SEC Football Preview: Georgia Bulldogs vs. Florida Gators

No. 22 Georgia Bulldogs vs. Florida Gators
Saturday, 10/29/11, 3:30 PM EST, TV:  CBS
Opening Point Spread:  Georgia -1
Current Betting Line:  Georgia -3
Opening Total:  47.5
Current Total:  48
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Georgia Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt is 2-8 SU versus the Florida Gators

Georgia is tied atop the SEC East and back in the AP Top 25 poll due to a five-game winning streak that includes consecutive road wins over Tennessee and Vanderbilt.  The Bulldogs have out-gained six of seven opponents this year, with the only miss coming in the 35-21 season-opening loss to the Boise State Broncos.  “I’m not shocked that we’re going well right now, but we’ve still got a ways to go,” stated Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt.  Georgia is the only team in the league to score first in all of its games this season.  Over the last two-plus seasons, the team is 9-12 ATS versus SEC competition and the ‘over’ is 12-8 in those contests.

The Bulldogs haven’t had much success in this series under Richt, posting a 2-8 record,  dropping the last three games.  Georgia suffered a 34-31 overtime loss as one-point underdogs last year.  Playing off the open date could benefit the team, tallying a 12-4 mark under Richt in that particular situation.  Sophomore quarterback Aaron Murray leads the conference in total offense in league games at 253.2 yards per contest.

Florida is also coming off an open week and is looking to snap a three-game losing streak, including a 17-6 loss to the Auburn Tigers as three-point road favorites last time out.  The Gators will likely have quarterback John Brantley back Saturday afternoon, missing 2 1/2 games after suffering a right ankle injury against Alabama.  “Getting him back is going to be a huge psychological boost for our football team,” commented Gators first-year coach Will Muschamp.  Florida is 4-0 ATS when playing off the bye week and the ‘over’ is 3-1 in that situation.

The Gators hold a 46-40-2 all-time lead in this series and Brantley is familiar with the rivalry.  He completed 16 of 25 passes for 193 yards with an interception in last year’s win, giving Florida its 18th win in the last 21 meetings in the series.  Florida’s offense will be going up against a defensive unit that ranks sixth nationally in allowing just 273 yards per game.  The Gators have scored just 27 points in their last three games and 17 points since Brantley went down.

Bettors will likely back the Gators due to their 7-1 ATS mark in neutral-site contests, while the Bulldogs are 1-4 ATS in the same situation.

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