Georgia Bulldogs Set As A Slight Favorite Over Florida Gators In ‘Cocktail Party’
October 29th, 2010-  By Bryan Cross

For the first time since 1979, the Florida Gators and Georgia Bulldogs meet where neither is ranked in the top-25.  That however, does not mean any less is at stake when it comes to the race in the SEC East division.  It has been a series dominated by Florida over the last two decades though, with the Gators winning 17 of the last 20 games in Jacksonville.

While Georgia (4-4) started out of the gate 1-4 this season, they have reeled of three convincing victories in a row over SEC opponents.  Having once been left for dead, a win over Florida vaults Georgia right back in the race.  For Florida (4-3), they have been a stark contrast to the Bulldogs, having started out 4-0 before dropping their last three games, and limp into this match up after a Bye week, though still controlling their own destiny in the division.

The Bulldogs are perhaps peaking at the right time, having scored over 40 points in each of their last three games.  That can be attributed to the rhythm on offense, maybe attributed to the return of wide receiver A.J Green, who is arguably the best receiver in the country.  But the play of redshirt freshman quarterback Aaron Murray has been the rock that has held this team together, ironic coming into the year as he was the main question mark for the offense.

Murray has thrown for 12 touchdowns and just three interceptions, with his 4 to 1 ratio the best in the SEC.  He is beating defenses with his arm and his legs.

“I always felt I could play like this,” Murray said. “I knew there would be a little learning curve when it came to playing against SEC defenses and the speed of the game. But I have 10 guys around me who’ve made my job easier, and I throw to the best receivers in the country. So it makes it a lot easier when you have 10 guys around you who have your back.”

Murray was with the team last season when the Bulldogs were run out of the stadium in the second half against the Gator, getting blown out by Florida for the second-straight season.  The freshman hopes to change that this time around, with the ball in his hands.

“I’m starting to see things more clearly, which is allowing me to get through my reads quicker and get the ball to the open receiver,” Murray said. “You don’t have to take as many chances when you have the playmakers we have, but there still comes a time when you have to try and rip one in there.”

For Florida, they are coming to the realization that John Brantley may not be the savior to replace Tim Tebow that they had hoped he be, at least not at this point in time.

Brantley has completed just 60 percent of his passes this season, with six touchdowns and five interceptions. The Gators average 27 points per game. They have been pedestrian at best offensively this season, ranking 82nd in passing offense an 75th in rushing offense.

Defensively, they have been a little better, as they rank 26th in scoring defense, surrendering just over 18 points per game.

While things in Gainesville are as bad as they have been under head coach Urban Meyer, if the Gators win their remaining conference schedule, they will be in the SEC Championship game.  The Gators get Georgia this week, and then still face South Carolina.

Game Line-

USA Online Sportsbooks and NCAA Football Betting Odds have set Georgia as a 2.5-point favorite over Florida, with the over/under at 48 points.

ATS Betting Trends-

College Football Betting Trends indicate that Florida is 2-6 ATS in their last eight conference games.  Georgia is 6-2 ATS in their last eight neutral site games.  The Bulldogs are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games versus a team with a winning record.

Over/Under Betting Trends-

The Over is 8-2 in the Gators last 10 neutral site games.

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