Florida football vs. Kentucky: Prediction, pick, line, odds, watch live stream online

By Adam Silverstein
September 8, 2018
Florida football vs. Kentucky: Prediction, pick, line, odds, watch live stream online

Image Credit: Graphic by Michael Nash

No. 25 Florida Gators football made a statement in its first game under new head football coach Dan Mullen, but it gets a more legitimate test here in Week 2 when the Kentucky Wildcats come to town. Will Florida be able to extend its massive winning streak against its SEC East rival, or is it finally time for Kentucky to get over the hump and pick up a much-needed victory in this series?

Here’s what you need to know and how you can watch Gators-Wildcats.

Viewing information

Date: Saturday, Sept. 8 | Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium — Gainesville, Florida [Capacity: 88,548]

TV: SEC Network (Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers, Cole Cubelic)
Live stream: WatchESPN | SiriusXM: 113/190 | Radio: WRUF, TuneIn

Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

Tale of the tape

No. 25 Florida Gators Kentucky Wildcats
Head coach Dan Mullen Mark Stoops
Record 1-0 1-0
Conference SEC SEC

Prediction and analysis

Spread: Florida -13.5 | O/U: 51

Florida has dominated Kentucky for the better part of 31 years (see below), and I do not think that changes Saturday. Though the Gators have only defeated the Wildcats by six points or fewer in three of their last four meetings, the hosts are historically even more dominant in the friendly confines of The Swamp. UK has only defeated UF four times on Florida Field in the history of the series, so let’s first knock that result away.

Now the question that remains is whether the Gators can cover a spread falling just short of two touchdowns against the visiting Wildcats. Florida is coming off a 53-6 blowout win over FCS Charleston Southern, while Kentucky trailed for most of the first half before scoring 21 unanswered to beat Central Michigan 35-20 a week ago. The Wildcats do bring a talented running back and tight end to Gainesville, but will that be enough to mitigate the Gators’ more talented and athletically gifted players?

Ultimately, yes. Florida should be able to cover the two touchdowns, but Kentucky should also get a couple scores of its own against a Gators defense that allowed more than 200 yards rushing to the Buccaneers last week. For that reason, I do not see this game going over unless UF just racks up a bunch of points, a plausibility but unlikelihood for this offense’s first real defensive test.

2018 records: ATS picks 0-0 | O/U picks 0-0

Injuries and absences

Probable (2): DB C.J. McWilliams (ankle), DT Tedarrell Slaton (shoulder)
Out (4): DE Cece Jefferson (suspension), LB David Reese (ankle), WR Jacob Copeland (knee), DB Shawn Davis (undisclosed)

The following players were suspended in Week 1 but will be active in Week 2: WR Kadarius Toney, DL Kyree Campbell, RB Adarius Lemons, DL Luke Ancrum, DB Brian Edwards

Game notes

» Florida is 51-17 all-time against Kentucky with a 28-4 mark in Gainesville.
» UF has won 31 straight games against UK dating back to 1987. It the longest active winning streak in an uninterrupted series nationally and the fourth-longest such streak ever. It can become the third-longest such streak on Saturday, tying it with Oklahoma winning 32 straight over Kansas State from 1937-68. However, three of the last four meetings have been decided by six points or less.
» The Gators have won 13 consecutive SEC openers.
» Florida has scored in 373 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.

» Florida is 149-28 in The Swamp since 1990, boasting the best home winning percentage (.842) in the nation. The Gators are 78-18 against SEC opponents 52-6 against SEC East teams, 122-13 against unranked squads and 48-13 in night games.
» UF last week improved to 20-7 in season openers under new coaches. Mullen is now 8-2 in season openers as a head coach. The Gators have won 29 consecutive home openers dating back to 1989, the longest active streak in the nation.

Odds and ends

» Florida will wear traditional blue jerseys, white pants and orange helmets.

» The Gators will celebrate the 1993 SEC champion Florida football team on the 25-year anniversary of its title-winning season. Also set to be honored during the game is the 2018 Big East champion lacrosse team.

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