The Top 25 showdown arrives in the SEC on Saturday October 27th, 2018 as the Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs square off at TIAA Bank Field. As these two teams get set for this marquee matchup, the idea of a chance of making the playoffs is on the line as the two teams are currently tied with the Kentucky Wildcats for the top spot in the East Division of the South Eastern Conference (SEC). A loss on Saturday not only derail the plans of a chance to play in the SEC title game but also any hope of a trip to the 2018 NCAA Football playoffs.
For each of these two teams, they will be entering their head to head showdown well rested and well prepared after having their bye week last week. The Gators enter this contest riding five straight wins while allowing fewer than 27 points in all five contests. The Bulldogs meanwhile will enter this contest coming off a disappointing road loss at LSU. As you look at these two teams they both stack up well on paper.
On the defensive side of the ball the Gators rank 23rd in yards allowed per game (YAPG). Much of that success comes on their pass defense where they rank 6th overall in passing yards allowed per game while forcing the 21st most sacks per in NCAA football. On the other side, the Bulldogs rank 17th overall in yards allowed per game while ranking 15th in passing yards allowed and 40th in rushing yards allowed while allowing the 18th fewest points in all of NCAA Football.
Over on the offensive side of the ball the advantage leans towards the Bulldogs where they rank 27th overall. Most of that success comes on the ground as they rank 22nd overall in rushing yards per game while their passing offense sits at 65th overall. Meanwhile the Gators rank 67th in yards per game struggling to move the ball through the air (91st passing yards per game) and just 39th in rushing yards per contest.
Here are the keys to the game for both the Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday October 27th, 2018.
Keys to the Game
Florida Gators – Force the Bulldogs to turn the ball over.
The Gators have been a menace for teams this season forcing 18 (7 interceptions & 11 fumble recoveries) total turnovers through their first seven games of the season. On Saturday that task will be a difficult one as the Bulldogs have turned the ball over just seven times to start the season with four of those coming in one contest. Good news for the Gators is that four turnover contest came in a loss to the LSU Tigers. If the Gators want to win this contest, they must force the Bulldogs to make mistakes.
Georgia Bulldogs – Run the Football
The key to the Bulldogs success will come with their solid running attack as they look to take advantage of a Florida Gators team that sits 73rd overall in rushing yards allowed per game with 1,142 yards through their first seven contests. Overall the Bulldogs are averaging nearly six yards per carry (5.8) and 1,584 through their first seven contests. At the front of that success is Elijah Holyfield ho has 488 yards on just 65 carries while averaging 7.5 yards per attempt. If the Bulldogs can establish the run early, it will force the Gators to alter their passing defense game plan.
NCAA Football Betting Trends
Florida Gators – The Gators enter Saturday red hot winning five straight contests moving their mark on the year to 6-1 while covering the spread in six of those contests. While this contest will be played in Florida, the Gators will be away from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. In their three contests away from their home stadium they have posted a 3-0 record while covering the spread in all three. Over their last seven contests in October, the Gators have covered the spread in five of those contests.
Georgia Bulldogs – For the Bulldogs the success is not the same as they are coming off their first loss of the season but still sit at 6-1 on the year. That said, the Bulldogs have not be kind to the sports handicappers this season going just 3-4 against the spread and just 1-2 away from Georgia. The Bulldogs have also struggled after the bye, covering the spread in just three of their last 14 games after the bye. Despite those struggles, the Bulldogs have rebounded solid over the years covering the spread in six of their last seven contests following a loss.
Head 2 Head – This contest seems to go both directions over the years with the Gators covering the spread in four of the last five meetings. That said the favorite has covered the spread in seven of the last ten overall meetings.
What’s next for these two teams?
Florida Gators – The Gators will return home to Ben Hill Stadium to take on the Missouri Tigers on November 3rd, 2018.
Georgia Bulldogs – The Bulldogs will travel to Kentucky to take on the Wildcats in another key SEC showdown on November 3rd, 2018.