The Gators have won five straight in their series against the Vols and 16 of the last 17 head to head meetings, but those trends are in for a challenge in the week 4 Florida at Tennessee betting matchup. Tennessee is a -10.5 favorite in Saturday afternoon’s matchup as the Volunteers try to get to 4-0 on the season.
Florida was a -18 point favorite when the teams met last year in Gainesville and they came away with a 38-14 victory. Tennessee has made some major strides this year behind QB Hendon Hooker but 62% of the betting public is still taking the double digit points.
Gators Try to Get Their Offense Going
UF already has an SEC loss in 2022, falling 26-16 to Kentucky in week two. They did start the year with a 29-26 victory over #7 Utah but there are still a lot of mixed results to the beginning of the season. Most recently Florida struggled to a 31-28 win over South Florida in a game where they were -23 point favorites. The Florida at Tennessee game on Saturday is the Gators’ first road tilt of the season.
QB Anthony Richardson showed why he is a projected first round pick with his 106 yards rushing and 3 TDs vs. Utah, but it’s obvious his passing still has a ways to develop. Richardson is last in the conference in passing yards, completion percentage (53.2), and has still yet to throw a TD pass on the season.
Richardson may have a tough time of things again on Saturday against a Tennessee defense allowing just 14.3 ppg. The Volunteers are a top 20 team in the nation against the run (83.7 ypg) and have the offense (52.0 ppg) that can really have them running away with this contest.
Hooker Playing His Way Into 1st Round?
While Florida’s Richardson was the hyped draft prospect in the preseason, it’s Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker that is continually improving his draft stock this season. Hooker has 6TDs to 0 INTs on the season while completing nearly 70% of his passes and adding two scores on the ground.
Hooker’s job gets a bit tougher on Saturday with WR Cedric Tillman out with an ankle injury. Tillman had 9 catches for 162 yards in the OT win at Pittsburgh, but Jalin Hyatt really stepped up last week with 5 catches for 166 yards and 2 TDs.
Hooker was 13/21 with 221 yards and 2 TDs last year in the loss to the Gators. He left the game with 9 minutes left due to an injury, but the game was also already 31-14 at the time. Florida has allowed at least 26 points in all three of their games this season, and that’s even while playing all three of them at The Swamp.
Free Week 4 Tennessee at Florida Betting Pick
-10.5 seems to be a lot to be giving to a team that has won 16 of the last 17 in this rivalry. Florida has had their concerns on defense though and in the passing game while they’ll also be playing their first road game of the season this week. The fact that Tennessee even is that big of a favorite despite their head to head struggles shows this may indeed be the time that the Vols get right.
Free Pick: Tennessee -10.5