Florida Gators vs Georgia Bulldogs: betting odds, preview, pick

Chris Trotman

Florida has shocked many with its 7-0 start and oddsmakers shocked bettors by making the Gators 7-point favorites in this key SEC battle Saturday.

The Florida Gators began this season ranked No. 23 in the polls but, with a 7-0 start, the Gators have moved all the way up to the No. 2 spot in the BCS standings.

Florida will try to retain that spot and clinch a berth in the SEC championship game when it takes on the 6-1 Georgia Bulldogs in front of the cocktail crowd down in Jacksonville Saturday afternoon (3:30 pm ET, CBS).

As of Friday morning, most college football betting outlets were listing the Gators as seven-point favorites over the Bulldogs, after the line opened around 3.5 on Monday.

Can the Gators, who are 11-3 SU in their past 14 games against Georgia, take that next step toward a return to glory? Or do the 'Dawgs have designs of their own concerning the East Division title? [ Injury updates on Twitter ]

Florida opened this season with a lackluster victory over Bowling Green, then began SEC play with come-from-behind wins over Texas A&M and Tennessee. The Gators then romped over Kentucky, beat LSU, won at Vanderbilt and, last week, put a hurtin' on South Carolina, beating the Gamecocks 44-11.

Statistically speaking, the Gators are only getting 138 YPG through the air, but have outrushed foes by a 213-97 YPG margin.

Georgia, meanwhile, opened with a lackluster win over Buffalo, then began SEC play with a 41-20 victory at Missouri. The 'Dawgs then stepped back out of conference to beat Florida Atlantic, then put up 48 points in defeating Vandy and 51 in topping Tennessee, according to the Bulldogs-Gators matchup report.

But UGA then played its worst game of the season, falling 35-7 at South Carolina. Last week, though, the Bulldogs got back on the winning track, beating Kentucky 29-24.

By the numbers the Bulldogs are averaging 282 YPG passing and 205 YPG rushing, but defensively they're allowing 367 total YPG and 168 YPG on the ground.

So Florida, at 6-0 in SEC play, leads the East Division by a game and a half over 4-1 Georgia. The 'Dawgs still, however, control their own destiny; if they can win their last three SEC games they will win the East.

So far this year Florida is a sparkling 6-1 ATS, while Georgia is just 2-5 vs. the numbers.

The Gators have won 18 of the last 22 games in this series. But last year the 'Dawgs, on their way to winning the East, rallied from 14 points down to beat Florida 24-20.

Weather could play a factor in this game, as the forecast for Saturday in north Florida calls for windy with a 30 percent chance of rain.

Free Pick: In a matchup like this, we look for the team that will out-rush its opponent. So we'll give the points and go with the Gators. (courtesy of PickShark.com)

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