The SEC is in full swing as Tennessee hosts Florida! It’s time to continue our college football odds series with a Florida-Tennessee prediction and pick.
The NCAA scheduling committee didn’t give the Gators much justice with a tough first few weeks of the season. They started out the season facing No. 7 Utah followed by No. 20 Kentucky. Two weeks later, they face their third ranked opponent of the season already. At (2-1), Florida is now ranked 20th in the nation. It’s going to take a perfect game from both the offense and defense if they want to upset the Volunteers on Saturday afternoon.
Make no mistake, Tennessee is a great football team. They contain an elite offense led by quarterback Hendon Hooker. If Hooker continues his stellar play and the ‘Vols keep winning, then he might insert himself into the top contention for the Heisman Trophy. The Senior has led them to a (3-0) record and took down No. 17 Pitt in the process. This is a huge game for the ‘Vols as they have a bye next week. Tennessee will go on the road to LSU in two weeks, followed by a battle with Alabama at home on Oct. 15.
Here are the Florida-Tennessee college football odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
College Football Odds: Florida-Tennessee Odds
Florida Gators: +10.5 (-110)
Tennessee Volunteers: -10.5 (-110)
Over: 62.5 (-110)
Under: 62.5 (-110)
Why Florida Could Cover The Spread
All three games have been close for the Gators this season. In their loss to Kentucky two weeks back, the offense couldn’t get going. Quarterback Anthony Richardson threw for just 143 yards and two interceptions. The Wildcats’ defense is elite this season and they shut down the Gators for pretty much the entire game. This is important because they are facing a team that is allowing just 14.3 points per game. Not only is Josh Heupel’s offense elite, but this defense is shutting down opponents with ease this season.
The trio of Montrell Johnson Jr., Nay’Quan Wright, and Trevor Etienne must be dominant on Saturday. Johnson is the starter, but Wright and Etienne share carries along with the ability of Richardson to escape the pocket. This is an offense that wants to establish a run game and they definitely have the weapons to do so. Richardson does not have a passing TD this season, so expect him to try and get his arm going by surprising the Volunteers’ defense.
The defense has a tough task as they must try and contain Hooker. The senior QB is on a tear to start the season and the ‘Vols also have a great run game to balance it out. Safety Trey Dean III leads the team with 30 tackles and fellow safety Rashad Torrence II is behind him with 22. Those two will have a huge task tonight to try and lead the defense by shutting down the passing game.
Why Tennessee Could Cover The Spread
For a team that has a 37.7-point difference on the season, covering a 10.5-point spread should be very doable. The ‘Vols are averaging 52 points on the year and have a chance to win another game against a ranked opponent. Tennessee is the favorite as they will be in a majority of their matchups. They have only allowed a combined 16 points at home in Knoxville and with the way Florida is playing, they shouldn’t allow many points in this one either.
Hooker has many weapons. At the RB position, Jaylen Wright gets a majority of the carries and Jabari Small is behind him. Tennessee already has 12 rushing TDs on the season. Due to their blowout against Akron last week, they have had a lot of players get reps this season. 14 different players have caught a pass this year and 10 different players have carried the ball. This is a balanced offense that seems to get the job done. Jalin Hyatt leads the team with 18 receptions, 267 yards, and three TDs on the season. Expect the Hooker/Hyatt duo to be on point against the Gators.
Final Florida-Tennessee Prediction & Pick
This has a chance to be one of the best SEC matchups of the season. Tennessee is dominant at home and they should cover this spread against the Gators. Hooker will continue his Heisman-caliber start to the season as the bye week approaches.
Final Florida-Tennessee Prediction & Pick: Tennessee -10.5 (-110)