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Florida vs. Alabama

by WagerWeb

Are the unbeaten Florida Gators for real? We will find out on Saturday when No. 3 Alabama visits Gainesville in what could well be a preview of the SEC Championship Game. The Tide are 3.5-point favorites on WagerWeb.com, if you want to check out some betting strategies make sure to visit our guide!

Bama coach Nick Saban squares off against former assistant Will Muschamp in a game that features two very athletic and aggressive defenses. Neither team has thrown the ball particularly well and both defenses thrive on stuffing the run, so this one could come down to who can sling the ball the best. The Tide are third in the FBS in rush defense at 45.8 yards, while the Gators are tied for fifth at 56.5, and Florida leads the SEC in rushing at 259.0 yards, while Alabama is second at 230.8.

Alabama has won all four of its games thus far by 16 points or more, including victories over Penn State and Arkansas. Last weekend’s 38-14 romp over the Razorbacks in the conference opener was impressive to say the least, but there is no doubt that Florida represents the toughest test to date. The Tide have already proven they can neutralize a high-powered offense after limiting the Razorbacks to 226 yards, including 17 on 19 rushes. Arkansas came in ranked 11th in the FBS in total offense at 517.3 yards and eighth in scoring at 47.0.

UF has won all four of its games by double figures. In fact, three of the four have come by 38 or more points, the lone exception being a 10-point triumph over Tennessee. Last weekend, the Gators stomped SEC foe Kentucky by a 48-10 final, their 25th consecutive win over the Wildcats. Gators ripped their way for 405 yards rushing last week, including Jeff Demps’ 84-yard TD burst and Chris Rainey’s third straight 100-yard game.

Tide have dominated last two meetings, including winning 2009 SEC Championship Game, by combined 63-19. RB Trent Richardson (second in SEC with 441 rushing, leads SEC with 9 TDs) turned in his third straight 100-yard game last week, while WR Marquis Maze broke loose for 83-yard TD punt return. Maze leads the team in all-purpose yards (606). He has a team-high 20 receptions for 226 yards and a touchdown. He’s been at his best against Florida, catching five passes for 96 yards in the 2009 SEC title game and throwing a TD pass in last year’s meeting.

Alabama is 16-5 against ranked teams over the last three seasons, including 5-2 on the road.

SA Take: It’s hard to bet against Florida at the swamp. And it hard to bet against Bama with the powerhouse team they have built. If we had to bet this one we would lean toward Bama -3.5. Unfortunetely 80+% of the public is also on Bama and we hate heavy public favorites. View the Betting % graph here

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