Florida vs Florida State Odds, Picks: How to Bet This In-State Rivalry
James Gilbert/Getty Images. Pictured: Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis.
Florida vs Florida State Odds
-115o / -105u
|Florida State Odds|
-115o / -105u
The Florida Gators had a shot to close the regular season at 8-4 in head coach Billy Napier's first season.
Last week, Florida traveled to Nashville to battle the Vanderbilt Commodores, who had not beaten Florida at home since 1988. Florida entered as a 14-point favorite, but it lost outright, 31-24.
The Gators dropped to 6-5 overall and end the year 3-5 in SEC play. However, that may be forgiven if the Gators can end the year with a victory over arch-rival Florida State.
Florida State is ending its season as one of the hottest teams in the country. It beat Louisana last week, 49-17, for its fourth straight victory. The Seminoles have scored at least 38 points in each of their last four games as it moved to 8-3 overall.
Florida State beat in-state rival Miami, 45-3, a few weeks ago, and it will now look to complete the sweep against the Gators.
This series began in 1958, and this year's matchup will be the first in series history played on a non-Saturday. Florida leads the all-time series, 37-26-2, and has won the last three meetings, including a 24-21 victory in Gainesville last year.
However, Florida State now enters as a 9.5 favorite. Can the Seminoles end their losing streak to the rival Gators and cover in the process?
The Gators are led offensively by electric quarterback Anthony Richardson. This could be Richardson's last regular-season start, as he's a potential first-round pick if he declares for the upcoming NFL Draft.
Interested teams will want Richardson for his potential, as he's completing just 55.7% of his passes. However, he has a big-time arm and has thrown 14 touchdown passes to eight interceptions this season.
Richardson adds to a diverse Florida rushing attack with his elite athleticism as well. He has run for 609 yards and is tied for the team lead with nine touchdowns on the ground.
Louisiana transfer Montrell Johnson leads the team with 742 rushing yards and nine touchdowns on 5.8 yards per carry. Freshman Trevor Etienne has posted 576 rushing yards and averages 6.2 yards per carry.
Florida averaged 332.5 yards on the ground during its two-game winning streak over Texas A&M and South Carolina before the loss to Vanderbilt. However, it ran for just 45 yards last week.
For the season, the Gators average 208.9 rushing yards per game to rank 15th in the FBS.
Florida has been dealing with some injuries in its wide receiver corps.
Xzavier Henderson leads the team with 38 receptions, but he missed last game with a lower-body injury. Justin Shorter leads the team with 577 receiving yards, while Ricky Pearsall has 24 receptions for 448 yards and three touchdowns. Pearsall left early last game with a lower-body injury and did not return. Henderson and Pearsall are questionable this week.
However, Florida's biggest loss came on the defensive side of the ball. Linebacker Ventrell Miller was ejected in the second half for targeting and will miss the first half this week. Miller ranks second on the team with 73 tackles and is tied for the team lead with eight tackles for loss.
Florida already had a tough task in defending Florida State dual-threat quarterback Jordan Travis, as it struggled last week against Vanderbilt's Mike Wright.
Florida ranks 94th in both Rushing Success Rate Allowed and Passing Success Rate. The Gators are also 102nd in Havoc and tied for 91st in sacks. The Gators don't have a defender with more than four sacks.
Head coach Mike Norvell won just eight games in his first two years in Tallahassee and has already matched that total this season.
He has built one of the most balanced teams in the country. Florida State ranks 16th in the FBS total offense (473.7 yards per game) and 23rd in scoring offense at 35.4 points per game. It's also 11th in total defense (293.4 YPG) and 13th in scoring defense, allowing 18 points per game.
The offense is led by junior quarterback Travis, who is one of the most improved passers in the country this season. He's completing 65.4% of his passes and has thrown for 2,526 yards, 21 touchdowns and four interceptions while also adding 284 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.
Travis ranks sixth nationally in QBR this season.
Florida State ranks 14th nationally with 217 rushing yards per game and ninth in Rushing Success Rate.
Oregon transfer Trey Benson leads the team with 854 yards rushing and six touchdowns on 7.1 yards per carry. Treshaun Ward has ranked up 538 yards and five touchdowns on the ground on 6.6 yards per carry.
Lawrance Toafili adds 422 yards and five touchdowns this season.
Florida State also has a deep group of pass-catchers with eight receivers recording double-digit receptions.
Arizona State transfer Johnny Wilson leads the way with 33 receptions for 649 yards and five touchdowns. He's a matchup nightmare in the red zone with his 6-foot-7 frame.
Ontaria Wilson has 24 receptions for 392 yards and three touchdowns, most notably his two-touchdown performance against LSU. Oregon transfer Mycah Pittman has also hauled in 28 passes for 305 yards and three scores.
Defending the pass is the strength of Florida State's defense. The Seminoles rank fourth in passing yards allowed at 155.4 yards per game, 35th in coverage grade 48th in Passing Success Rate Allowed and 37th in pass-rush grade.
Florida State is also tied for 13th nationally with 33 sacks.
Eight different players have at least two sacks, led by Albany transfer Jared Verse with 7.5. It will be fun to watch Verse — who is also a potential first-round NFL Draft pick —chase after a fellow highly-touted prospect in Richardson.
Florida vs Florida State Matchup Analysis
Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Florida and Florida State match up statistically:
Florida Offense vs. Florida State Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Florida State Offense vs. Florida Defense
|** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)|
Pace of Play / Other
|SP+ Special Teams||63||114|
|Seconds per Play||26.8 (76)||27.2 (85)|
|Rush Rate||55.4% (56)||56.9% (40)|
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.
Florida vs Florida State Betting Pick
I expect Florida to give a solid effort against its rival, but I don't see it getting too many stops. In its biggest games this season, Florida has allowed 38 points to Tennessee, 45 points to LSU (which Florida State beat) and 42 points to Georgia.
Now, it must deal with a potent Florida State offense.
The Seminoles' offensive line should control the line of scrimmage in this game. Travis been sacked just 11 times this season, and Florida State's ground attack will be difficult for Florida to handle as well.
Florida State may lean on the run game a little more with rain expected in the forecast. When it crosses the 40-yard line, it should score touchdowns with ease, as Florida ranks 107th in Finishing Drives.
On the other side, Florida will want to run the ball to slow down Florida State's pass rush.
If that proves ineffective once again, it'll put more pressure on Richardson. He may press a bit if he's dealing with an undermanned wide receiver group again.
I like Florida State to win by double digits at home. A line of -9.5 would be preferred, but I would play it up to -10.5 points.
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