No. 1 Alabama meets No. 11 Florida on Saturday in a rematch of last year’s SEC championship game.
Game time is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, and the game will be televised on CBS.
Alabama (2-0) continues to roll along with quarterback Bryce Young, who has seven TD passes and one interceptions through two games. The Crimson Tide averages 46 points per game, and the defense continues to stuff the running game. Nick Saban has another national-championship caliber team, and this is Young’s first road test.
Florida (2-0) also is unbeaten under fourth-year coach Dan Mullen, and the big question is how quarterbacks Emory Jones and Anthony Richardson will split reps. The Gators are looking for a statement victory, and this is a major opportunity in The Swamp as a two-TD underdog.
With that in mind, Sporting News looks at the betting trends for the SEC showdown between the Gators and Crimson Tide:
Alabama vs. Florida odds
- Spread: Alabama -14.5
- Over/under: 58.5
- Moneyline: Alabama -650, Florida +440
Three trends to know
— The Crimson Tide is 12-1 S/U since 2018 as an away favorite, and that includes a 8-4-1 ATS record.
— The Gators are 6-3-1 ATS as an underdog under Mullen, and that includes a 2-0 ATS record as an underdog in The Swamp. Florida was a 16-point underdog in last year’s SEC championship game, and the Gators covered in a 52-46 loss.
— Alabama has won the last seven meetings against the Gators by an average of 21.6 points per game. Mullen is 0-10 S/U against Alabama between head-coaching stops at Mississippi State and Florida.
Three things to watch
— Bryce Young’s first road start. How does the sophomore quarterback respond to The Swamp in his first true road start? If Florida, which has allowed just 2.4 yards per carry, can force a few early third-and-longs that will be an interesting test. Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien has favored a near 50:50 Run:Pass ratio through two games, but Young likely will come out throwing to test that Florida secondary. Ohio State transfer Jameson Williams has been a hit as a deep threat through two games.
— Florida’s quarterback shuffle. Emory Jones will remain the starter for the Gators, but he has thrown four interceptions through two games. Anthony Richardson will also see time, and the four-star freshman could present Alabama’s defense with some unique challenges. The Crimson Tide have four interceptions and nine pass breakups. Both quarterbacks must protect the football.
— First-half knockouts. Alabama and Florida have been almost identical in knocking out opponents in the first half. The Gators (59-3) and Crimson Tide (58-3) have built huge early leads. Alabama led 35-17 at halftime last year before the Gators rallied in a frantic second half. Florida can make this a four-quarter game, but will it be a one-score game at halftime?
Stat that matters
Richardson could emerge as a major storyline in this game if he’s healthy. He’s dealt with a hamstring issue in practice this week. The talent is there. He totaled 275 passing yards in 11 attempts and 192 rushing yards in 11 carries. That’s 21.2 yards per play, and on the rare occasions when Alabama loses a regular-season game, the opposing quarterback has been able to break contain consistently. Richardson has completed just 54.6 percent of his passes. If that percentage is around 65 percent, it could get interesting.
Alabama vs. Florida prediction
The Crimson Tide have been unflappable despite losing several key pieces to the 2021 NFL Draft. Watch the running game early. Brian Robinson Jr. averages 5.9 yards per carry, but he only has 11 attempts per game. If Alabama has success running the ball, then Young should be able to settle in with a passing game that will stress Florida on the perimeter. Jones and Richardson will make a few big strikes in the passing game, but it won’t be enough to keep up with the Crimson Tide. Alabama won 38-10 in the last meeting in The Swamp in 2011. It won’t be that jarring, but the Crimson Tide stays in control for four quarters and pulls out the cover.
Final score: Alabama 34, Florida 17