2012 College Football Picks: Florida @ Georgia Vegas Odds and Predictions – Free College Football Picks 10/27/2012: The annual rivalry game between Florida and Georgia will have more than just bragging rights at stake this weekend. The second-ranked Gators (7-0, 6-0 SEC) can clinch the SEC East with a victory over the 10th-ranked Bulldogs (6-1, 4-1 SEC). More importantly, Florida can stay in the thick of the national title hunt. Of course, winning in the SEC is never easy, and winning on the road in the conference is even tougher. Throw in the fact that it is a rivalry game, and despite being 6 ½-point favorites, the Gators can’t afford to get overconfident.
Offensively, the two teams are about as different as night and day. Led by quarterback Andrew Murray and running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, the Bulldogs use a pro-style system that ranks in the top 30 in both rushing and passing yards and in the top 20 in scoring at 39.6 per game. Florida, on the other hand, rarely throws the ball and instead relies heavily on workhorse running back Mike Gillislee and the run-first QB Jake Driskel.
While Georgia may be the more impressive offensive team on paper, the Gators’ defense is head and shoulders above the Bulldogs’ defense. Florida currently ranks fourth in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 12.1 points per game. The Gators’ defensive line has emerged as the best unit in the country, terrorizing opposing QBs and stuffing opposing rushers. Georgia, on the other hand, has plenty of talent on the defensive side of the ball. However, Jarvis Jones and company have underachieved all year.
The Gators Win If:
Florida is undefeated for a reason. The Gators’ formula for winning has been as simple as it is brilliant. If Florida’s offensive line wins the battle up front, Gillislee and Driskel will control the clock and field position with their running ability. Meanwhile, Florida’s defensive front just needs to keep doing what it has all year and take away the Georgia running attack and pressure Murray into mistakes. If the Gators use their size and physicality to dominate in the trenches on both sides of the ball, Florida will wear down the Bulldogs and put them away in the second half.
The Bulldogs Win If:
There is no secret to what the Gators are going to do on offense, and it will be up to the Georgia defense to shut down the Florida rushing attack. While Jenkins is the star of the unit, fellow linebacker Alec Ogletree, nose tackle John Jenkins and safety Bacarri Rambo are all NFL-caliber players. If the Bulldogs’ defense finally plays up to its potential, the Gators could struggle to score points. Meanwhile, Georgia needs to utilize its balance on offense to keep the Florida defense guessing. As long as the Bulldogs don’t allow the Florida running game to dictate the tempo, Murray and company can pull the upset.
After looking like an offensive juggernaut for the first five games of the season, the Bulldogs managed just seven points against South Carolina and couldn’t even top 30 points against Kentucky. Now, Georgia has to face a Florida defense that is tougher up front and deeper in the secondary than any it has faced thus far. Murray and company have picked the wrong time to get of sync on offense, and the Bulldogs’ defense hasn’t found a rhythm all year. Meanwhile, the Gators enter the matchup fresh off a 44-11 destruction of the same South Carolina team that pummeled the Bulldogs. At the end of the day, the punishing defensive and offensive lines of Florida will overwhelm Georgia and power the Gators to another big win.
Prediction: Florida Gators (-6 ½) Cover the Spread
Florida @ Georgia Vegas Odds and Total
Line: Florida -6.5
Total: Over/Under 46.5
Television: 3:30 PM EST on CBS
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