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Florida Gators vs. Ole Miss Rebels Betting Picks and Predictions

22 September 2020

NCAAF Picks Austyn Varney
Date:Saturday, September 26th
Time:12:00 PM ET
Venue:Vaught-Hemingway Stadium at Hollingsworth Field
Network:ESPN
Spread:Florida Gators -14.5
O/U:57

The SEC is back this week and the fifth-ranked Florida Gators will open things up on the road with a tough game against the Ole Miss Rebels at 12:00 PM ET. You can catch the game on ESPN as the first game of a few thrillers.

The Florida Gators enter as one of the more hyped up teams in the country while many believe Ole Miss is still a year or two away from relevancy. The Gators haven’t been hyped up this much since Tim Tebow was the QB, so it’ll be extremely interesting to see how things look in game one. Let’s dive in!

When The Florida Gators Have The Ball

The Gators have trended upwards under Dan Mullen, going 21-5 over the last two seasons. The hype has never been higher as they enter season three and are just a single rank away from the top-four and ultimately a spot in the CFB playoff. 

QB Kyle Trask had big pants to fill when Feleipe Franks went down with an injury that would eventually lead to his transfer to Arkansas. Trask didn’t blink, stepping in to throw for nearly 3,000 yards, 25 TD’s and seven interceptions in less than a full season.

Malik Davis and Dameon Pierce will split time at back and both are good enough to hold a role all year long. Davis is a bit more explosive while Pierce is stronger and will be utilized in short-yardage situations. Nay’Quan Wright is a four-star redshirt freshman that was offered by Alabama, Georgia, and LSU. He’s going to make an impact and could be a sleeper x-factor. Go watch his high school highlights. 

While leading-receiver Van Jefferson is off to play on Sundays, there is far from a shortage of talent at wideout. Kyle Pitts is one of the best tight ends in the country and he’s holding down a group of underrated explosive options on the outside.

Trevon Grimes is the veteran of the bunch and he’ll be looked at heavily in crucial spots. Kadarius Toney is one of the best athletes in the country and there’s no doubt about that. The Gators will find a way for him to touch the ball a minimum of 10 times in this year’s big games. Xzavier Henderson is a five-star freshman that has the talent to emerge as WR1 by year-end. He’s a handful for any CB in the SEC and won’t allow Pitts to be doubled in the middle of the field. 

Defensively, CB Marco Wilson, S Shawn Davis, and MLB Ventrell Miller are all-SEC at their respective positions and I expect a couple of others to join the list this season. Kaiir Elam and Khris Bogle are my picks. The group was top-10 in 2019 and don’t expect anything less after their third season under this coaching staff. The Gators are a team to watch out for this season and Ole Miss shouldn’t cause them much trouble. 

When The Ole Miss Rebels Have The Ball

The 2019 season was a brutal one for the Rebels, finishing 4-8 and 2-6 in their conference (6th SEC West). It was a young team that had a below-average defense, which simply doesn’t work in the SEC. 

The offense was solid, finishing third in the conference in scoring. They were just outscored far too often. Matt Corral and John Rhys Plumlee are listed as “or” on the depth chart and we’ll see both in this game. Corral will play more than he did last season, but Plumlee will still be a big part of the goal line and short-yardage sets. 

Scottie Phillips is off to the NFL and it’ll be Jerrion Ealy taking over. He’s solid but hasn’t shown the ability to take a full workload. The Rebels didn’t throw the ball a ton in 2019, but superstar slot-WR Eliah Moore still managed to finish finished with 850 yards and six scores.

The second-leading receiver Braylon Edwards posted just 192 yards, so it remains to be seen who will step up as the number two option. You can’t flood the ball to one receiver against this defense, who was one of few teams a year ago to hold Joe Burrow under 300 yards. 

If Ole Miss wants to have any success in this game, the defense has to step up in a big way. This Gators defense is elite and the Rebels can only pray to put up two or three scores. That means this porous defense has to step up and slow down a Gators attack that has chemistry and five playmakers on the field. I don’t love their chances. 

Spread Prediction

Give me the Gators to win this one comfortably. I believe they’re going to give the Alabama Crimson Tide a tough game in the SEC Championship, so this is just the beginning of a long journey. You never know what to expect in week one, but Dan Mullen is going to have this team chewing at the bit to get on the field.

The Gators are leaps and bounds better than the Rebels and I’d set this line closer to 21. The Gators defense is a top-10 group in the nation and they’re going to give Ole Miss problems all game. 

The Gators offense is packed full of playmakers and they’re going to put up 40 or so points against a defense that gave up over 300 yards per game in ‘19. I love the Gators +14.5 and will dabble with some alternate lines as I expect a blowout here. 

The Pick: Gators +14.5

Best Sportsbooks For This Pick

New JerseyWilliam Hill square logoBet@William Hill
PennsylvaniaSugarHouse online casino square logoBet@SugarHouse
IndianaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
West VirginiaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
ColoradoBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
IllinoisBetRivers square logoBet@BetRivers

Total Prediction

This is an extremely tough number and it might be the highest we see in a Gators game all year.  While I expect the Gators offense to blow this Ole Miss team out, I’m looking at 40 or so points. That means we need the Gators defense to give up a few scores. 

Ole Miss won’t score much, but they are versatile and I can see them putting up a couple of scores while playing  from behind. With that said, this is a stay away for me. I’d rather ride with the over as it is week one and a few blown coverages on the Gators side wouldn’t be a shock. I love the Gators in this spot and would much rather stick with the spread, however. 

The Pick: Over 57

Final Score Prediction: Gators 42, Rebels 17

Best Sportsbooks For This Pick

New JerseyWilliam Hill square logoBet@William Hill
PennsylvaniaSugarHouse online casino square logoBet@SugarHouse
IndianaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
West VirginiaBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
ColoradoBetMGM white and gold logo on black backgroundBet@BetMGM
IllinoisBetRivers square logoBet@BetRivers

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