The Gators travel to meet Wildcats on Saturday night. It is Florida’s 1st. conference game, while Kentucky returns for their home opener after upsetting S. Carolina as 8 point odds underdog.
Florida (-3) vs. Kentucky 7:30 ET SEC TV
The Florida Gators travel to meet the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday at 7:30 ET as televised by SEC TV. It is Florida’s first conference game of the year, while Kentucky returns for their home opener after upsetting S. Carolina (26-22) as 8 point underdog. That was a game that was tightly contested with stats and TOs virtually even. But, the Wildcats took advantage of a S. Carolina defense that is still in a state of decline and has allowed more than 200 yards rushing in both games this year, after being a 200 Club defense in the 2014 season. The previous week it was the Kentucky defense that had the issues. After bolting to a 33-10 first half lead, Kentucky had to survive a 200 club performance from the Ragin’ Cajuns, who gained 479 yards in an eventual 40-33 Kentucky victory. Many believe the Wildcats will gain momentum from that S. Carolina victory and a 2-0 SU start. But, history has shown that home underdogs, who return following a road upset victory as underdog of 7 or more points, are a historically poor play. That would fit hand in glove with the record of Kentucky’s HC Stoops, who is 1-6 ATS as home dog during his tenure with Kentucky. Starting Kentucky QB Towles is inconsistent at best and not to be trusted against the defensively superior, hard-charging Florida defense.
The Gators have been through some tough times the last 2 seasons. It was the final 2 years in the unremarkable tenure of former Gator HC Muschamp. Those seasons were a combined 11-13 SU, 10-12 ATS for the Gators. But, there is new blood on the Florida sidelines, as the Gators begin a resurgence under 1st year HC McElwain. McElwain, you will recall, is the former OC at Alabama and highly successful coach at Colorado St. There, he improved the Rams’ win total from 3 to 4 to 8 to 10 in his three years at Ft. Collins. McElwain’s teams have been highly successful in recent seasons with an ATS mark of 17-10 L2+Y. Last week, the Gators were a very popular College Football Pick with early money pushing the line from (-15) to as high as (-21). Though the 31-24 final did not get the money for Gator backers, we must note their dominance at the point of attack, as they outrushed E. Carolina 68 to (-13). That performance followed a “feel-good” home win over New Mex St. (61-13), in which the Gators had a commanding 606-200 yardage edge, covering the 36 point impost as a 200 club member and doublerusher.
One thing that has held true over time is Florida’s dominance of this series. Since 1986, the Gators have defeated the Wildcats 26 consecutive times. This includes by margins of, in reverse order, 6, 17, 38, 48, 34, 34, 58, 8, 19 and 21 in the last 10 years, an average of 28 PPG (considerably more than this meager 3 point impost). With the superior Florida defense, the upset of S. Carolina working against Kentucky, and the continued anticipated Florida improvement, let history be your guide as the Gators win for the 27th consecutive time over the Wildcats. Make Florida your pick as the College Football Odds on favorite to win and cover this contest.
College Football Picks: Play Florida (-3)