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Gators vs. Seminoles Preview/Pick

Florida Gators at Florida State Seminoles Football Odds

The Florida Gators (10-1 SU, 8-2 ATS) are staring at an opportunity to win the SEC, then go on to the BCS national title game. But first they’ll have to get by their most hated traditional rivals, the Florida State Seminoles (8-3 SU, 5-4 ATS) as the two teams meet up on Saturday at 3:30 PM ET Doak Campbell Stadium (natural turf) in Tallahassee.

BetUS NCAA Football Sports Betting Odds: FLORIDA -16.5, Total 57.5

Here are some of the NCAA college football betting trends as they relate to this matchup:

* FLA has won its last seven games SU
* FLA has covered its last six games
* FLA has played its last five games OVER the total
* FLA has covered its last seven road games
* FLA has won its last six road games SU
* FLA has played five of its last seven road games OVER the total
* FSU has won six of its last eight games SU
* FSU has played five of its last eight games OVER the total
* FSU has won seven of its last nine home games SU

Also…

* FLA has won four of the last five meetings SU
* Six of the last seven meetings have gone UNDER the total
* FSU has covered four of the last five meetings as the home team

How long has it been since Florida State was this big an underdog at home? We couldn’t even tell you. The question is – do they deserve to be?

Florida has been taking no prisoners lately, winning each of its last seven games by at least 28 points. And it is isn’t as if the Gators have been beating up on patsies either. They have scored a 30-point win over LSU, a 39-point victory over Georgia, beat Vanderbilt by 28 and slapped Steve Spurrier and South Carolina around by 50 points (56-6). All of those teams have been rated at one point this season. In fact, if this team had been able to score two more points against Ole Miss, this might be considered one of the greatest college teams in the last decade.

Florida is tied for the national lead in turnover margin (+18), is third in both scoring defense AND scoring offense, is ninth in total defense and 18th in total offense; 13th in rushing defense and sixth in passing efficiency defense. There’s just a whole lot of superlatives to go around. Tim Tebow has generated talk of a Heisman repeat as he’s surged toward the end, completing 72% of his passes with 12 TD’s and on interception in the last five games. On the year, Tebow’s TD-to-INT ratio is an insane 22-to-2!

Everything else on this offensive unit is balanced. There aren’t many guys on the national leader board, but Percy Harvin, Chris Rainey, Jeffrey Demps and Louis Murphy are all lethal. There is a 2.8-yard margin between what Florida gains per rush attempt (6.1) and what it gives up (3.3). And the Gators score a point for every 9.6 yards gained.

Florida State, under normal circumstances, plays enough defense to be able to stay in this game (rated seventh in total defense). But Antone Smith has disappointed many (57 yards or less in each of last five games). Jimbo Fisher is suspect as an offensive coordinator. And with Christian Ponder (12 TD’s, 11 INT’s), who’s had only ONE 200-yard game this season, they just doesn’t have the capability to trade points with Urban Meyer’s team.

Last year Florida rolled up 541 yards in a 45-12 win. This year they are out for blood again, looking to take some momentum into the SEC showdown with ‘Bama. Lay the points with Florida, the 16.5-point favorite in the BetUS NCAA college football sports betting odds.

Our PLAY: FLORIDA -16.5 ***

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