Florida vs. Georgia game: Pick, prediction, odds, line, spread, time, TV, watch live stream

By Adam Silverstein
November 2, 2019
Florida vs. Georgia game: Pick, prediction, odds, line, spread, time, TV, watch live stream

Image Credit: Michael Nash

The battle lines are drawn, the alcohol is flowing and the Florida Gators are once again facing the Georgia Bulldogs in the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Florida and Georgia square off Saturday afternoon in Jacksonville, Florida, both ranked among the top eight teams in the nation. It’s the second straight year that the Gators and Bulldogs will meet as top-10 opponents but just the second time in the history of the rivalry that both ranked eighth or better (2008).

Consider this a de facto elimination game for the College Football Playoff and likely the SEC Championship Game. With the remaining opponents on these teams’ schedules, the winner will likely take the SEC East and advance to Atlanta, giving it an opportunity to face either Alabama or LSU. The loser will have two defeats on its 2019 record, which considering the landscape would be difficult to bounce back from to win the SEC East and nearly impossible to earn a CFP spot.

What will go down in the 97th edition of this rivalry? Let’s find out with plenty of information, notes, analysis and a game prediction for Florida vs. Georgia. Keep on reading for a full against-the-spread breakdown below.

Viewing information

Date: Saturday, Nov. 2 | Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: TIAA Bank Field [82,871]

TV: CBS (Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson, Jamie Erdahl)
Live stream: CBSSports.com | SiriusXM: 98/191 | Radio: WRUF, TuneIn
Live updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

Tale of the tape

No. 6 Florida GatorsNo. 8 Georgia Bulldogs
Head coachDan MullenKirby Smart
Record7-1 (4-1)6-1 (3-1)

Injuries and absences

Active (3): DE Jon Greenard (ankle), DE Jabari Zuniga (ankle), ATH Kadarius Toney (shoulder)
Out (2): DT Marlon Dunlap (undisclosed), DT Elijah Conliffe (leg)
Out for season (3): QB Feleipe Franks (ankle), CB C.J. McWilliams (Achilles), LB David Reese (Achilles)

Game notes

» Georgia leads the all-time series 51-43-2 against Florida with a 45-40-1 mark in Jacksonville. The Gators have won seven of the last 13 meetings and 21 of the last 29 against the Bulldogs.
» This is the second straight season in which UF and UGA will meet as top-10 teams. It is just the second Florida-Georgia game with both teams ranked among the top eight programs nationally in the AP Top 25 (2008). When squaring off as ranked teams, the Gators are 9-4 against the Dawgs since 1990.
» This is Florida’s highest ranking in the AP Top 25 since Dec. 2, 2012 (No. 4).
» The Gators began a season 6-0 for the first time since 2015. LSU ended both undefeated starts for UF in Tiger Stadium. Florida had won 10 straight games for the first time since 2011-12 and did so by a combined 339-96.
» Through its first eight games this season, UF is outscoring opponents 147-55 in the second half and 85-21 in the fourth quarter.
» The Gators are third nationally in interceptions (12) and ninth in sacks per game (3.63).
» Florida is 4-2 against ranked opponents under Mullen (3-2 against top 10 teams), 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 11-0 when scoring first, 13-0 when leading after the third quarter, 12-0 when allowing 20 points or fewer, 5-0 in games decided by fewer than 10 points and 13-0 when outrushing their opponent.
» Mullen is 4-1-1 against the spread as an underdog at UF.
» Florida has scored 24+ points in 12 straight games for the first time since doing so in 24 consecutive contests from 2007-09.
» UF has scored in 393 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 +6.5 | O/U: 45

The fact that this line opened at 6.5, fell to 4.5 and is now back surprises me, particularly considering how healthy Florida is entering the game. The Gators not only had an opportunity to rest redshirt junior quarterback Kyle Trask (who has been battered and bruised as of late), they are getting back three starters in graduate transfer defensive end Jon Greenard, senior DE Jabari Zuniga and junior athlete Kadrius Toney. It does not take much to realize that, while it was playing lesser competition overall, Florida’s defense with Greenard and Zuniga gave up 9.5 points per game compared to 34.5 with both sidelined. Even if you remove LSU and its explosive offense from that equation, the comparison is 9.5 to the 27 it allowed to South Carolina two weeks ago. Georgia’s defense has been solid as well, but it has not been tested.

In fact, the Bulldogs have only faced one ranked team in Notre Dame, and it was a dog fight (no pun intended) despite the game being in Sanford Stadium. The Gators obliterated Auburn at home and were fighting neck-and-neck with LSU until midway through the third quarter when their lacking bodies defensively gave out. Florida has proven so much more than Georgia has through the first nine weeks of this season, which is another reason the line in this game is surprising.

There is no doubt that UGA enters with the more talented roster from a recruiting rankings perspective. Its tremendous, sometimes dominant play over the last two seasons under Smart makes it appear as if it is being given the benefit of the doubt for its slow start to the season. The offense has not been explosive, but because of the off week, the expectation is the Bulldogs will get it all together. What many are missing is that Jake Fromm has not been the same quarterback without an undeniable running game, and even the talents of D’Andre Swift do not seem to be getting it done for him.

Consider that Trask (67.5% CMP, 1,391 yards, 14 TDs, 4 INT) and Fromm (70.7% CMP, 1,406 yards, 9 TDs, 3 INT) are not that dissimilar this season. Then credit Trask for having two fewer games started, not being the incumbent quarterback, leading two fourth-quarter comebacks on the road and hardly having played since high school (you can penalize him for the fumbling), and it is clear which QB is having the more impressive season to date. Hint: It’s the one in orange and blue.

Florida could absolutely lose this game. Mullen could screw up his play calling or decision making, Georgia could find running lanes all day and operate surgically off play action, UF could struggle moving the ball successfully with a team given two weeks to fully prepare for Trask. But anyone who has seen the eight games the Gators have played and seven games the Dawgs have played this season would have to be blind to not realize which has been the better team with the better offense and the better defense.

The key is whether that holds up in a neutral-site rivalry game where anything can happen. But the leans have to be the 6.5 points for Florida and the over, and there’s plenty of argument (as you just read) to take the Gators +190 on the money line. The last (and only) time these teams met as top-eight opponents in the World’s Largest Cocktail Party, Florida won 49-10. That was 2008, and you know the rest.

2019 records: ATS picks 3-3-2 | O/U picks 5-3

Odds and ends

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

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