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Georgia vs. Florida 2023 College Football Week 9 Odds, Preview & Pick

By Hank Blaine

The “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” has arrived in college football this week as No. 1 Georgia faces unranked Florida in SEC action from the usual neutral-site spot in Jacksonville, Fla., with the Dawgs as more than two-TD favorites on the NCAAF odds.

Georgia Bulldogs vs. Florida Gators Game Information

  • When: Saturday, October 28, 2023, 3:30 PM ET
  • Where: EverBank Stadium, Jacksonville, FL
  • TV: CBS
  • Radio: 95.5 WSB FM (Georgia) // 850 AM WRUF (Florida)
  • Live Stream: CBS Sports
  • College Football Odds: Georgia (-14.5) // Florida (+15.5)

Why Bet on the Georgia Bulldogs?

Georgia remains No. 1 in the polls but No. 2 Michigan is gaining ground and has supplanted Georgia as the national title favorite at most sportsbooks. Both UGA and UF are off their bye weeks. UGA has matched up with Florida 101 times since 1904 and the Bulldogs hold a 55-44-2 edge. The teams have met in Jacksonville annually since 1933 except for the 1994 and 1995 seasons during the renovation of the stadium now known as EverBank Stadium.

The Bulldogs are 48-41-1 in Jacksonville and 5-2 in the series under coach Kirby Smart. Other than the shortened 2020 season, the Bulldogs have had an off week prior to their SEC Eastern Division matchup with the Gators every year since 2013. Georgia is 10-6 all-time against Florida following a bye week while the Gators are 18-11 off a bye entering this game. Last year, UGA won 42-20 and had 555 yards of total offense, the most-ever against Florida in the history of the series. Florida was limited to 100 yards rushing on 34 attempts (2.9 yards/carry) after entering leading the FBS at 6.4 yards/carry.

In Georgia’s 37-20 win at Vanderbilt on Oct. 14, All-American tight end Brock Bowers was injured and will miss 4-6 weeks. He was the Bulldogs’ leading receiver during the past two national championship-winning seasons and was well on his way to a three-peat after racking up 567 yards and four touchdowns through seven games this season.

“Obviously, this is not only one of the best players in America this year and last year. I mean, this is one of the best players of all time,” UF coach Billy Napier said of Bowers. “This guy is a unique matchup relative to his ability to run routes and get open, his ability to run after the catch. I mean, they’re handing the guy sweeps, they’re handing the guy the ball and he’s a terrific blocker. He made them really hard to defend.”

The Dawgs may have to win with defense but that unit is again one of the nation’s best in allowing just 14.0 points per game. The Bulldogs lead the country with opponents converting just 23.6 percent of the time. In the past three SEC games, Georgia opponents are a combined 6-for-32 on third downs (19 percent). The Bulldogs are second nationally in converting third downs (57.1 percent).

Georgia is on a school record 24-game winning streak that began with a 34-11 win over Michigan in the 2021 CFP semifinal. It has a school-record streak of 34 consecutive regular season victories that dates to a 31-24 home triumph over Mississippi State on Nov. 21, 2020. That’s the longest streak in the FBS. Georgia has won 23 regular season SEC games in a row, matching the school record for consecutive SEC wins, which was also done during a stretch from 1980 to 1983.

Why Bet on the Florida Gators?

Florida is 1-1 against AP Top-25 teams this season (L at No. 14 Utah, W vs. No. 11 Tennessee). The Gators have never beaten the AP No. 1 team while unranked. Wins vs. AP No. 1: No. 2 Florida 31, No. 1 Alabama 20 (2008 SECCG) | No. 2 Florida 41, No. 1 Ohio State 14 (2006 BCSCG) | No. 3 Florida 52, No. 1 FSU 20 (1996 NCG).

QB Graham Mertz has completed 76.2% of his passes (170-for-223), which leads the SEC and ranks third nationally behind Oregon’s Bo Nix (79.2%) and Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy (78.2%). Mertz is fresh off his first-career 400-yard passing game, throwing for 423 yards and three touchdowns in a comeback win at South Carolina two Saturdays ago. Mertz has completed at least 62.0% of his passes while throwing at least one passing touchdown in all seven games this season. He opened the campaign with six-straight games above 70.0% – the first Gator to do so. Mertz has thrown one interception in his last 207 attempts.

In the first season under DC Austin Armstrong, Florida ranks fifth in the SEC, 12th in the P5 and 17th in the FBS in total defense with 312.3 yards allowed per game. Through seven games last year, UF had allowed 429.3 yards per game. Florida boasts the third-best passing defense in the SEC (187.0), ranking 21st in the FBS and 11th in the Power 5.

The Gators have limited teams to 20.0 points per game (t-35th in FBS), an 8.9-point improvement from 2022 (28.9). Conversely, Georgia ranks third nationally in total offense (509.3) and fifth in passing offense (337.0) while being tied for seventh nationally in scoring offense (40.1).

Georgia vs. Florida Betting Trends

  • Georgia is 1-4 ATS in the last 5 games.
  • Bulldogs are 10-0 SU in its last 10 games.
  • The total went over in 4 of Georgia’s last 5 games.
  • Florida is 6-2 ATS in the last 8 games against an opponent in the Southeastern conference.
  • Gators are 5-1 SU in its last 6 games.
  • The total went over in 4 of Florida’s last 6 games.

Georgia vs. Florida Expert Betting Predictions

Georgia 27, Florida 20.

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