Today at TheRx, we’re looking at Saturday’s game between rivals Florida and Tennessee. Tune in for our breakdown of their history, betting odds, and our best picks for this game.
Florida Gators vs. Tennessee Volunteers
Saturday, September 24, 2022 – 03:30 PM EDT at Neyland Stadium
Can the Vols Keep Winning?
Tennessee has high hopes in the SEC East, but they cannot afford an error now. The Vols will play the Georgia Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide down the line, and that schedule eliminates any possible mulligans in the rest of conference play.
Tennessee would be elated with a 10-2 season, and they are honestly good enough to go 11-1 if they pull off a miraculous upset against the Tide or Bulldogs. However, they’ll have to face a different beast in Week 4 of college football.
The Vols are hosting the Florida Gators. This has been a wild rivalry in recent years, but Hendon Hooker and the Vols are looking to continue on the warpath in this game. Florida is coming off of a loss two weeks ago, but the Gators have a solid roster with Anthony Richardson under center.
Tennessee is favored at home, but will they cover the spread? It currently stands at Tennessee -10.5. Let’s break down the details and see if this has a chance of being closer than the experts think.
The History of the Rivalry
In the past 16 matchups between the Tennessee Volunteers and the Florida Gators, Tennessee only has one win.
On the bright side, Tennessee is 4-6 in the last 10 games where they were ranked. Tennessee has had only a few solid seasons since Peyton Manning left for the NFL, and they usually contend in this rivalry when they are a solid team overall. They see few upsets, but they can hold their own.
This matchup has seen plenty of great coaches and players in the past. Will Hendon Hooker prove himself to be an elite quarterback in this one? Can Richardson become a Heisman contender with a solid performance?
More likely than not, we won’t see an outlier game from either quarterback. Instead, both have a good chance of being quality options who make a couple of mistakes. That’s what we’ve seen from Richardson this year, and Hooker hasn’t been tested just yet.
Keys for Victory
For Tennessee to win this game, they’ll need to keep Richardson in the pocket. He is an athletic quarterback, and his arm is talented enough to make great throws.
However, he is at his best when he is improvising. If he keeps things simple with a methodical approach down the field, then he is likely going to make a mistake.
He needs to make big plays to win this game for the Gators.
For Florida to win this game, they need to pressure Hendon Hooker in the pocket. Force him to make quick decisions and see if he can play when the game is sped up.
This is a traditional approach, but it is a solid one to stop the Vols. Hooker has had it easy so far this year, so making him antsy is a good way to win this one for the Gators.
Also, Florida needs a quick start to this game. If they can score early, the crowd will be disengaged. Neyland Stadium can get rowdy, so minimizing the crowd will be important for a quarterback with little experience in hostile environments.
Who Will Cover?
Tennessee is a good team with a strong quarterback. They play at home with more on the line, and they will be locked in for this matchup.
The Gators are coming off of a bad performance, and Richardson is not living up to the hype so far after a stellar debut to the season.
For these reasons, I’m taking Tennessee to cover the spread. The Vols are good enough to contend in the East, and the Gators already have a loss on the record against Kentucky.
In terms of the points, I like the over in this game. Both offenses have a chance to go off. I could see some explosive plays that keep this close for a while before the Vols finally pull away in the second half.
Florida vs. Tennessee: Our Betting Picks
This will be one of the best matchups of the weekend. Expect Tennessee to win a high-scoring affair in this one.
Both teams are good, but the Vols will take steps in the right direction to compete in the SEC East.
NCAAF Pick: Tennessee -10.5 (-108) via FanDuel
NCAAF Pick: Over 62.5 (-107) via PointsBet