Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Florida Gators
Two perennial contenders in the SEC and two unbeaten teams meet in Gainesville as the Florida Gaotrs host the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Crimson Tide are -5 point favorites over the Gators with an over/under point total set at 53.
The Florida Gators have yet to be tested this season not necessarily because of the level of competition; it’s just that no one has had the speed match up with them. With Charlie Weis calling the offense for Will Muschamp he is using the Gators speed to their maximum advantage while at the same time keeping the pressure off QB John Brantley. For the season Brantley has completed 64 percent of his passes for 783 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions. Brantley hasn’t had to do too much as Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps have been exceptional out of the backfield with Rainey rushing for 429 yards and two TD’s and Demps going for 336 yards and four touchdowns on just 34 carries. Rainey and Demps also lead UF in receiving with 11 and nine and Deonte Thompson leads the receivers with seven catches. Jon Bostic leads the defense with 26 tackles and Jelani Jenkins and Matt Elam are next with 17 tackles each. The Florida defense has allowed just 36 points while accumulating nine sacks, three fumble recoveries, and grabbing four interceptions. While the Tide are in the SEC West and the Gators in the East, this is still a huge game.
The Alabama Crimson Tide are generally regarded as the number two team in the country though it’s tough to find a team who has played better. While Nick Saban’s team has started with a fairly light schedule, it is getting tough in a hurry as after beating Arkansas last week it gets even tough travelling to the Swamp. A.J. McCarron moves into his fifth game as the starting QB for the Crimson Tide and he has been improving as he has completed 66.3 percent of his passes for 779 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. Trent Richardson is doing what Alabama running backs do, scoring a lot of touchdowns with eight while gaining 457 yards. Marquis Maze leads all Bama receivers with 20 catches for 226 yards and a touchdown and he also has an 83 yard punt return for a touchdown. Defensively Alabama has allowed just 32 points and 736 total yards over four games led by Dont’a Hightower with 25 tackles, Mark Barron with 22, and Trey Depriest with 16. The Tide also have four interceptions, two fumble recoveries, and have five sacks.
Florida is 4-0-1 against the spread in their last five home games, 2-5-1 against the spread against a team with a winning record, and 6-1 against the spread in their last seven home games against a team with a winning road record. Alabama is 4-1 against the spread in their last five games, 11-5 against the spread in their last 16 road games, and 2-5 against the spread in their last seven games following a cover. Alabama is 7-1-1 against the spread in the last nine meetings of these two, the home team is 5-1 against the spread in the last six meetings of these two, and the underdog is 6-2-1 against the spread in the last nine meetings of these two.
Florida is lacking experience and the Tide are certainly a much more physical team but Florida’s team speed gives them a solid chance to win here and getting nearly a touchdown at home is just too much to pass up as this one should be close either way.
Florida Gators +5 Alabama Crimson Tide