The Commodores enter the week with a mediocre 3-3 overall record, but they’ve played one of the toughest schedules in the country to this point in the season. Vanderbilt has already played two top-10 opponents in Georgia and Notre Dame and Saturday’s matchup versus the Gators will mark the first of back-to-back Top-20 matchups against SEC opponents. Vanderbilt will head on the road next week for a battle against No.18 Kentucky.
Florida upsets No.5 LSU
The Gators come into this week following back-to-back wins against ranked opponents. Florida followed up its 13-6 victory over No. 23 Mississippi State by knocking off No. 5 LSU 27-19 thanks to some trickery and stout defense. Lamical Perine scored twice on short runs, including one after a trick play in the fourth quarter to help the Gators come away with a win in a game that proved to be a nail-biter. Feleipe Franke completed just 12 of his 27 attempts on the night for 161 yards, one touchdown and one interception, but Florida managed to pile up 215 yards on the ground for their second straight upset win. Perine led the team in rushing with 85 yards and two touchdowns on 17 attempts, while Jordan Scarlett added 65 yards on 14 totes on the evening.
Remember when @FloridaGators fans regretted the hiring of @CoachDanMullen and players were quitting the team ? It wasn't that long ago . Amazing what #winning will do for a fan base and coach #JustWinBaby
— Robert K. Burnham (@robertkburnham) October 8, 2018
Franks has now thrown for 1,122 yards, 12 touchdowns, and only four interceptions this season, while Scarlett leads the team in rushing with 268 yards for the season. Florida enters the week averaging 34 points per game, while limiting opposing teams to just 14.8 points and 322.5 yards of total offense per game.
Vanderbilt crushed vs. Georgia
The Commodores are fresh off of a tough 41-13 defeat on the road against the No.4-ranked Georgia Bulldogs. Vanderbilt didn’t find the end zone until the final two seconds of the game when Josh Crawford punched in a touchdown from two yards out for their only score against the Georgia defense. The Commodores converted just 3 of 12 third down opportunities and allowed a whopping 560 yards of total offense, as Georgia showed why they are considered one of the top teams in the entire country. Kyle Shurmur completed 14 of his 28 passes for 169 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions on the game. Vanderbilt ran for 138 yards and averaged a respectable 4.8 yards per attempt, but they were forced to abandon the run in a game that got out of hand early.
Shurmur has compiled 1,400 yards, nine touchdowns and four interceptions through six games this season, while completing a career-best 60.4 percent of his passes. Six of Shurmur’s nine touchdown passes have gone to junior wide receiver Kalija Lipscomb, who also leads the team in receiving with 45 catches for 496 yards.
"I said it going into the season, I thought Kalija was the most underrated receiver in this conference, and I still believe that." – @CoachDerekMason
— Vanderbilt Football (@VandyFootball) October 4, 2018
Vanderbilt enters the Week averaging 25.2 points per game, which is a fairly impressive number considering the strength of their early-season schedule. They are averaging 398.8 yards of total offense per game, including 159.2 on the ground while allowing a nearly identical 24 points per game and 398.5 yards of total offense per game on defense.
- Commodores are 6-18 ATS in their last 24 home games vs. a team with a winning road record..
- Commodores are 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 games following an ATS loss.
- Commodores are 1-8-1 ATS in their last 10 conference games.
- Gators are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
- Gators are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
After back-to-back quality wins, the Gators have catapulted themselves into the national spotlight and are now ranked 14th ahead of their matchup versus the Commodores. Vanderbilt gives up over 398 yards of total offense per game, including over 165 yards per game on the ground, which should bode well for this Gators offense. Commodores quarterback Kyle Shurmur has thrown for five touchdowns and four interceptions over his past four games and three of those TDs came at home against Tennessee State. Take Florida to come out on top in this SEC matchup against an underrated Vanderbilt football team.
Prediction: Pick: Florida Gators -7
Full-Game Total Pick
Vanderbilt’s offense has yet to score more than 17 points against a Power Five opponent this season. They are 0-3 in those games and are averaging 14.7 points per game in those contests, so one could turn ugly early.Florida’s offense hasn’t exactly been explosive either and Franks is coming off of a game in which he completed just 44 percent of his throws. Expect Florida to control the time of possession by running the football and take the under in this game at Vanderbilt Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Half-Time Side Pick
I expect this Gators defense to put the clamps on Vanderbilt here. The Commodores have faced some tough competition already this season, but haven’t really fared well in those contests outside of a narrow five-point loss to Notre Dame. Florida is coming off of back-to-back wins over ranked teams and they should be able to get what they want against a defense allowing nearly 400 yards of total offense per game. Take the Gators to cover the first half spread in this matchup on Saturday afternoon.
Prediction: Florida Gators -4.5
Half-Time Total Bet
Shurmur has struggled against Power 5 schools so far this season, throwing for just two touchdowns and two interceptions in three games against the likes of Notre Dame, South Carolina, and Georgia. Florida has surrendered only 148.7 pass yards per game this season, so Vanderbilt mya opt to lean on junior running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn instead. That should lend itself to more a low-scoring game, which has me leaning towards the under on the first half total in this heated SEC battle on Saturday afternoon.
Prediction: Under 25