Florida Gators (6-0, 4-0 in SEC) -2, O/U 38 at Auburn Tigers (5-1, 3-1), 7:45 p.m. Eastern Saturday, ESPN
by Predictem.com Staff
The Florida Gators look to stay on the road to the national championship game, but they face another challenging bump in that road when they cross the border to Alabama to take on the Auburn Tigers Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Florida kept its record perfect this season by beating LSU last week 23-10 as one-point home favorites.
Auburn, however, experienced its first taste of defeat last week, falling miserably 27-10 to Arkansas as 15-point home chalk. The Razorbacks ran wild over the Tigers, out rushing their hosts by a 279-60 margin.
The Gators are 6-0, but Saturday’s game in Auburn will be just their second road bout of this season. Florida won at Tennessee 21-20 four weeks ago.
Somehow, the Gators and the Tigers haven’t met on the field of battle since 2002, when Florida beat Auburn 23-20 in OT in Gainesville.
The Gators are outrushing their opponents this season by a 156-57 yards per game margin, and are holding foes to 2.3 yards per carry.
The Tigers are outgaining their opponents on the ground this season by a 154-120 margin.
Florida has been playing two QBs, but regular signal-caller Chris Leak, who’s made 39 career collegiate starts, owns a 65% completion rate so far this season and a 14/5 TD/INT ratio.
Auburn QB Brandon Cox, with 17 career starts under his belt, owns a 62% completion rate and a 5/2 TD/INT ratio this year.
Both of these teams are 3-3 against the spread this season.
Last season, the Gators went 0-3-1 ATS as road favorites, and they’re 0-1 in that same situation this season.
The Tigers went 5-1 ATS at home last season, but are just 2-2 in that situation this season. Auburn has not been a home dog since the 2002 season.
Florida returned six starters on each side of the ball from a team that went 9-3 overall last season, 5-3 in the SEC and beat Iowa in the Outback Bowl 31-24.
The Tigers also returned six starters on both offense and defense from a team that went 9-3 overall last season and 7-1 in the SEC, but got upset mightily by a lesser Wisconsin team in the Capital One Bowl.
These two teams have played one common opponent this season. As mentioned above, Florida beat LSU 23-10 as one-point home chalk last week, outrushing the Tigers 97-90. Auburn beat the Bayou Bengals 7-3 as 3-point home favorites a month ago, outrushing LSU 72-42.
The Sagarin Predictor rankings at USAToday.com rate the Gators #3 at 92.8, the Tigers #14 at 84.4.
The O/U is a combined 3-9 in Florida and Auburn games this season.
The Tigers opened up as 2-point home favorites for this game, but the Gators have been bet into 2-point road chalk, an interesting four-point swing.