Mississippi State Bulldogs
(4-2, 4-2 ATS)
(4-2, 3-3 ATS)
For the first time in a number of years, the Florida Gators have lost back to back games. Could they really lose a third NCAA football betting battle in a row? The Mississippi State Bulldogs are out to pull the feat off on Saturday night in the Swamp.
The Bulldogs are very quietly 4-2 right now, and they have a great chance to go to a bowl game under HC Dan Mullen, a former Florida assistant. There is a big question about how QB Chris Relf and QB Tyler Russell will be used, but one thing is for certain, and that’s that both are going to be on the field. RB Vick Ballard has rushed for 431 yards and a whopping 12 TDs this year, but he might find the sledding tough against the UF defense. Keep a very close eye on WR Chad Bumphis. Bumphis has had three solid games in a row, accounting for a total of 276 yards and 20 catches in those outings. He also has a pair of touchdowns to speak of. The key for the Dawgs this year is that their defense is playing well. This unit did allow 29 points to the LSU Tigers, but aside from that, no one has topped the 24 that the Houston Cougars’ high octane offense put on the board last weekend.
Florida has some major issues right now that need to be addressed. Its defense is coming off of a miserable game against the LSU Tigers, its second straight terrible outing. All of a sudden, the soft schedule over the first few weeks of the year is making this team look miserable for the losses to the two SEC West squads. The good news is that WR Chris Rainey is back, which might jumpstart the offense. This unit definitely needs it. UF very uncharacteristically ranks just No. 95 in the nation in total offense at 323.7 yards per game and really has had no pop offensively for huge plays save the occasional big dash by RB Jeff Demps. Even then, Demps only has 414 rushing yards on the season and has been dealing with nagging injuries. QB John Brantley only has 1,056 passing yards and six scores against four picks. The good news is that QB/WR/FB Trey Burton is still coming up big. He has 42 passing yards, 95 rushing yards, and 78 receiving yards on the year, totaling nine scores. WR Carl Moore has been the go to guy in big spots, but WR Deonte Thompson is the man leading the charge in the receiving corps with 23 catches and 328 yards on the year.
Be very, very careful, Florida. This is yet another losable game. It’s a weak spot for the Gators coming off of two losses, and all eyes might be set on the much needed bye next week. The Bulldogs could be for real, and just like the Ole Miss Rebels marched into the Swamp two years ago and upset the QB Tim Tebow led Gators, this could be a very similarly awful spot. We’re definitely taking the points and hoping that either Relf or Russell does the job and at least keeps this game interesting.
NCAA Football Free Pick: Mississippi State Bulldogs +8.5
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