College football odds, picks and predictions for Missouri vs. Florida (Saturday, October 8)


Missouri vs. Florida Odds

Missouri heads to the swamp hoping to bounce back from a pair of tough losses to Auburn and Georgia.

Florida is hosting a short week after managing FCS Eastern Washington in a game that was moved to Sunday due to Hurricane Ian.

Missouri has struggled with some of the SEC’s blue bloods since joining the league in 2012, but Florida has not. The Tigers gave the Gators fits, splitting the matchups, 5-5, including last year’s 24-23 overtime win.

Do the Tigers have enough in the tank after two emotional losses to clinch a road win, or will they be tamed by Billy Napier’s group?

The Tigers are in the midst of a stunning defensive turnaround. New defensive coordinator Blake Baker is the author of a complete rewrite of a stopping unit that was one of the worst in FBS, let alone Power Five or the SEC, in 2021.

Missouri’s defense finished 97th in SP+ in 2021 but sits 40th so far in 2022. SP+ uses data from the previous year in its formula. For analyzes that only include current year data, Missouri Defense ranks 10th in Beta_Rank and 21st in EPA/Play.

Baker deserves the lion’s share of credit for dropping a 2021 program that sat back, tried to control spreads and played “read and react” defense to disastrous results.

He also installed a Stratagem that attacks and creates Havoc. Missouri ranks 31st in the nation in creating Havoc, and that comes across the board — linebackers and defensive backs have nearly as many sacks (4) as the defensive line (6).

Ty’Ron Hopper has been a true star linebacker after being traded from those Florida Gators in the offseason. Hopper leads the SEC in total tackles (29) and has one sack and one pick. He’s been a chess piece for Baker, dropping into cover, rushing the setter and stuffing the run.

The turnaround up front was nothing short of miraculous. Thanks to aggressive work in the portal, Missouri now sports a deep defensive line with 10 players averaging at least 10 snaps per game up front.

A season after defending the run like Swinging Doors, Missouri’s run defense now ranks 33rd in success rate against the run.

As robust as the defensive line was, the offense was the opposite. Missouri’s offensive line has lost three projected starters and the patchwork unit is struggling to create running space. The offensive line ranks 80th in PFF running block ratings, and against Georgia, Missouri’s backs were hit for the first time at an average of -1.0 yards.

Head coach Eli Drinkwitz has a reputation as an attacking guru and is his own attacking coordinator and playmaker. But so far in 2022, that reputation has not materialized. Missouri’s offense ranks 66th in SP+ and 99th in EPA/Game.

Wide receiver Dominic Lovett is having a stellar year. The true sophomore leads the SEC in receptions and yards and is by far the most important weapon for the Tigers.

Unfortunately for Mizzou, he sprained his ankle in a gimmick play last week against Georgia and is considered a doubt for Saturday. Missouri could be in trouble without its field-stretching and playing abilities.

Year 1 of the Billy Napier era in Gainesville was a rollercoaster. The Gators have alternated wins and losses each week. You’ve seen them squeak through Utah, battle Kentucky, survive a USF scare, throw hay with Tennessee and dominate Eastern Washington.

Despite the yo-yo results, some things are clear from the Gators’ recipe. The passing game has been inconsistent so far with Anthony Richardson’s precocious talent at quarterback, and the rushing offense is the strength of the offense.

Richardson’s performance was just as “strikes and gutters” as you can imagine.

In the loss to Kentucky, he failed to register a big pitch and had three turnover-worthy plays. Against Tennessee, he flipped that at four and zero. He posted overall PFF ratings of 94.2, 82.1 and 78.6, but also has a 42.2 and a 40.6.

If the Missouri defense can control the ground game and force Richardson into tight spots, they can limit Richardson with his havoc-causing ways. When it comes to passing, Florida ranks 114th in creating explosive plays, and Missouri’s defense is 25th in limiting explosive plays in those situations.

Florida’s ground game against Missouri’s run defense will be strength on strength and the key game of this game. The three-headed running back offense of Trevor Etienne, Montrell Johnson and Nay’Quan Wright combined for 658 yards and eight scores.

Controlling the game script is always essential, especially in a game of similarly built enemies. Florida’s leading offense ranks 10th overall in the EPA, and Missouri’s leading defense is 24th.

Analysis of the game Missouri vs Florida

Toggle the drop-down menus below to hide or show the statistical correspondence between Missouri and Florida:

Missouri Attack vs. Florida Defense

Florida Offense vs. Missouri Defense

Pace of play / Other
PFF tackle 88 28
PFF cover 74 53
SP+ special teams 58 61
Seconds per game 26.3 (64) 26.2 (60)
Peak rate 55.7% (50) 54.0% (67)
Data via (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Missouri vs Florida betting picks

Both offenses will be for a long day in the swamp. Missouri’s offense has struggled against everyone this season, and their defense will be able to limit an inconsistent Gators offense.

It won’t be a top-flight game: both teams are in the middle of the pack in terms of pace. According to Game on Paper, Missouri ranks 88th in pass calls per game and Florida 111th. Both teams will be looking to create racing space in a rock fight.

The under bets seem to be the most tempting game here, and my faith in this game is bolstered by one final nugget. Parker FlemingThe ECKEL stat measures how often teams create quality scoring chances and what they do with them.

Missouri’s offense ranks 100th in points by ECKEL, and Florida is 82nd. Missouri’s defense is 19th in points by ECKEL, while Florida is 29th. Both of these teams are bad at capitalizing on opportunities and good at defending in the red zone.

Expect slower ground drives, lots of punts and red zone stops. Two SEC teams will meet in Gainesville and a Big Ten West game will break out.

In a game like this, getting 11 points is tempting and would be a solid play. But the best bet is under 55.

Take: Under 55 (Play under 54)


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