SEC Football Betting Preview: Vanderbilt Commodores at #10 Florida Gators

Vanderbilt Commodores at #10 Florida Gators
Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Gainesville, Florida
Saturday, November 7, 2015, 12:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Florida -19
Current Line: Florida -21
Opening Total: 39 1/2
Current Total: 36 1/2
Opening Money Line: Florida -1500 / Vanderbilt +900
Current Money Line: Florida -1500 / Vanderbilt +900

Florida is a heavy favorite against Vanderbilt Saturday.
Florida is a heavy favorite against Vanderbilt Saturday.

The 7-1 Florida Gators are #10 in the initial college football playoff rankings released earlier this week. The Gators lead the SEC East with a 5-1 record, and every other team in the division has at least three losses. Florida can clinch a spot in next month’s SEC Championship game with a win Saturday at home against 3-5 Vanderbilt. The Commodores are 1-3 in SEC play. Vanderbilt has an outside shot of going to a bowl but must win three of their remaining four games against a very difficult schedule.

Florida leads the series 36-10-2 against Vanderbilt including 19-2 in Gaineville. The Gators have won 23 of the last 24 games against the Commodores including 34-10 last year in Nashville. The lone Vanderbilt win in that stretch came in 2013 in Gainesville 34-17.

Vanderbilt is coached by Derek Mason. The Commodores have home wins over Austin Peay 47-7 and Missouri 10-3, along with a road win at Middle Tennessee 17-13. Vanderbilt has home losses to Western Kentucky 14-12 and Georgia 31-14, along with road losses at Ole Miss 27-16, South Carolina 19-10 and last week against Houston 34-0.

Vanderbilt was an 11 point underdog against Houston and the total was 49.5. The Commodores had 185 total yards and four turnovers in a miserable performance against the undefeated Cougars. Vanderbilt is 5-3 ATS and the total is 0-7-1 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. Florida beat Georgia last week 27-3 in Jacksonville. The Gators’ only loss came at LSU 35-28.

Florida was a 1.5 point favorite against Georgia and the total was 49. Florida opened the scoring by recovering a fumble on a punt in the end zone on the last play of the first quarter. The rout was on, as Florida held Georgia to 223 yards and forced 5 Bulldog turnovers. Florida is 6-2 ATS and the total is 4-4 this season.

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Vanderbilt is being outscored 19-16 this season. The Commodores are #24 in points allowed but #125 out of 128 teams in scoring. Vanderbilt averages 361 total yards per game on offense including 204 passing and 157 rushing yards. The Commodores are #86 or worse in all three categories. Vanderbilt allows 323 yards per game on defense including 209 passing and 115 rushing yards. The Commodores are #18 in total defense and #23 against the rush nationally. Vanderbilt has forced 10 turnovers but has 21 of their own. Vanderbilt averages 43 penalty yards per game and opponents average 59. The Commodores are 63/152 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 32/124. Vanderbilt has forced 18 sacks and has allowed 15 this season. The Commodores are 16/26 scoring in the red zone with 10 touchdowns, and opponents are 21/28 with 11 touchdowns. Vanderbilt has allowed three defensive/special teams touchdowns.

Quarterback Johnny McCrary has completed 56.6% of his passes for 1,499 yards with 6 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, along with 52 carries for 166 yards and 2 touchdowns. Kyle Shurmur has split the snaps in the last two games but is questionable for undisclosed reasons Saturday. He has thrown for 109 yards with an interception. Wade Freebeck could see some action.

Running back Ralph Webb has 176 carries for 693 yards and 4 touchdowns, along with 21 catches for 175 yards and 2 touchdowns. Darrius Sims has 27 carries for 223 yards, along with 10 catches for 110 yards. Dallas Rivers has 43 carries for 100 yards and a touchdown, along with 3 catches.

Receiver Trent Sherfield has 41 catches for 518 yards and 2 touchdowns. Steven Scheu has 21 catches for 202 yards. Caleb Scott has 19 catches for 191 yards and a touchdown. Latevius Rayford has 17 catches for 130 yards and a touchdown.

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Florida is outscoring teams 31-16. The Gators are #7 in points allowed nationally. Florida averages 381 total yards per game on offense including 238 passing and 143 rushing yards. The Gators are #100 in rushing and #81 in total offense out of 128 teams. On defense, Florida is allowing 303 total yards per game including 191 passing and 112 rushing yards. The Gators are #29 or better in all three categories. Florida has forced 19 turnovers and has 6 of their own. The Gators average 50 penalty yards per game and opponents average 31. Florida is 59/136 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 46/133. The Gators have forced 22 sacks and allowed 22 this season. Florida is 28/35 scoring in the red zone with 23 touchdowns and opponents are 17/21 with 9 touchdowns. Florida has two pick sixes, a fumble return for touchdown 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 695 yards with five touchdowns and no picks , along with 33 carries for 122 rushing yards. Josh Grady could also see some snaps at quarterback.

Running back Kelvin Taylor has 154 carries for 584 yards and 10 touchdowns, along with 12 catches for 105 yards. Jordan Cronkite has 29 carries for 104 yards and 2 touchdowns, plus a catch. He is suspended for the first half against Vanderbilt for violating team rules. Jordan Scarlett has 22 carries for 165 yards and a touchdown.

Receiver Antonio Callaway has 19 catches for 418 yards and 3 touchdowns. DeMarcus Robinson has 36 catches for 371 yards and 2 touchdowns. Brandon Powell has 21 catches for 291 yards and 3 touchdowns.  DeAndre Goolsby has 13 catches for 214 yards and a touchdown. Jake McGee has 26 catches for 223 yards and 3 touchdowns. Four defensive players are questionable or out. Kicker Jorge Powell is out indefinitely. He splits the kicking duties with Austin Hardin.

Vanderbilt is 4-0 ATS after accumulating less than 275 total yards, 5-1 after failing to cover, 4-1 after a straight up loss and in SEC games, 11-3 against teams with winning home records, 10-3 in November, 8-3 in road games, and 7-3 on grass. The road team has covered the last seven games in this series. Vanderbilt is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 trips to Gainesville.

Florida is 5-0 ATS after passing for 170 yards or less, 6-1 against teams with losing records, 5-1 in SEC games, at home and overall, 4-1 after a straight up win, after allowing less than 100 rushing yards, 4-1 in November, and on grass, 5-2 after a cover and after allowing less than 170 passing yards, 3-8 after allowing less than 20 points, and 0-4 against teams with losing road records. The last five games in this series have gone over the total and the over is 5-1 in Gainesville between the teams.

Vanderbilt’s defense might be able to let them hang around for a little while, but Florida is even stronger on defense. Both teams struggle to move the ball. I think Florida wins but Vanderbilt stays in the 21 point number.

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