Odds, expert college football picks

Our college football betting expert brings you his best Florida vs. Tennessee predictions and picks for their matchup, which is live Saturday on CBS at 3:30 p.m. ET.

The No. 11 Volunteers (3-0) have been one of the most explosive teams in the country, averaging 52 points per game.

The No. 20 Gators (2-1) have struggled in splitting their last two games after upsetting then-No. 7 Utah 29-26 in the season opener and look to keep their string of success against Tennessee alive.

Tennessee vs. Florida predictions

  • Tennessee to cover -10.5 @ -110 at BetMGM
  • Over 62.5 total points @ -110 at BetMGM
  • Tennessee to cover -6.5 first half spread @ -115 at BetMGM

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Joe Milton III, Tennessee quarterback
Joe Milton III, Tennessee quarterback
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Tennessee vs. Florida picks and analysis

Series trends point to Florida, with the Gators claiming 16 of the past 17 meetings in the series. But the eyeball test ignores the checkered recent past for the Vols, who lead the SEC in scoring (52.0 points per game) and total offense (550-plus) while boasting an average margin of victory of almost 38 points. Florida scored the upset of Utah in the opener but hasn’t found its footing since.

Tennessee -10.5 (BetMGM)

Hendon Hooker is tied for second in the SEC in yards per pass attempt (9.93) as the Vols’ big-play passing game has triggered the team’s fast start. Jalin Hyatt and Cedric Tillman are among the most productive receivers in the conference. Tillman’s status should be monitored as he left last week’s game with a leg injury and didn’t return, but Tennessee has plenty of playmakers.

As dynamic as the passing game and the entire offense have been, the Vols’ defense has been outstanding as well. They are allowing just 14.3 points per game, which is sixth-best in the conference and presents a headache for struggling Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson.

We soon will know the answer to one pressing question: How good are these Vols? Tennessee’s schedule hasn’t been the toughest. Two of its wins coming against Ball State and Akron. The Vols were pushed by then-No. 17 Pittsburgh two weeks ago, but prevailed 34-27 in overtime on the road.

Our Pick: Tennessee to cover -10.5

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Trey Dean III #0 of the Florida Gators
Trey Dean III #0 of the Florida Gators
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Over 62.5 total points

Richardson played very well in the Gators’ upset of Utah in the opener and seemed poised to have a breakout season, but the passing game has struggled.

Richardson is completing just 53.2 percent of his passes for an SEC-worst 141 yards per game and he has zero touchdown passes and four interceptions.

The Gators have run the ball well – 212 yards per game (fifth in the SEC), 6.4 yards per rush (No. 2) and 8 touchdowns (5th) – so Richardson will have some help.

Tennessee will set a scoring pace that will require Florida to balance the run with the pass and Richardson will respond with enough plays to push the score over, but not even to cover the line.

Our Pick: Over 62.5 total points

Tennessee first-half -6.5 (-115)

Tennessee has beaten Florida just once since 2005. That’s because Florida has generally been the better team.

Right now Tennessee is the better team. The Volunteers know it and they’re eager to prove it.

This is their SEC opener. They’re at home. And Florida is on the road for the first time this season.

Tennessee will start very fast and score multiple touchdowns in the first quarter. It won’t have any trouble leading by at least a touchdown at halftime.

Our Pick: Tennessee to cover -6.5 (first half)

Tennessee vs Florida odds

Odds courtesy of BetMGM. Correct at time of writing and subject to change.

Team Spread  Moneyline Total Points 44
Tennessee (-10.5)  -110 +140 Over   -145
Tennessee (first half)  (-6.5) -115 -167 Under +120