Vanderbilt Commodores (3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS) vs. No. 21 Florida Gators (2-1 SU, 0-3 ATS)
College Football Week 5
Date/Time: Saturday September 30th, 2017. 12:30PM (EST)
Where: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium Gainesville, F.L.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: VAN +10/FLA -10
Over/Under Total: TBA
For the 2nd week in a row, the Florida Gators pulled out a miraculous win to move to 2-0 in the SEC and 3-1 overall. Two weeks ago, the Gators beat Tennessee on a 63 yard Hail Mary from Feleipe Franks to Tyrie Cleveland as the game clock expired. Last week, the Gators trailed Kentucky throughout the game yet rallied to score two late touchdowns and survived a failed game winning field goal attempt by Kentuckys Austin MacGinnis. If you saw the game, you probably were not impressed as the Gators moved to 0-3 against the spread. However, the Gators are currently tied with Georgia for the lead in the SEC East and they will look to stay there this week when the Vanderbilt Commodores come into Gainesville.
Vanderbilt suffered an embarrassing beating to Alabama last week by a score of 59-0. Let me be the first to say, I told you so in regards to that victory. I warned everyone that Vanderbilts upset win over Kansas State had influenced the betting lines and that their matchup against Alabama was a complete disadvantage just based on the style of football both teams play. Fortunately for the Commodores, this weeks showdown with Florida presents a chance at redemption in a big way. I personally think this weeks meeting with Florida is a much better match-up for the Commodores based on a few important key factors.
Despite what the scoreboard stated last week, the Commodores have a pretty solid defense that plays disciplined football. Alabama simply had too many elite weapons to be contained whereas Florida is still searching for their playmakers. Despite the back to back wins, the quarterback situation has still not been determined in Gainesville. After Feleipe Franks led the Gators to the win against Tennessee, it was Luke Del Rio who took over in the 2nd half against Kentucky to lead the comeback efforts. While the quarterback carousel worked last week, it hardly presented any long term solutions as the Gators played sluggish throughout the first 45 minutes on the offensive side of the ball.
If that happens again, Vanderbilt has enough defensive talent to stand with Florida if they continue to sputter offensively. Perhaps the most concerning aspect to Floridas slow start has not even been the quarterback situation but rather the running game. After a miserable 2016 campaign where the Gators gained just 128 yards per game (110th in the FBS), they are struggling yet again averaging just 121 yards per game as a team. Tailback Malik Davis has shown potential but Florida has yet to find themselves in a position where they could rely on the ground game to move the football.
For everything that Florida has lacked offensively, you still must respect their defensive talent. In fact, this game will feature two defenses that are by all stretches of the imagination better than the offenses they will line up against. The team that can make a few plays is the team that is really going to shine. Last week, Vanderbilt could not get anything going in the blowout loss to Alabama. However, I still believe they have enough experience at the skill positions to challenge Florida this weekend. Quarterback Kyle Shurmur is solid completing 63% passing with 8 touchdowns and just 1 pick. Additionally, Vanderbilt has one of the most under rated rushers in the SEC by way of senior Ralph Webb. For the Commodores to compete, it is imperative that those guys play well because it may not take much scoring to win this game.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: If this game were in Nashville, I would like Vanderbilts chances even more because I am not convinced Florida is a good football team. However, the Gators play much better at The Swamp. If I have to choose, I would lean towards Vanderbilt and the points. However, I think the best play will be the under when the total is released. Good luck! – Not all sportsbooks are created equal! Many are fly by night, poorly run and your loot is actually at risk. End that problem today by signing up at one of the web’s oldest and most trusted sportsbooks! Online for over 15 years, your credit card will work and you’ll also receive a 50% bonus up to $250 FREE at Bovada Sportsbook!