Florida vs. Arkansas prediction, pick, odds, spread, how to watch live stream, game time, TV channel

By OnlyGators.com Staff
November 4, 2023
Florida vs. Arkansas prediction, pick, odds, spread, how to watch live stream, game time, TV channel

Image Credit: Michael Nash

Faced with a make or break game three weeks ago, the Florida Gators made it, taking care of business away from home with an offensive performance not previously seen this season. Now, after falling last week to the Georgia Bulldogs, the Gators again face a must-win as the Arkansas Razorbacks visit Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Florida’s penultimate home game of the season.

The Gators are 4-0 at home this season and 2-0 coming off losses. The Razorbacks have dropped six games already this season, but in five of them — including against high-powered offenses like LSU and Ole Miss, plus a strong team in Alabama — they have only lost by an average of 4.8 points.

A win is a win, though, and Florida would undoubtedly take a 5-point victory in The Swamp. The Gators’ next three games all be against top 18 teams (two on the road, where UF struggles). They need this victory in order to ensure bowl eligibility for the second straight season under head coach Billy Napier.

A secondary storyline is that Florida will be wearing black uniforms for the first time in program history as part of a “Saluting Those Who Serve” event. Player nameplates will display one of five words — commitment, courage, excellence, honor, integrity — to recognize the core values of military members and first responders. Members of U.S. service academies visited practice throughout the week.

Buy the Florida Gators’ new Jordan Brand black alternate uniforms: Adult | Youth

What will go down Saturday afternoon? Let’s find out.

Don’t miss our Florida Football Friday Final covering thoughts from Napier entering this week’s showdown. Plus, take a look at the updated Gators depth chart.

Tale of the tape

Florida GatorsArkansas Razorbacks
Head coachBilly NapierSam Pittman
Record5-3 (3-2)2-6 (0-5)

Injuries and absences

Ruled out Saturday (2): DL Tyreak Sapp (upper body), DL Cam Jackson (upper body)
Out (5): WR Caleb Douglas (leg), TE Keon Zipperer (lower body), OL Caden Jones (foot), TE Jonathan Odom (upper body), WR Thai Chiaokhiao-Bowman (lower body)
Out for season (3): LB Shemar James (knee), DL Justus Boone (knee), RB Cam Carroll (knee)

Viewing information

Date: Saturday, Nov. 3 | Time: 12 p.m. ET
Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium — Gainesville, Florida [88,548]

TV: ESPN2 (Roy Philpott, Roddy Jones, Taylor McGregor)
Live stream: ESPN+ | SiriusXM: 134/191 | Radio: WRUF, TuneIn
Live updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

Game notes

» Florida is 10-2 all-time against Arkansas with a 5-0 record in The Swamp and wins in 10 of the last 11 meetings. UF has won the five games at Florida Field by an average of 23.0 points.
» The Gators have won five straight home games with a 4-0 mark in The Swamp this season. It has won eight of the last nine and 13 of the last 15 in Gainesville.
» Florida is 178-34 in The Swamp (.840) since 1990, the second-best home winning percentage in the nation.
» The Gators started the season with 35 new scholarship players on the roster, tied for 12th most in the FBS. They also had just 115 combined starts returning, second-fewest in the nation, and only 69 returning players, ninth-fewest in the nation.
» Florida has scored on 30 straight red zone trips (23 touchdowns). It enters the game ranked T11 nationally in conversation rate (.939).
» The Gators under Napier are 10-0 when leading after the third quarter and 9-2 when rushing for at least 150 yards. They are now 4-1 this season when scoring first (losing last week for the first time), 5-0 when leading at halftime and 4-0 when outrushing its opponent. However, UF is 3-6 under Napier when opponents score first, 1-6 when scoring less than 21 points, 3-11 when allowing 21+ points, 1-10 when tied or trailing after the third quarter and 2-7 when being outrushed.
» Florida is 2-8 against AP Top 25 teams under Napier, 1-1 this season. That drought extends to 8-18 against ranked opponents (2-6 vs. top five teams, 5-7 vs. top 10 teams) since 2018. In that same span, UF is 35-10 against unranked opponents.
» The Gators have scored in 444 consecutive games, an NCAA record.

Prediction and analysis

Spread: Florida -3 | O/U: 49

While Arkansas does have motivation in this game — getting off the schneid with a win, turning around the offense under a new coordinator, leaving The Swamp victorious for the first time — this is a must-win for Florida. Sitting at five wins, there is no better shot at bowl eligibility for the Gators over the remainder of this season. Florida is also 2-0 coming off losses and home where it boasts a significant advantage.

All that said, the Razorbacks are coming off a bye week, while the Gators enter this game hobbled with starting linebacker Shemar James now out for the season and at least one but possibly both starting defensive tackles sidelined. Notably concerning is that this line has come down significantly. UF opened as a touchdown favorite (-6) but now sits as a field goal favorite (-3) with kickoff approaching.

In other words, despite Arkansas losing five straight coming in, this is hardly going to be a cake walk for Florida. Expectations for the Gators were not high this season but making a bowl game was absolutely one of them. The next three games are all against teams ranked among the top 15 nationally, and the next two are both on the road, likely at night.

Florida and Napier have no choice but to take care of business at home, and with the spread dropping significantly, the Gators are the pick here in a hard-fought battle that should fall under the total.

2023 records: ATS picks 3-5 | O/U picks 5-3 | Underdog SU picks 1-0

Odds and ends

» Uniforms: Florida will wear black jerseys, black pants and black helmets — all for the first time in program history. (Fun fact: UF will not wear orange jerseys or pants at all this season.)

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