Saturday brings with it an SEC East college football battle between the No. 8 Florida Gators and No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs. This matchup between will be played at a neutral site, TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Fl., at 3:30 pm. ET.
Both teams righted the ship last weekend after losing their previous games. Florida’s coming off a 41-17 win over Missouri, while Georgia won a barnburner, 14-3 against Kentucky.
The Gators will look to take charge of the SEC East with a win, but Georgia has had their number of late, winning the last three meetings between these SEC rivals.
The college football odds list Georgia as 3.5-point betting favorites, with the over/under set at 52.5
Florida Gators: Offensive Firepower
The Florida offense has been the catalyst for a 3-1 start, scoring no less than 38 points in a game en route to a 42.0 point average and 476.5 yards per game.
Senior quarterback Kyle Trask and junior tight end Kyle Pitts are the leaders of this explosive offense.
Pitts is a star and seems poised to be the top tight end taken in the 2021 NFL Draft if he declares early. His elite athleticism and size make him a mismatch nightmare for defenses, evidenced by his 355 yards (16.1 yards per catch) and seven touchdowns.
Trask has completed nearly 70% of his passes for 1,341 yards, 18 touchdowns, and two interceptions. His other top weapon is senior wide receiver Kadarius Toney (380 total yards and seven touchdowns), who is having the best season of his Gators career.
The big-play potential this side of the ball has for Florida lends itself to the over at 53.5, but it will be matched up against a strong Georgia defense.
Georgia Bulldogs: Smothering Defense
The 4-1 Georgia Bulldogs are favored because of the strength of their defense, which has been tested early and often. Beyond a 41-24 defeat to Alabama, who many consider the best team in the nation, Georgia has thrice held opponents to 10 points or less. Numbers like that will always be impressive on an SEC schedule, and Florida offers this team a chance to prove the Alabama game was just a blip on the radar.
Georgia will need to dig into their depth, with five defensive contributors out.
The Bulldogs have held opposing offenses to just 80 yards rushing and 220 yards through the air. With a much more formidable defensive unit than Florida, making stops against Pitts and Trask will be critical to winning and covering the 3.5-point spread.
On the other side of the ball, Georgia should see much less resistance, and it will be on their offense to take advantage of a porous Gator defense.
The Matchup on the Other Side
The Bulldogs are coming off a troubling offensive game against Kentucky in which quarterback Stetson Bennett threw two interceptions and no touchdowns.
Florida offers a chance for Georgia to get back on track. The Gators’ defense surrenders 29.3 points and more than 400 yards per game.
Sophomore running back Zamir White paces the Georgia offense and is coming off the best game of his season, finishing with 136 yards and a touchdown.
Florida stifled Missouri on the ground a week ago but let Texas A&M running back Isaiah Spiller gash the defense to the tune of 174 yards and two touchdowns in their previous game.
Bennett has struggled the last few games, throwing five interceptions combined. The Bulldogs are a run-first team and will be leaning on White to replicate his performance from last week.
The Pick Is In
The matchup to watch is the Florida offense going up against the Georgia defense.
When they have the ball, Georgia should be able to put up points, so it’s even more imperative the defense can slow down the Florida attack. With so many injuries on the defensive side, tight end Kyle Pitts has a chance for a big day against a pair of backup safeties. You will want to check the injury report, along with any other college football news, such as COVID results, that will impact the rosters prior to gameday.
The expectation here is a high-scoring affair, and the college football expert pick is to take Florida to win and cover the 3.5-point spread.
Prediction: Florida 31, Georgia 28. Florida +3.5, Over 52.5