College Football Week 4 Predictions: Florida Gators vs. Alabama Crimson Tide

Florida Gators vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
Saturday, 9/20/14, 3:30 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Alabama -15.5
Current Betting Line:  Alabama -14.5
Opening Total:  N/A
Current Total:  N/A
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Florida Gators are averaging 90 plays from scrimmage in 2014
The Florida Gators are averaging 90 plays from scrimmage in 2014

Florida comes off a 36-30 triple overtime win over Kentucky as 17.5-point home favorites last Saturday, as it won the statistical battle by 82 yards, while going OVER the betting total for the second time in as many chances to open up the 2014 campaign.  Gators head coach Will Muschamp served on Alabama head coach Nick Saban’s staff from 2001-04 during their times at LSU, which can’t be ignored when making your Week 4 college football predictions.  The program ranks third in the Southeastern Conference in total defense and sits among the top 20 nationally in scoring defense.  Florida is 3-4 SU and 5-2 ATS as underdogs the last two-plus seasons, with the UNDER going 5-2 in that situation.

The Gators are averaging 90 plays from scrimmage offensively under first-year coordinator Kurt Roper, which is far more than the 66.1 snaps per game it produced in 2013.  Florida owns a 68-27 advantage in the second half over its opponents, which is important to consider when looking over the college football betting lines.  Redshirt junior quarterback Jeff Driskel owns a 14-3 career record as the starter, as he comes off a career-high 295 yards in the team’s SEC opener.

Alabama owns a 22-14 edge in this series and has won three straight dating back to the 2009 SEC Championship Game.  The Crimson Tide are getting after opposing signal-callers this season, as they’ve racked up seven sacks through the first three games, with Ryan Anderson and Xzavier Dickson being tied for the team lead with two apiece.  The program is 26-9 against top 25 tames since 2008, but two of those losses came a season ago.  Alabama is 7-2 SUATS as favorites of 10.5 to 21 points the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER going 5-3 in that situation.

The Crimson Tide have one of the best playmakers in the country, as junior wide receiver Amari Cooper leads all players in averaging 11 catches per game, while he ranks third in racking up 454 receiving yards.  Alabama’s offense is off to a record-setting pace with 1,705 yards of total offense, as the previous bet was 1,646 yards in the first three contests of the 1973 season.

Sports bettors will likely back the Crimson Tide due to their 5-1 ATS mark in the last six meetings in this series.

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