Alabama vs Florida, Gators Small Home Dog But Tide Will Win Big in Swamp!
The No.3 Alabama Crimson Tide (4-0, 1-0 SEC) will play in another SEC dogfight this Saturday when they head down to Gainesville to take on the No.12 Florida Gators (4-0, 2-0 SEC) at the Swamp at 8:00pm ET on CBS. The Crimson Tide is coming off a statement win at home over the Arkansas Razorbacks and will now be taking on Will Muschamp’s Gators, who are coming off a couple of big wins themselves. Florida is a small 4-point home dog, but after watching Alabama’s defense last week, I would be a moron to pick against the Tide. Nick Saban has his team playing hard-nosed football with an NFL-Caliber defense that could probably stop a few professional teams.
Get $50 of Free Picks Now No Obligation. Both of these schools can run the ball and we should see a lot of that on Saturday evening. Trent Richardson is the featured running back on an Alabama program that loves to run. Every last NFL team with a need in the back field has him on their radar. He will no doubt be the start of the show Saturday night. Florida’s first order of business will be to stop him, because if they can’t, AJ. McCarron will take advantage of the Florida defense if he catches them trying to stack the box to defend against Richardson. This is how Alabama opens up their playbook and the only other way to stop the Crimson Tide running game is to keep them off the field.
That is where Chris Rainey comes into play. Rainey is the counter weight to Alabama’s best asset. The Gators can run as well, and will give the ball to Rainey early and often. It will be tough for Rainey to capture his fourth straight 100-yard game, but it will be fun to watch him try. Both teams will be measured on how they can contain the run. What I am interested to see is if the Tide can get a consistent effort from quarterback AJ McCarron in this marquee game. Another great game should quiet critics on the only hole the Tide seem to have and will cement the idea that Alabama will be playing in this season’s BCS Title Game. That may be a bit of premature notion by college football picks experts, but it makes sense.
Alabama is the best team in the strongest conference, so projecting a National Championship appearance is not completely ludicrous. I don’t think that Alabama will roll over Florida as easily as they did Arkansas, but I have them beating the Gators by at least a touchdown. Florida could make things seem closer than what they are with a few garbage time scores, but I see the Crimson Tide putting this one out of reach early. Perhaps sharp bettors are backing the underdog in this contest due to both teams compiling similar numbers on both sides of the football. Offensively, Florida is averaging just 5.8 yards per game more than the Crimson Tide, while both will enter with a defense ranked within the Top Five nationally. Both schedules have had some cream puffs mixed in, but the edge goes to Alabama due to playing Penn State and Arkansas. I’m going to hope that this game is exciting and competitive, but I just don’t see the Gators keeping up with the Tide, even on their home field.