The Tennessee Volunteers haven’t beaten Florida in consecutive seasons since 2003 and 2004. They’ll be looking to do it again when the No. 11 Volunteers visit the Florida Gators on Saturday night. Tennessee has cruised to a pair of victories to start the season. The Gators rebounded from an opening-game loss to Utah to thump McNeese, which is no great accomplishment. The Tennessee vs Florida odds show the Volunteers favored by 6.5 points, and the total is sitting at 58 points.
Day/Time:Saturday, Sept. 16, 7 p.m. ET
Line: Tennessee -6.5
Total: 58 Streaming: ESPN
Tennessee Rushing Attack Getting the Job Done
The Volunteers have been beasts at running the ball this season, gaining 515 yards and scoring six touchdowns. Tennessee is averaging 6.1 yards per carry. Jaylen Wright has 25 carries for 233 yards, and Jabari Small has 26 rushes for 162 yards. Surprisingly, neither has scored. Dylan Sampson has three rushing TDs, as does quarterback Joe Milton III. Milton has also thrown for 429 yards and four touchdowns against no interceptions.
The Vols have been solid on defense, allowing 13 points in each of their first two games. Virginia was held to 201 yards, and Austin Peay had 339 yards in a strange game. Tennessee was favored by 47.5 points and never came close to covering the spread, with the college football scores showing a 30-13 Volunteers victory. The Vols easily covered the spread against Virginia to open the season.
Gators Could be Better Than Expected
Florida’s season-opener at Utah wasn’t a great game by any means. But it wasn’t quite the thumping the final score indicated. Florida outgained Utah 346-270. But the Gators missed a field, turned the ball over downs several occasions, and gave Utah an 11-yard touchdown drive. With a bit of luck, it could have been a completely different contest.
Quarterback Graham Mertz has played well for the Gators, throwing for 526 yards. He’s only thrown two TDs, which he’ll have to rectify for Florida to land in a bowl game. The Gators have 340 rushing yards and are rushing for 4.7 yards per carry.
The defense has played well for the most part. Another stop or two against Utah would have helped. You can’t read too much into the Austin Peay game, except the Gators failed to cover the point spread. Florida won 49-7 as 48-point favorites.
What to Expect
The Tennessee vs Florida odds report expects Tennessee to come out and try to establish the run. The Florida defense will be a bigger challenge than what the Vols have seen so far. Milton always could run, which could come in handy against the Florida defense.
The Gators will try to mix the run and the pass but shouldn’t be afraid to let Mertz do what he does best: put the ball downfield. The Gators will need the offensive line to give Mertz time to throw. If they can do that, the Gators will pick up some yards through the air.
This isn’t just another NCAA football game for the Gators. Florida lost its first game against a big-time program in Utah. The Gators have to show they can play with the big boys of the college football world. When they’re on their game, they can.
Who to Bet On?
The Tennessee vs Florida odds of Volunteers -6.5 look pretty good. The Volunteers are the better team on paper, but Tennessee is just 1-5 ATS after playing an FCS team. The Gators have enough players who can make things happen. After playing Virginia and Austin Peay, the Vols will have difficulty adjusting to Florida’s athleticism. The Gators have already played Utah, so the Vols won’t seem like a daunting task.
The total of 58 might be a shade low, but until the Gators show they can score against a quality defense, it’s a little tough to go over with them.
The NCAAF predictions have this game coming down to the wire, with the Volunteers getting the win. But the Gatos should manage to stay within the point spread, so take Florida +6.5 to get the money in ‘The Swamp.’