SEC College Football Picks: Georgia Bulldogs vs #11 Florida Gators

Georgia Bulldogs vs #11 Florida Gators
EverBank Field – Jacksonville, Florida
Saturday, October 31, 2015, 3:30 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
Opening Line: Florida -1
Current Line: Florida -2
Opening Total: 47 1/2
Current Total: 49
Opening Money Line: Florida -150 / Georgia +130
Current Money Line: Florida -135 / Georgia +115

Florida is a 2 point favorite against Georgia Saturday in Jacksonville.
Florida is a 2 point favorite against Georgia Saturday in Jacksonville.

The 6-1 Florida Gators and 5-2 Georgia Bulldogs renew their rivalry Saturday in Jacksonville. The game has added importance because they are the only two teams in the SEC East Division with less than 3 conference losses. Florida is 4-1 in conference and Georgia is 3-2. A Gators win would all but wrap up the division title as they would have the equivalent of a three game lead with two conference games left. Georgia would control their own destiny with a win.

Georgia leads the series 49-41-2 against Florida. All but seven games in the series have been played in Jacksonville in a series that dates back to 1915. Florida has won 19 of the last 25 games in the series, but the Gators are only 6-4 in the last 10 games between the teams. The Gators won last year 38-20 to snap a three game losing streak to the Bulldogs.

Georgia is coached by Mark Richt. The Bulldogs have a home loss to Alabama 38-10 and at Tennessee 38-31.  Georgia has home wins over UL-Monroe 51-14, South Carolina 52-20, Southern 48-6 and two weeks ago against Missouri 9-6, along with a road win over Vanderbilt 31-14. Georgia was off last week.

The Bulldogs were 15.5 point favorites against Missouri and the total was 48.5. Each team had less than 300 total yards in a game with only five field goals as the only scoring plays. Every field goal was 34 yards or less. In fact, Missouri had just 164 total yards. The Tigers led 6-3 at halftime. Georgia would kick two second half field goals including the game winner with 1:44 left. Georgia is 2-5 ATS and the total is 3-4 this season.

Florida is coached by Jim McElwain. The Gators have home wins over New Mexico State 61-13, East Carolina 31-24, Tennessee 28-27, and Ole Miss 38-10, along with road wins at Kentucky 14-9 and Missouri 21-3. The Gators lost their first game of the season two weeks ago at LSU 35-28. Florida was also off last week.

Florida was a six point underdog against LSU and the total was 43.5. The Gators took a 7-0 lead att h end of the first quarter. However, LSU scored 21 straight points to open the second and would take a 28-14 lead going into halftime. Florida scored 14 points in the third to tie it up including a 72 yard punt return near the end of the quarter. Early in the fourth LSU lined up for a 33 yard field goal, but it was a fake and LSU kicker Trent Dominique ran it in for a touchdown. Florida would have three more chances but could only get to the LSU 35. The Tigers had 423 total yards including 180 rushing yards and two touchdowns from Heisman favorite Leonard Fournette. Florida had 326 total yards. The Gators are 5-2 ATS and the total is 4-3 this season.

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Georgia is outscoring teams 33-19 this season. The Bulldogs are #45 in scoring and #27 in points allowed. Georgia averages 429 total yards per game on offense including 214 passing and 216 rushing yards. The Bulldogs are #44 in total offense and #20 in rushing. On defense, Georgia is allowing 308 yards per game including 187 passing and 121 rushing yards. The Bulldogs are in the top 26 in all three categories. Georgia has forced 10 turnovers and has 9 of their own this season. Georgia averages 53 penalty yards per game and opponents average 31. The Bulldogs are 28/83 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 38/121. Georgia has 13 sacks and has allowed 8 this season. The Bulldogs are 21/26 scoring in the red zone with 13 touchdowns, and opponents are 14/19 with 10 touchdowns. Georgia has a punt return and a pick six this season, and has also allowed two defensive/special teams touchdowns.

Quarterback Greyson Lambert has thrown for 1,276 yards with 9 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, and also has a rushing touchdown. Back-up Brice Ramsey has thrown for 221 yards and a touchdown with 2 interceptions. Still, Junior Faton Bauta will start Saturday in place of the inconsistent Lambert. Bauta has not taken a snap this season.

Running back Nick Chubb has 92 carries for 747 yards and 7 touchdowns, plus 4 catches for 32 yards and a touchdown. He suffered a torn ACL against Tennessee and is out for the season. Sony Michel has 89 carries for 508 yards and 4 touchdowns, along with 16 catches for 187 yards and 3 touchdowns. Keith Marshall has 33 carries for 179 yards and 3 touchdowns along with 2 catches. Brendan Douglas will also get some carries.

Receiver Malcolm Mitchell has 35 catches for 505 yards and 4 touchdowns. Terry Godwin has 17 catches for 203 yards. Reggie Davis has 12 catches for 187 yards and 2 touchdowns.   No other receiver has more than  catches. Receivers Shakenneth Williams and Isaiah McKenzie are questionable Saturday.

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Florida is outscoring teams 32-17. The Gators are #19 in points allowed nationally. Florida averages 376 total yards per game on offense including 249 passing and 127 rushing yards. The Gators are #109 in rushing and #86 in total offense out of 128 teams. On defense, Florida is allowing 314 total yards per game including 197 passing and 118 rushing yards. The Gators are #18 in total defense and #22 against the rush. Florida has forced 14 turnovers and has 3 of their own. The Gators average 47 penalty yards per game and opponents average 32. Florida is 52/118 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 44/119. The Gators have forced 21 sacks and allowed 20 this season. Florida is 26/31 scoring in the red zone with 21 touchdowns and opponents are 16/19 with 9 touchdowns. Florida has two pick sixes and a punt return for a TD this season.

Florida quarterback Will Grier was suspended for a year for testing positive for PED’s after taking an over the counter supplement he didn’t know was banned. Grier threw for 1,204 yards with 10 touchdowns and 3 interceptions and rushed for 116 yards and 2 touchdowns. Treon Harris took over as the new starter. He has thrown for 540 yards with four touchdowns and no picks , along with 23 carries for 83 rushing yards. Josh Grady could also see some snaps at quarterback.

Running back Kelvin Taylor has 129 carries for 463 yards and 8 touchdowns, along with 12 catches for 105 yards. Jordan Cronkite has 28 carries for 106 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus a catch. Jordan Scarlett will also get some carries.

Receiver DeMarcus Robinson has 36 catches for 371 yards and 2 touchdowns. Brandon Powell has 20 catches for 294 yards and 3 touchdowns. Antonio Callaway has 16 catches for 308 yards and 2 touchdowns. DeAndre Goolsby has 13 catches for 214 yards and a touchdown. Jake McGee has 23 catches for 200 yards and 3 touchdowns. Five defensive players are questionable or out. Kicker Jorge Powell is out indefinitely. He splits the kicking duties with Austin Hardin.

Florida is 4-0 ATS after rushing for less than 100 yards, 9-2 after a bye week, 4-1 after a straihgt up loss, after an ATS loss, and in SEC games, 8-2 against teams with winning records and overall, 6-2 on grass, 11-4 in neutral site games, 19-7 after allowing more than 200 rushing yards. The Gators are 5-2 ATS against the Bulldogs recently.

Georgia is 11-4 ATS after allowing less than 170 passing yards, 4-11 after scoring less than 20 points, 2-7 in October, 1-4 in SEC games, after a straight up win and against teams with winning records, 0-4 overall, on grass, and after allowing less than 275 total yards, and 0-5 after a bye week.

This should be a low scoring game as neither offense is that spectacular. I think Florida has more talent and should be able to take a tough win.

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