Thursday, October 2, 2008

Florida Will Beat Arkansas But Can They Cover?

Florida Gators 3-1 @ Arkansas Razorbacks 2-2
Line: UF - 24.5

Both Florida and Arkansas are coming off disappointing losses, but that is where the similarities between these two teams stop. Florida lost in a stunner to Ole Miss in the Swamp while Arkansas lost by 42 to old SWC rival Texas.

Florida Offense vs Arkansas Defense
QB Tim Tebow is not having the same type of year he did in '07, especially on the ground. Florida has yet to find a reliable alternative to Tebow on the ground. Instead, they are using Percy Harvin on sweeps and options and a myriad of shaky tailbacks out of the backfield. Harvin has been electric since returning from injury, but Urban Meyer must limit the punishment his body takes. The offensive line has been hit with the injury bug as of late causing breakdowns last week against the Rebels.

Arkansas' defense has not been very good this season. Their 166 ypg given up on the pass may look decent, but you have to realize most teams have been up on Arkansas and are not passing that much. The Razorbacks run D has been gashed for 191 yards per game.

Key: Can Florida's depleted o-line still push around the Arkansas front seven?

Arkansas Offense vs Florida Defense
Arkansas is moving the ball pretty well through the air, but this is expected when you are losing by 4 TDs a game. The Hogs are averaging a paltry 91 ypg on the ground as they have not even come close to replacing Darren McFadden and Felix Jones. The offense has been plagued by turnovers including 4 INT against Alabama two weeks ago.

Florida thought they had solved their pass defense woes from last season until Ole Miss torched the Gators' secondary on a game winning pass. The Gators have been doing pretty well against the run, but that will not help them in this game. The much maligned secondary is hoping to take advantage of a pass happy Casey Dick like the Crimson Tide did.

Key: Can Florida get enough pass rush to force turnovers?

Obviously, I like Florida to win this game, but I am previewing it for the cover aspect. The line opened up at Florida -22, but has since moved to -24.5 and will likely be heading farther north. I really think Meyer will have Florida will be focused and ready to play for 60 minutes after last week's embarrassment. I think Arkansas may be having some doubts about Petrino and his philosophy after two straight blowouts. I like Florida in this game big.

Florida 45 Arkansas 17
Florida Covers

Last Week: 2-1 ATS, 1-2 SU
13-5-1 ATS, 12-7 SU


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