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Florida vs. Tennessee, Saturday, September 24, 3:30 ET
We have a nice matchup here. Two SEC opponents, two ranked opponents squaring off against each other in a battle that should be one of the better games for the day. I’m higher than many on Tennessee this year, but that doesn’t mean I auto-bet them, I just like the team they have. Let’s see what is the best way to make a play in this one.
Starting with Florida, they come into the game at just 2-1 which is probably a little disappointing for them. Unlike many teams, though they have come into the season playing tough opponents right away. An opening week victory at home over Utah saw them start the season strong. Then they dropped a game to Kentucky in week two. It really wasn’t that close of a game and it was a loss at home. They also played South Florida last week where they won on a late touchdown. It also helps that South Florida missed a final-minute field goal. Their quarterback play has been absolutely terrible so far. I have to imagine that Anthony Richardson will be pulled if he can’t make progress in the passing game. His best game was only good because he had three rushing touchdowns. He hasn’t thrown a single touchdown on the year. If you’re that one-dimensional, it will be hard to win games.
Tennessee has looked very strong in its first three games of the year. Unlike Florida though, they have only played one ranked opponent so far – an overtime victory over Pitt on the road. If you want to talk about bad quarterback play, you’ll need to leave Tennessee out of the conversation. Hendon Hooker has been very good on the year, completing almost 70% of passes and he has six touchdowns to go with it. Still, they don’t only throw the ball. Hooker can run for first downs when he needs to, but their running game is solid too. On defense, they have been good enough and have a bit of an advantage with Richardson not being able to throw well so far on the year.
I don’t think there is any chance of an upset here. Tennessee is at home and has been playing very well as a unit. I am a little concerned about this play as one of Tennessee’s wideouts will be sitting in the first half of this game, but I’m going to take the Vols in the first half at -6.5.
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