Florida at Auburn
(4 pm PT, ESPN)
Florida -1.5 O/U 50.5
Florida -2 O/U 49.5
Rob Veno Power Rating:
Marty Otto’s Betting Take:
The fact we’ve seen these two offenses scuffle the past two games shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. The Gators lost their starting quarterback and were up against two of the most dominant defenses in all of college football. The Tigers were dealing with injuries to key skill position talent while on the road against two good defenses as well. But perhaps those dreadful showings serve as a positive for those looking to play the over this weekend.
What these two offenses lack in passing production right now they can potentially make up for with explosive running attacks on Saturday. Granted both defenses will likely scheme to stop the run first and foremost but will they be successful? Florida’s defense has allowed 629 yards on the ground the last three weeks combined, which included 150 at 4.69 yards per carry to lowly Kentucky. Auburn gave up 338 yards rushing to Mississippi State, 242 to Clemson and a combined 320 to South Carolina and Arkansas. All four of those teams ran at better than 5.00 yards per carry (ACCU-Stats).
Both squads combined have five of the SEC’s top 10 rushers in terms of yards per carry average: Jeff Demps, Mike Gillislee, Onterio McCaleb, Michael Dyer and Chris Rainey. We can also add running quarterback Kiehl Frazier to list of rushers who average over 5.0 yards per carry this season and he’ll see some reps on Saturday. So we know these two teams have dynamic playmakers capable of producing big runs and putting points on the board.
Where else could we find points? Both special teams units have a history of blocking kicks. The Gators have already blocked three this season and they’ve also returned a punt for a touchdown. The Tigers rank second in the SEC in kickoff return average and have run one back for a score. And both defenses have scored at least one touchdown on forced turnovers. It certainly wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibilities to see a non-offensive score or two this weekend.
Both teams should benefit from a step down in class and it wouldn’t shock me in the slightest to see this one get up and over the total.