Florida vs. Kentucky: Pick, prediction, spread, odds, line, time, watch live stream, TV channel

By Adam Silverstein
November 28, 2020
Florida vs. Kentucky: Pick, prediction, spread, odds, line, time, watch live stream, TV channel

Image Credit: Michael Nash

Coming off yet another dominant offensive while simultaneously putting forth another lackluster defensive effort, the No. 6 Florida Gators are firmly in the College Football Playoff hunt but nevertheless on thin ice with no margin for ever over the remainder of their season. Lucky for Florida, it is back in the friendly confines of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium with a bit of revenge on its mind.

It is in The Swamp two years ago that the Kentucky Wildcats ended the Gators’ 31-game winning streak in the SEC East rivalry. It was UK’s first defeat of UF since 1986 and its first win on Florida Field since 1979. If you think head coach Dan Mullen has forgotten about that loss during his first season — and second game — with the team, you would be sorely mistaken.

Not only are the Gators eyeing the postseason, redshirt senior quarterback Kyle Trask has moved into front-runner status for the Heisman Trophy. And his rise to glory began in this very game last year where Trask engineered a come-from-behind victory on the road against the Wildcats. Yes, Kentucky almost won two straight in this series for the first time since 1976-77. Trask will get yet another chance to enhance his resume on Saturday while Ohio State QB Justin Fields is forced to sit home due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the program. His other competition will be in action, however.

With three games left on the regular-season schedule against teams that it should beat, Florida’s primary concerns for Saturday should be the same as last week: impress early, remain healthy and get out in one piece.

Aspirations of contending for the SEC title and the program’s first opportunity in the CFP remain heavy on UF’s shoulders. The Gators are in complete control of their fate. What will go down Saturday afternoon in the Florida-Kentucky game? Let’s find out.

Tale of the tape

No. 6 Florida GatorsKentucky Wildcats
Head coachDan MullenMark Stoops

Injuries and absences

Probable (1): TE Kyle Pitts (concussion, nose)
Questionable (3): LB James Houston (undisclosed), OL Stewart Reese (shoulder), LB Jeremiah Moon (foot)
Out (1): WR Trent Whittemore (ribs, lung)
Out for season (1): DB Ethan Pouncey (hip)
Inactive (?): TBA

Viewing information

Date: Saturday, Nov. 28 | Time: 12 p.m. ET
Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium — Gainesville, Florida [18,000]

TV: ESPN (Mark Jones, Dusty Dvoracek, Marty Smith)
Live stream: WatchESPN | SiriusXM: 138/191| Radio: WRUF, TuneIn
Live updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

Game notes

» Florida is 52-18 all-time against Kentucky with victories in 32 of the last 33 meetings. UF is 28-5 against UK inside The Swamp with wins in 19 of the last 20 such meetings.
»The Wildcats beat the Gators in 2018 for the first time since 1986 and first time in The Swamp since 1979.
» Under Mullen, Florida is 19-1 when scoring first, 23-1 when leading after the third quarter, 17-0 when allowing 20 points or fewer, 6-2 in games decided by fewer than 10 points and 21-0 when outrushing their opponent.
» UF lost for the first time when scoring first and leading after the third quarter this season vs. Texas A&M. It is now 6-6 when being outrushed by an opponent.
» Florida is 5-4 against ranked opponents (4-3 against top 10 teams) and 21-2 against unranked teams under Mullen.
» Mullen has begun his career 27-6 through 33 games, tied for the best start in program history with Urban Meyer and Steve Spurrier. Both Meyer and Spurrier lost their 34th games.

» The Gators have scored 24+ points in 22 of their last 24 games and 36+ points in nine straight games, the longest stretch in program history.
» Florida has scored 313 points through its first seven games, the third-most at this point in program history and the most since it scored 366 in the 1996 national championship season. That 1996 team scored 324 points in its first seven SEC games.
» The Gators have scored 144 offensive touchdowns in 33 games under Mullen. They scored 93 in 38 games from 2015-17. UF has also scored 50+ points five times under Mullen compared to five times over 101 games from 2010-17.
» Florida is one of four FBS teams with 10+ players who have caught touchdowns this season.
» Redshirt senior quarterback Kyle Trask is the first player in program history to throw 4+ touchdowns in six consecutive games. His 28 TD passes set an SEC record for most through the first six games of a season and tied an FBS record for most through six games in the last 20 seasons. His 31 TD passes are an SEC record for most through seven games, and that mark puts him one off the FBS lead in that category. Trask is the first Gators signal caller to throw for 6+ touchdowns twice in a single season and the second to do it in his career (Danny Wuerffel).
» UF has scored in 405 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.
» UF in 2019 finished a season undefeated in The Swamp for the first time since 2016, the third time this decade and 14th time in program history.

Prediction and analysis

Spread: Florida -25 | O/U: 61

Kentucky got absolutely embarrassed by Alabama last week, while Florida struggled to look dominant at Vanderbilt despite a comfortable victory. It is important not to solely rely on the prior week’s results when making picks, but it’s also quite obvious that the Gators are not sound enough defensively to keep teams from scoring at the rate where they can cover a super-inflated spread. That may not matter when spreads are a couple of touchdowns, but it does when they are heavily favored in games. UF is 4-1 ATS this season as favorites of 17 points or less and 0-2 ATS otherwise.

While Florida will play far better at home against Kentucky than it did last week, the Wildcats will also step their game up against the Gators because Stoops is a capable coach who will use that thrashing as motivation. It is worth considering that Kentucky scored just six points combined against Alabama and Georgia. But again, both teams have far better defenses than Florida. On the other side, the Gators have not scored less than 38 points this season. The over is 5-2 in Florida games this year, so let’s side with the trend.

2020 records: ATS picks 5-2 | O/U picks 2-5 | Overall: 7-7

Odds and ends

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

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