Florida vs. Georgia game: Prediction, pick, line, spread, odds, watch live stream online for 2018

By Adam Silverstein
October 27, 2018
Florida vs. Georgia game: Prediction, pick, line, spread, odds, watch live stream online for 2018

Image Credit: Graphic by Michael Nash

The No. 9 Florida Gators arrive in Jacksonville, Florida, on a five-game winning streak that includes three road victories and an upset of then-No. 5 LSU. The No. 7 Georgia Bulldogs are fresh off a devastating home loss to the aforementioned Tigers, which have jumped both teams in the top 25 polls. Both Florida and Georgia had a week to think about their standing and prepare for this game with a well-timed bye week, and the SEC East may well be on the line Saturday even though Kentucky currently holds the tiebreaker in the division.

Before the season began, this year’s installment of the game formerly known as the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party was expected to feature a national championship-caliber Georgia looking to once again run over a rebuilding Florida squad. Two months into the 2018 campaign, things look mighty different ahead of this game.

What will go down on Saturday afternoon? Let’s take a look at what you need to know and how you can watch Florida-Georgia.

Viewing information

Date: Saturday, Oct 27 | Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: TIAA Bank Field — Jacksonville, Florida [Capacity: 82,000]

TV: CBS (Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson, Jamie Erdahl)
Live stream: CBSSports.com | SiriusXM: 81 | Radio: WRUF, TuneIn

Live updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

Tale of the tape

No. 9 Florida Gators No. 7 Georgia Bulldogs
Head coach Dan Mullen Kirby Smart
Record 6-1 (4-1 SEC) 6-1 (4-1 SEC)
Conference SEC SEC

Prediction and analysis

Spread: Florida +6.5 | O/U: 52

With both teams coming off the bye week, there has been plenty of time for both teams to make tweaks and adjustments as there is every year entering this game. The problem for the Gators is that the off time may have slowed down their momentum at the same time the Bulldogs desperately needed a break to reevaluate their team after being devastated in a massive loss. Plus, where Florida is still in rebuilding mode under Mullen both from a team and personnel standpoint, Georgia is much deeper and a bit more talented following some top-tier recruiting classes over the last couple of years.

Mullen is well aware that Smart may deploy freshman quarterback Justin Fields more than he has to this point in the season. It would actually be a surprise if UGA keeps him under wraps. Fields has been effective when he’s participated, though he has not seen too much action and has yet to scratch the surface of his playmaking ability. Florida can prepare for him all it wants, but it cannot know what Smart and Co. have in store for the No. 1 player in the nation coming out of high school. It is that X-factor, plus the obvious fact that Georgia is battle-tested after playing for the national championship last season, that makes me believe it has a legitimate edge in this game.

Even without Fields, the Dawgs are capable throwing the ball with Jake Fromm, though he is clearly less productive following the departures of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. The question is whether the Gators’ depleted defense — yes, it is still thin in the secondary and at linebacker — will be able to keep up for 60 minutes. The spread dropping a full point below a key number gives me pause in taking a Florida team that was run up and down the field by Kentucky and put itself in an awful position against Vanderbilt in its last game. Unless Feleipe Franks takes another step forward for the Gators, this one should fall under the total.

2018 records: ATS picks 3-3 | O/U picks 5-1

Injuries and absences

Out (3): OL T.J. McCoy (leg), WR Jacob Copeland (knee), RB Malik Davis (foot) | Out for season (2): CB Marco Wilson (torn ACL), DB Quincy Lenton (torn Achilles)

Game notes

» Georgia is 50-43-2 all-time against Florida with a 44-40-1 mark in Jacksonville. The Gators have won seven of the last 12 meetings and 21 of the last 28 against the Bulldogs.
» Last year’s 42-7 win by UGA was its biggest in the rivalry since 1982.
» The Gators and Dawgs will meet as top 15 opponents for the first time since 2012 and top 10 opponents for the first time since 2008. When squaring off as ranked teams, Florida is 9-3 against Georgia since 1990.
» UF is 2-0 against ranked opponents this season but just 6-9 against such teams since 2015 and 11-22 since 2011. In defeating LSU and Mississippi State, it beat ranked opponents in consecutive weeks for the first time since 2008.
» Florida is the only team in the AP Top 25 poll that was .500 or worse last season.
» The Gators are 3-0 when scoring first and 5-0 when leading after the third quarter. Florida is also 4-0 when allowing 20 points or fewer and 5-0 when outrushing their opponent.
» Florida is tied for third nationally in turnovers with 18, one more than it acquired during the entire 2017 season. It has converted those turnovers into 50 points and stands tied for eighth nationally in turnover margin (+9).
» The Gators are sixth nationally in passing defense (160.1), seventh in passing efficiency defense (99.82) and 10th in opponent red zone touchdown percentage (.429).
» Florida has scored in 379 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 all white uniforms on Saturday, including updated white helmets with the Gators script logo on both sides of the lid. Take a closer look at the uniforms here.

» ESPN is bringing its “College GameDay” show to the Florida-Georgia game on Saturday for the first time since 2005. It is the fourth time that “College GameDay” will be in Jacksonville for the showdown. Florida is 3-0 in the program’s prior three appearances (1999, 2002, 2005).

» The Gators will be making their 38th all-time appearance on “College GameDay,” third-most among college programs. Florida is 24-13 when featured on the show.

» Saturday will mark the first time that “College GameDay” and SEC Network‘s “SEC Nation” will air from the same location.

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