Florida Still Undervalued vs. Georgia in Week 9 Marquee Matchup

Monday, October 22, 2018 9:38 PM UTC

Monday, Oct. 22, 2018 9:38 PM UTC

The Florida Gators have had their way with the college football odds. Now that they’re in the top 10, can they keep it up when they play the Georgia Bulldogs on a neutral field Saturday?

Jason’s 2018-19 NCAAF picks record through Week 8:
11-9 ATS; 0-1 ML (minus-1.00 units), 0-2 Totals

No. 9 Florida vs. No. 7 Georgia (at Jacksonville)Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS)Free NCAAF Pick: Gators ATSBest Line Offered: 5Dimes

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When is a road game not a road game? When it’s played close to home, of course. The No. 9 Florida Gators (6-1 SU and ATS) will face the No. 7 Georgia Bulldogs (6-1 SU, 3-4 ATS) on Saturday at the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. The Bulldogs are the designated “home” team this year, but the venue for this SEC rivalry game is in downtown Jacksonville, a little over an hour’s drive from Florida’s home base in Gainesville.

Be that as it may, the Gators are still big underdogs for Saturday’s marquee matchup. They opened at +7 (-120) on the Week 9 NCAAF odds board; at press time, you can get Florida at +7 (-105), with the consensus reports showing 52 percent of early bettors on the Bulldogs. This wouldn’t be the first time we’ve recommended Florida this year. Shall we pile on again?

Today’s Juice: Orange

Abso-frickin’-lutely. The football nerds at FiveThirtyEight have the Bulldogs winning this game 64 percent of the time, using their Elo-based formula. That works out to Georgia -178 using the almighty SBR Odds Converter, and that’s about the same as Georgia -5 for a point spread, according to the charts at Wizard of Odds.

It’ll be an even stronger college football pick if the odds can get past the magic number 7. Scouring the public money charts on the interwebs, it looks like the Bulldogs are still the more public team of the two – nothing’s been the same for Florida since Urban Meyer skipped town after the 2010 campaign. Maybe you’ll be able to bag the Gators at +7.5 closer to kickoff. Moving those 15 cents in vig from -120 to -105 at +7 is nothing to sneeze at, though.

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So excited to be in Jacksonville for @FloridaGators vs. @FootballUGA. It’s going to be an awesome weekend! Come join us for #SECNation! #gatornation #duval https://t.co/ChtAcVA4iy

— Tim Tebow (@TimTebow) October 21, 2018
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If you’d like some trends to go with that projection, voilà: The Gators are 6-4 SU and 7-3 ATS over Georgia during their past 10 games, covering four of the last five. How about some advanced stats? There’s no debating that the Bulldogs are the better team on paper, but there’s not much of a gap between these two programs. Football Outsiders have Georgia ranked No. 5 overall on their S&P+ Ratings, with Florida at No. 14.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs are a little more than 4.5 points better than Florida on a neutral field, as per the Simple Rating System numbers at Sports Reference. That matches up with the projections for Saturday. Even if we pretend that this is a proper neutral-field game in Jacksonville (tickets are distributed evenly between the two universities), everything appears to be in place for a sharp pick on the Gators.

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