Florida vs. Florida State: Prediction, pick, line, spread, odds, watch live stream online

By Adam Silverstein
November 24, 2018
Florida vs. Florida State: Prediction, pick, line, spread, odds, watch live stream online
Football

Image Credit: Graphic by Michael Nash

The No. 11 Florida Gators put the success or failure of their entire season on the line Saturday when they travel north to Tallahassee, Florida, to take on the in-state rival Florida State Seminoles. While this rivalry game is always immensely important, the Gators enter this one on a five-game losing streak to the Seminoles and with their best chance of winning the game in six years (to the day, actually).

The early kickoff is not representative of the stature of this rivalry, but the one-sided nature of it over the last half-decade has certainly put some tarnish on the greatness off UF-FSU. The Gators have the opportunity to play their way into a New Year’s Six bowl game while simultaneously preventing the Noles from reaching bowl season for the first time in nearly four decades.


Viewing information

Date: Saturday, Nov. 24 | Time: 12 p.m. ET
Location: Doak Campbell Stadium — Tallahassee, Florida [Capacity: 79,560]

TV: ABC (Dave Pasch, Greg McElroy, Tom Luginbill)
Live stream: WatchESPN.com | SiriusXM: 81 | Radio: WRUF, TuneIn

Live updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

Tale of the tape

No. 11 Florida Gators Florida State Seminoles
Head coach Dan Mullen Willie Taggart
Record 8-3 5-6
Conference SEC ACC

Prediction and analysis

Spread: Florida -6.5 | O/U: 53

Picking Gators game this season has been nearly impossible. This team is so inconsistent from one week to the next in terms of its ability to cover spreads that the smartest move is generally to stay away. That said, this is UF-FSU week, and everyone wants in on the action. This spread has steadily risen since it opened at Florida -3 to the point that it is above a touchdown in some spots. That’s a bit crazy, but it speaks more to how bad of a team Florida State has been this season. As outlined in the link below the Noles are terrible in nearly every major statistical category. That’s not to say the Gators are far better — they have been a bit overrated most of the year — but they are clearly more talented and better coached.

Florida’s defensive line and its ability to get to the quarterback should be the difference-maker in this one. All the Gators need to do offensively is pound the rock and make a few key third down conversions. The defense should be able to take care of the rest. Florida has every motivation in this one: end its losing streak, get to a huge bowl game and send Florida State to its first losing season in 42 years and out of a bowl game for the first time in 36 years. The Gators should be able to cover a touchdown in this one, and the total should stay under.

Read more: Gators can prove their turnaround is real with a key rivalry win

2018 records: ATS picks 4-6 | O/U picks 5-5

Injuries and absences

Probable (3): WR Freddie Swain (ankle), C Nick Buchanan (undisclosed), TE Moral Stephens (undisclosed)
Questionable (3): OL Brett Heggie (foot), DB Brad Stewart Jr. (quad), C TJ McCoy (head)

Game notes

» Florida is 34-26-2 all-time against Florida State, but the teams are tied 13-13-1 in Tallahassee.
» After the Gators won six straight from 2004-09, the Seminoles have won five straight and seven of the last eight meetings, holding UF to seven points or fewer four times. It is FSU’s longest streak in series history. The Noles have outscored the Gators by 121 points in those eight games, 15.1 points per game and 18.9 points in FSU’s wins.
» Florida State has not had a losing season in 42 years and has played in 36 consecutive bowl games, the longest active streak in the nation.
» This is the first time since 1960 that a new head coach will lead both Florida and Florida State into the rivalry game.

» The Gators are 6-2 against unranked opponents this season with both losses coming to SEC East teams in The Swamp.
» Florida is 4-0 when scoring first and 6-0 when leading after the third quarter. It is also 5-0 when allowing 20 points or fewer and 7-0 when outrushing their opponent.
» The Gators’ turnover margin has tanked this season after a tremendous start. They are now tied for 22nd nationally (+7) after being in the top 10 nearly all season. The Noles are tied for 113th in the nation with 23 turnovers lost.
» Florida has have scored in 383 consecutive games, an NCAA record.
» UF is one of two FBS teams nationally since 2008 (Alabama) to have not lost a single game to a team that ended a season with a losing record.

Odds and ends

» Florida will wear traditional orange helmets with white jerseys and blue pants. The Gators have not strayed from their traditional uniform combinations for over a month.

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