Georgia-Florida Betting Guide: Bulldogs Still Getting Too Much Credit for Last Season
USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kirby Smart, Jake Fromm and Dan Mullen
Georgia-Florida Betting Pick, Odds
- Odds: Georgia -6.5
- Over/Under: 52
- Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
- TV: CBS
>> All odds as of 9 a.m. ET on Friday. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and track your bets.
The World’s Greatest Outdoor Cocktail Party is always wild off the field. Saturday, for the first time in six years, it should be good on it, too.
Georgia and Florida meet as Top-10 opponents in this rivalry game for the first time since 2012. There’s a lot on the line in the SEC, SEC East and College Football Playoff landscapes.
The winner of this game is in the driver’s seat to represent the East in Atlanta against Alabama (in all likelihood). The loser is knocked out of the College Football Playoff discussion thanks to a second loss.
Market Moves for Georgia-Florida
Georgia is taking in the slight majority of bets and dollars in this game — 55% and 56%, respectively. That hasn’t been enough to have a market-wide effect on the line, which is listed at either -6.5 or -7 depending on the book.
While they aren’t totally in agreement on a side, most bettors seem to be expecting a low-scoring game. The under has drawn 71% of bets, but the total hasn’t dropped, thanks to the 43% of dollars on the over.
Is Georgia Overvalued?
By Ken Barkley
This number is fascinating. I was really curious after the LSU game if Georgia was still going to receive all the credit it had been getting previously (basically credit from last season’s incredible performance and incoming recruiting). And the answer is a resounding yes.
Although the game is on a neutral field, which is different than Death Valley on a Saturday afternoon, the differences between these teams cannot possibly be this wide.
Let’s look at this season’s Georgia team in a vacuum. It handled South Carolina, which we now have some more information on, and that win is less valuable. Georgia struggled with Missouri for parts of that game, and was the recipient of a ton of careless Tiger turnovers. Georgia has struggled to protect the ball all season, which did the Bulldogs in big-time against LSU.
Florida has wins over LSU and Mississippi State that are better than anything Georgia has so far.
If this team wasn’t named Georgia, if it was called “Anonymous A&M,” I find it unlikely this number is 7. I’m not saying this number should be a pick or anything, just that there is a little bit of line value I think created by the fact that Georgia is Georgia. I made this game UGA -5.5.
Barkley’s Pick: I will be betting on Florida +7.
A Case for the Over
By Ken Barkley
What I find a little more interesting though is how many points may be scored here. Georgia gave up almost 400 total yards to Missouri and 475 to LSU in its two most challenging games so far.
Meanwhile, Florida’s defense has great numbers overall, but Georgia’s offense will be the best the Gators have faced by a pretty wide margin (depending on what you think of Mississippi State, which can’t really throw downfield whatsoever).
If Florida’s defensive numbers are inflated, and Georgia’s defense has been giving up a ton of yards, there is probably some value in the total, which I’ve seen in the low 50s. I’d lean over there.
Trench Battle Favors Florida
I certainly agree with Ken on the over 52. My projections make this 56, and keep in mind that this Georgia defense that got pushed around by Missouri while Florida was able to put up a ton of points quickly on a Vanderbilt team that is decent against explosiveness.
As for the side, I haven’t been able to find a stat to exploit. I have this game UGA -10, while S&P+ is -4 and FPI is at -7. Georgia’s big problem was LSU going uptempo, and no substitutions could be made on defense. Florida is 69th in adjusted pace with almost 66 plays per game, which is below-average FBS tempo. If Florida goes uptempo like LSU, then it will be a first for the Gators.
There is nothing explosive about Florida’s offense or defense, but the Gators are 10th in Havoc to Georgia’s 86th ranking in overall Havoc. A closer inspection of Georgia’s defensive line shows a Havoc rating of 125th. The Bulldogs also rank 101st in sack rate defensively. This is a team that can be run on and isn’t getting to the quarterback. It’s gotten pushed around in the trenches.
On the flip side of the ball, Jake Fromm is supported by an offensive line that ranks 115th in passing downs sack rate. That could be a key reason why Fromm has not been as effective as he was in the second half of 2017.
I haven’t taken a side in this game yet, but I am more than likely going to end up with cash on the Gators before kickoff and in the live market.
With Florida, I get the better team in field position, finishing drives, special teams, Havoc, and a team that’s efficient on offense. Granted, Georgia also has those offensive weapons, but I just can’t support a team that is this poor in the pass rush and lacks the Havoc to create turnovers in the big game.
Florida Can Exploit Georgia’s Weaknesses
Like Collin mentioned, Georgia is weak in the trenches on both sides of the ball. It got pushed around by Missouri and LSU.
That’s where Florida can win this game. The Gators have two excellent running backs in Jordan Scarlett and Lamical Perine, who are both averaging 5.4 yards per carry. Freshman Dameon Pierce has been electric when called upon, gaining 295 yards on just 35 touches (8.4 per carry).
The best chance Georgia has is to force Florida into third-and-long situations (duh), since the Gators still don’t fully trust Feleipe Franks in that spot. They run on passing downs more than almost any other team in the country, and rank 111th in success rate on third-and-long, per Football Study Hall.
Florida’s offensive line ranks top 30 in all metrics, including stuff rate, opportunity rate and sack rate. I think the Gators will be efficient on early downs and avoid those situations to keep drives moving. I’m backing them against the spread and on the moneyline.
Petrella’s Pick: Florida +7, Florida moneyline (+220)
Trends to Know for Georgia-Florida
By John Ewing
In its last game, Georgia lost to LSU 36-16 as a 7-point favorite. Ranked teams from Power 5 conferences have struggled to cover the spread following blowout losses. Since 2005, teams such as UGA that lost their previous game by 20 or more points have gone 44-61-2 (42%) ATS in their next game.
In matchups of top-10 teams on a neutral field, favorites of 7 or more points have gone 8-0 straight up and 7-1 against the spread in the regular season since 2005.
By Evan Abrams
Did You Know? Florida enters the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” winning five consecutive games SU and ATS, vaulting itself into the New Year’s Six conversation. The last time Florida won at least five consecutive games both SU and ATS was back on Oct. 27, 2012, against Georgia in Jacksonville… exactly six years to the day this weekend. Florida was a 6-point favorite and got beat 17-9 by Georgia.