Mississippi State Bulldogs at Florida Gators Betting Preview

Mississippi State Bulldogs at Florida Gators
Saturday, 10/16/10, 7:00 PM EDT, TV:  ESPNU
Opening Point Spread:  Florida -9.5
Current Betting Line:  Florida -8
Opening Total:  48.5
Current Total:  47
Current Moneyline:  Florida -315 / Mississippi State +265

Florida Gators Vs LSU Tigers
Florida faces tough SEC foe in trying to avoid three straight losses

Mississippi State arrives in Gainesville, Florida on a three-game winning streak for the first time since 2007, but the last two victories have been against Alcorn State and a Houston team without Heisman candidate Case Keenum.  “We’ve got to get back adjusted to the speed of the SEC,” head coach Dan Mullen said.  “Florida’s one of the fastest teams, if not the fastest team, in the country.”  A victory on Saturday would give the Bulldogs their first four-game winning streak since opening the 1999 campaign with eight straight victories.  MSU nearly knocked off Florida for the fifth-consecutive time at Scott Field last year, falling 29-19 at Scott Field.  The team is 10-9 ATS versus conference opponents over the last three years and the total is 7-12 Over/Under in those contests.

The Bulldogs offense racked up 409 rushing yards against Houston, their most since gaining 464 in a 1992 win over Arkansas State.  Running back Vick Ballard has emerged as one of the best tailbacks in the country this season, scoring 12 touchdowns, including at least one in each games.  At the halfway mark of the 2010 season, 11 different offensive players have at least one rushing attempt and 14 different players have at least one reception.  On the defensive side of the ball, Mississippi State has allowed only seven touchdowns in 19 times the ball has reached the red zone.  The unit has also been especially tough in the second half, helping the Bulldogs outscore opponents by 43 points in the final two quarters.  They have pitched second-half shutouts against Auburn and Alcorn State, while allowing only garbage-time scores by both Memphis and Georgia.

Florida’s football program isn’t use to losing two games in a row and certainly the fan base can’t imagine a third-straight loss on Saturday.  The Gators have not lost three games in a row in 11 years and hope their home dominance over this week’s opponent will end the streak.  The team has won 16 straight over Mississippi State in Gainseville since losing 18-13 in 1965.  “Some things just don’t fall the way you want them to,” said linebacker Brandon Hicks.  “The good thing is that we still have that spark of light at the end of the tunnel.”  Florida is 2-0 against the Bulldogs under head coach Urban Meyer, including last year’s 10-point win in Starkville last season.  The squad is 13-9 ATS versus conference opponents and 11-11 Over/Under in those games.

The Gators offense hasn’t fired on all cylinders all season and is currently 11th in the SEC, averaging just 323.7 yards of total offense, while turning the ball over six times in two losses.  “We’re struggling right now,” said Meyer.  “We have to get everybody rolling.”  He remains confident that Steve Addazio can handle the dual role of offensive line coach and offensive coordinator despite this season’s woes.  Before Addazio was calling the plays at The Swamp, MSU’s Mullen served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Florida from 2005-08.

Bettors will be interested in knowing that the Bulldogs are 2-6 in their last eight games as a road underdog, while the Gators are 9-3 ATS following an ATS loss.  We dont have an opinion on this game but do have 7 strong winners lined up for Saturday.  One of which is a 20 unit pick which we haven’t missed one yet this year.  Visit the winning college football picks page to get this easy winner.

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