Florida vs. Tennessee: Game pick, prediction, odds, line, spread, time, TV, watch live stream

By Adam Silverstein
September 20, 2019
Florida vs. Tennessee: Game pick, prediction, odds, line, spread, time, TV, watch live stream

Image Credit: Michael Nash

After opening a season 3-0 for the first time since 2016, the No. 9 Florida Gators will look to take that one step further on Saturday when they host the Tennessee Volunteers at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida. It was actually Tennessee that stopped Florida’s winning streak that season, so the Gators will be looking to go 4-0 for the first time since 2015.

Oddsmakers surely think that will happen, favoring Florida by 14 points at home. Considering it has been decades since the Gators lost to an unranked Vols team, expecting a triumph on Saturday is fair. Still, if UF underestimates this UT team, it will be doing so against an experienced defensive coach and roster with plenty of talent that is simply underachieving.

What will go down as the Gators finally return to The Swamp for a three-game homestand? Let’s find out with plenty of information, notes, analysis and a game prediction.

Viewing information

Date: Saturday, Sept. 21 | Time: 12 p.m. ET
Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium — Gainesville, Florida [Capacity: 88,548]

TV: ESPN (Bob Wischusen, Dan Orlovsky, Allison Williams)
Live stream: WatchESPN.com | SiriusXM: 119/191 | Radio: WRUF, TuneIn
Live updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

Tale of the tape

No. 9 Florida GatorsTennessee Volunteers
Head coachDan MullenJeremy Pruitt
Record3-0 (1-0)1-2 (1-0)

Injuries and absences

Suspended (1): DB Donovan Stiner (targeting — first half)
Probable (1): ATH Amari Burney (undisclosed)
Out (4): CB C.J. Henderson (ankle), DE Jabari Zuniga (ankle), ATH Kadarius Toney (shoulder), DT Elijah Conliffe (undisclosed)
Out for season (3): QB Feleipe Franks (ankle), CB C.J. McWilliams (Achilles), LB David Reese (Achilles)

Game notes

» Florida is 28-20 all-time against Tennessee with victories in 13 of the last 14 meetings. UF is 23-6 since the annual series began vs. UT. The Gators are 14-5 against the Vols in Gainesville with seven straight wins in The Swamp.
» UF has begun a season 3-0 for the first time since 2016.
» The Gators have won seven straight games for the first time since 2014-15 and on Saturday will be looking to win eight straight for the first time since 2011-12. UF has won its seven games by a combined score of 243-80.
» Florida is 10-2 against unranked opponents under Mullen with both losses coming to SEC East teams in The Swamp. However, the Gators are also 4-1 against ranked opponents under Mullen, beating three ranked teams in a single season in 2018 for the first time since 2012.
» UF is looking for its first back-to-back 10-win seasons in a decade (2008-09).
» Under Mullen, the Gators are 8-0 when scoring first, 10-0 when leading after the third quarter, 9-0 when allowing 20 points or fewer, 5-0 in games decided by fewer than 10 points and 10-0 when outrushing their opponent.
» Florida has scored 24+ points in seven straight games for the first time since doing so in 24 consecutive contests from 2007-09.
» UF has scored in 388 consecutive games, an NCAA record.
» Florida is one of only two FBS teams (Alabama) that has not lost to an opponent that finished the season with a losing record dating back to the 2008 season.

Prediction and analysis

Spread: Florida -14 | O/U: 49

The Gators are clearly the better team entering Saturday’s game, but it is tough to consider taking Florida as a two-touchdown favorite against any SEC team at this point — even in a home game. Simply put, the Gators have yet to show consistent offense for two halves, and now they enter a game with a backup quarterback in Kyle Trask. Even if you think Trask is an upgrade from Feleipe Franks, this is his first start since his freshman year of high school, and it’s coming against a rival in The Swamp. He has only once before taken the lion’s share of reps coming into a college game. Plus, Florida may still have two defensive starters sidelined for the game.

In the end, the only way to pick this game is to go with the +14 side. Considering it took the final moments of last week’s game to go over the same total, let’s stick with the under as we look to move to a winning mark on the young season.

2019 records: ATS picks 1-1-1 | O/U picks 1-1

Odds and ends

» Florida will wear traditional orange helmets with blue jerseys and white pants. The Gators have not strayed from their traditional uniform combinations since the middle part of the 2018 season.

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