gutters” as you can imagine.

In the loss to Kentucky, he failed to record a big-time throw and had three turnover-worthy plays. Against Tennessee, he flipped that to four and zero. He has posted overall PFF grades of 94.2, 82.1 and 78.6 but also has a 42.2 and a 40.6. 

If Missouri’s defense can control the ground game and force Richardson into difficult situations, it can limit Richardson with its Havoc-causing ways. On passing downs, Florida ranks 114th in creating explosive plays, and Missouri’s defense is 25th in limiting explosive plays in those situations. 

Florida’s ground game against Missouri’s run defense will be strength-on-strength and the key matchup in this game. The triple-headed running back attack of Trevor Etienne, Montrell Johnson and Nay’Quan Wright has combined for 658 yards and eight scores.

Controlling the game script is always critical, especially in a game of similarly-built foes. Florida’s rush offense ranks 10th overall in EPA, and Missouri’s rush defense is 24th.

Missouri vs. Florida Matchup Analysis

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

Missouri Offense vs. Florida Defense
Rush Success87123
Line Yards95116
Pass Success11594
Pass Blocking**5563
Finishing Drives8264
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Florida Offense vs. Missouri Defense
Rush Success3834
Line Yards1213
Pass Success8539
Pass Blocking**2831
Finishing Drives9757
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling8828
PFF Coverage7453
SP+ Special Teams5861
Seconds per Play26.3 (64)26.2 (60)
Rush Rate55.7% (50)54.0% (67)
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Missouri vs. Florida Betting Pick

Both offenses will be in for a long day in the Swamp. Missouri’s offense has struggled against everyone this season, and its defense will be able to limit an inconsistent Gators offense.

This won’t be a high-flying game: both teams are middle of the pack in terms of pace. According to Game on Paper, Missouri ranks 88th in calling pass plays per game, and Florida is 111th. Both teams will be looking to create running room in a rock fight.

The under is looking like the most tempting play here, and my faith in that play is furthered by one last nugget. Parker Fleming’s ECKEL stat measures how often teams create quality scoring chances and what they do with them. 

Missouri’s offense ranks 100th in Points per ECKEL, and Florida comes in at 82nd. Missouri’s defense is 19th in Points per ECKEL, while Florida sits at 29th. Both of these teams are bad at capitalizing on opportunities and good at standing up on defense in the red zone.

Expect slower, ground-driven drives, plenty of punts and red-zone stops. Two SEC teams will meet in Gainesville, and a Big Ten West game will break out.

In a game like that, getting 11 points is tempting and would be a solid play. But the best bet is under 55.

Pick: Under 55 (Play to 54)

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