- Tennessee heads down to “The Swamp” to face Florida on Saturday.
- The Volunteers picked on Virginia and Austin Peay so far in easy wins.
- Can they stay undefeated still after this Saturday?
The 2023 College Football season steams into Week 3 as the Tennessee Volunteers head down to “The Swamp” to face the Florida Gators. SEC fans started partying sometime on Sunday probably and we have some good College Football Best Bets. Expect mostly tranquil conditions from northern Florida as the two teams tussle in a Saturday night Fall clash. Again, some debate that Tennessee’s season does not get started until October at Alabama. Then again, Alabama lost to Texas last week.
Naturally, the best of the best online betting sportsbooks released early Monday college football odds for the upcoming weekend. Below, we offer up Tennessee and Florida for the masses. Next, we add a pick or two on the menu for bettors to take a further look at. The action gets underway just after 7:00 pm ET.
|Tennessee vs Florida NCAAF|
|Tennessee Volunteers (-7)||-110||-103||-110|
College Football Best Bets – What To Make Of Tennessee?
So, this week’s College Football Best Bets wonder what to make of Tennessee. Hey, the first two opponents provided little or no resistance to the Volunteers. Tennessee easily handled Virginia and Austin Peay. No one knows quite what to expect from the team as they head to Florida to face a Gators team that got punched in the mouth by Utah in their opener. Then, the Gators handled McNeese State 49-7.
The question is does Tennessee step up and handle Florida in one of the tougher environments when it comes to the SEC. Fortunately, the Volunteers have a fairly easy schedule to start. Their strength of schedule was 123rd out of 133 teams going into Week 3.
Heupel on run defense: "We've done a good job of destructing blocks at the scrimmage…At the end of the day, we've changed the line of scrimmage the last couple of weeks."
— VolReport.com | Tennessee Volunteers on Rivals.com (@TennesseeRivals) September 11, 2023
The big key for Tennessee will be run defense. A lot of what Florida does with the passing game stems from the running game. Controlling the line of scrimmage remains vital for the Volunteers, especially on the road. While no team will hold Florida to 13 yards rushing the rest of the season, Tennessee needs to keep that number around 100 or fewer. Making Graham Mertz throw the ball could lead to mistakes which only helps the Volunteers.
Tennessee is laying seven points at most places but shop around as Bovada offered 6.5. This may feel odd but the half point is intriguing given the feeling that Tennessee could win this by a touch down. Some pundits believe the spread could move to 7.5 or even 8 perhaps. Still, Tennessee has shown the ability to win crucial road games in the recent past. College Football Best Bets likes the idea of Tennessee stepping up with just enough offense to outscore Florida on Saturday night and cover.
College Football Best Bets – Can Florida Win At Home?
So, let’s spice things up. Why? That is because we can. Wagering wise when needed is a prudent idea. Now, when looking at college football online betting sites, it never hurts to explore some different College Football Best Bets. One wonders if Florida can knock off Tennessee at home. After all, the Gators can be dangerous at home.
Now, historical meetings have proven interesting. Florida has won 16 of the past 18 meetings between the two schools. Even the loss last year was close as Tennessee outlasted Florida at home 38-33. The Gators had their chances to win but could not seal the deal in the fourth quarter. Hendon Hooker is long gone but so is Anthony Richardson. Both are playing in the NFL currently. Okay, that rushing attack versus McNeese State generated 320 yards but that was not an SEC opponent.
Heading into this mid-September matchup, Florida has plenty of questions to answer. One of the big concerns is again what is a good number of times to run the football. Tennessee knows the run is coming. Can a guy like Mertz change things up and beat Tennessee through the air a bit? That will be key. Ricky Pearsall is one of those weapons who can get open against good defenses. However, if Trevor Etienne, Montrell Johnson, and Treyaun Webb don’t get the blocking, Florida is in trouble.
Billy Napier says C Kingsley Eguakun will be back this week 👀
Run game 📈 pic.twitter.com/N90SL2Mkye
— Florida Gators 🐊🔥 (@gatorsszn) September 11, 2023
Again for Florida, the run sets up the pass. If there is any bit of rust or Tennessee figures out the Gators’ line, this game could get ugly. Florida has less of a margin compared to Tennessee when it comes to the offenses. If the Gators control that clock, Tennessee cannot get on the field with their offense. Also, if the mistakes are minimized from Florida, that can pave the wave to victory too.
More Saturday By The Numbers
Yes, we have more Saturday by the numbers. College Football Best Bets like giving out different choices. For a rivalry game, everyone is expecting a lot of defense but often these early SEC games feature more in the way of offense. If one wants to take the tiny risk, the Over is only 55.5 on Bovada at -110. How long that lasts? Probably not long.
Again, one of the big reasons why teams are bullish on Tennessee is how their running game sets up the passing game. Joe Milton can be pretty mobile but Jaylen Wright and Jabari Small are quite a 1-2 punch themselves. Florida’s run defense still seems vulnerable after their gouging from Utah. One of the fun early options may be to back down and take the Tennessee first half spread at 3.5 (-120).
This game expects to be full of fireworks and several swings of momentum. One of the best things about the SEC is these rivalries. Sometimes these games take a life of their own and going with Tennessee based on history is going against the grain.
NCAA Football Is On BetOnline Too
So, NCAA Football is on BetOnline too
BetOnline Sportbook Review site gives us some Week 3 potential.