Gamblers can back UF’s offense without laying huge number at Vandy

Florida senior WR Trevon Grimes has 19 catches for 303 yards and five TDs through six games.

Like I’ve been saying since mid-to-late October, the two best units on either side of the ball in college football this season are the offenses at Alabama and Florida.

However, many bettors are understandably reluctant to lay big numbers. This sort of hesitation is even more prevalent in 2020 because the Gators and Crimson Tide aren’t nearly as salty on the defensive side of the ball compared to their teams in recent years (if not a decade and change).

Nevertheless, there are plenty of wagers that can be made that have been producing profit galore that are basically just bets on the offenses. As of Wednesday morning when I was typing this story, most books had the Gators installed as 31.5-point favorites for Saturday’s noon Eastern kickoff at Vanderbilt. The total was 68 points at most shops.

I like the ‘over’ (68) here, but UF at -31.5 is a pass for me.

The ‘over’ has cashed at a 5-1 overall clip for Dan Mullen’s squad, which has seen its combined scores equal 86, 62, 79, 58, 72 and 98 combined points. The average combined scores for Florida are 75.8 points per game. UF is seventh in the nation in scoring with its 45.8 PPG average.

The ‘over’ is on a 3-1 surge for Vandy, a team that’s given up scoring outputs of 41 points to both South Carolina and LSU and 54 to Ole Miss in its three home outings. The Commodores are off their best offensive performance of the year in a 38-35 loss at Kentucky that had 73 combined points.

Vandy exceeded its highest previous offensive output by 14 points (the ‘Dores had 21 in a blowout home loss to Ole Miss on Oct. 31). True freshman QB Ken Seals completed 21-of-32 throws for 225 yards and two TDs without an interception.

Derek Mason’s team wasn’t going against a mediocre defense last week, either. Even after allowing 35 points to the Commodores, Kentucky is still ranked No. 24 in the nation in scoring defense, allowing foes to score just an average of 21.3 points per game.

Florida fifth-year senior QB Kyle Trask is now the Heisman favorite at many betting shops — and understandably so. Trask has completed 70.1 percent of his passes for 2,171 yards with an incredible 28/3 TD-INT ratio.

Florida star TE Kyle Pitts, who is listed as the No. 7 overall pick in Mel Kiper’s Jr.’s most recent mock for the 2021 NFL Draft, was ‘out’ of last week’s 63-35 home win over Arkansas and will miss Saturday’s game at Vandy, too. He continues to recover from a concussion and some sort of nasal surgery stemming from a violent hit that he took in UF’s 44-28 win over Georgia. The hit by UGA’s Lewis Cine drew a targeting penalty and ejection for Cine, who also sustained a concussion and is ‘questionable’ for the Bulldogs’ home game Saturday vs. Mississippi St.

Nevertheless, Trask found Pitts’s backup TE, Keon Zipperer, for two TD passes last week. Even without Pitts, the Gators have countless weapons on offense that just keeps humming on a weekly basis.

As of Wednesday morning, there weren’t any team totals for UF at Vandy available yet. Don’t worry, though, there will be by Friday afternoon or evening at the latest (sooner at some books).

I said I like the ‘over’ (68) for the game, but I’m really looking to get aggressive with Florida’s team total to go ‘over’ in the first half. If this number is 28 or fewer, I’ll be on that ‘over’ a lot stronger (amount-wise, obviously) than the ‘over’ for the game.

Furthermore, I like Florida in the first half if that number is -21 or less. I think this line could actually be around -18 or -19. As for UF’s team total for the game, anything at 45 points or less is a big play on the ‘over’ and even if it’s 48 or fewer, I’ll have a moderate wager on the ‘over.’ The Gators beat Vandy 56-0 at The Swamp last year.

It is mid-November and this game is in Nashville but, as long as weather.com’s forecast for Saturday in Music City is accurate 72 hours ahead of time, there won’t be any conditions that limit Florida’s electric offense. Temperatures will actually reach the low 70s in the afternoon and there’s no expectation of rain.

As noted earlier, Kentucky has a solid defense, but it’s going to be overmatched Saturday in Tuscaloosa. This same pattern of bets that I’ve suggested for Florida can be applied to Alabama as well (not only vs. Kentucky, but on a weekly basis).

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