FLORIDA GATORS AT GEORGIA BULLDOGS (+7.5, 43.5), Sat., 3:30 p.m. ET
No. 14 Florida (5-1, 3-1 SEC) goes for its third straight win over reeling Georgia (4-3, 2-3), and fourth straight cover, when the archrivals meet in Jacksonville.
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Both teams come off a bye.
Gators quarterback Luke Del Rio didn't look fully recovered from his sprained left knee two weeks ago against Missouri, tossing three interceptions in the 40-14 win, but he should be nearly 100 percent Saturday.
Florida ranks second nationally in scoring defense (12.0) and will key on Georgia running back Nick Chubb, a massive threat despite his 40-yard performance two weeks ago against Vanderbilt. Bulldogs freshman QB Jacob Eason (9 TDs, 5 INTs) will face his toughest test to date.
Florida is 13-3 ATS in its past 16 games following a bye, while Georgia is 7-2 ATS in its last nine games following a straight-up loss.
The Under is 4-1 in the past five meetings.
SPORTS CHEETAH'S TAKE
This 7.5-point spread is spot on from a numbers perspective, but as I dig into the game more and more it seems like getting the Bulldogs over a touchdown with a total lined this low has some value.
Both teams are coming off their bye, but it's worth noting the Gators had an unexpected bye due to the hurricane just two weeks prior. Come Saturday, the Gators will have played just one football game in their last 28 days. That one game? Missouri at home.
A 2-5 Missouri squad whose only wins are over Eastern Michigan and Delaware State. Florida hasn't played anybody decent since Sept. 24 when it blew an early lead at Tennessee. I expect some rust.
On the flip side, Georgia is coming off of an embarrassing home loss to Vanderbilt. The Bulldogs actually outgained the Commodores 421-171, and considering they didn't turn the ball over, it's a strange result when you dig into the box score.
Kirby Smart will have his team prepared, and he has experience facing this Jim McElwain version of the Gators as defensive coordinator of Alabama when they met in the SEC championship game last year.
There really is no sense in waiting for a +8 or +9 if you like UGA since those aren't very significant numbers, and +7.5 may not be around come Saturday anyway. I'd take the Bulldogs now.
BookMaker.eu opened at Florida -5.5, lower than other books, and moved to Florida -7.5 on Monday.
"It hasn't budged since," spokesman Scott Cooley told SportsLine. "Around 65 percent of the bets are on the Gators while the money handle has evened up in the last day or so."
The Bulldogs have had two weeks to stew on their 17-16 home loss to Vandy as two-touchdown favorites. Georgia fell to 3-4 ATS.
The Gators crushed Mizzou 40-14 two weeks ago, covering the 13-poiint spread. It was only the second time Florida covered in six games this year.
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