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Gators Double-Digit Favorites to Ruin Kiffin’s Debut in Oxford

Florida head coach Dan Mullen, right, talks with quarterback Kyle Trask (11) during the Orange Bowl game against Virginia on December 30, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Hopes are high in Gainesville, where the Gators return a veteran cast and begin the season ranked fifth in the AP Top 25. Florida is just 1-5 ATS in its last six games against the Rebels, although this is the Gators’ first visit to Ole Miss since 2007.

Florida Gators vs Ole Miss Rebels
  • Date/Time: September 26, 12 noon ET
  • Stadium: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium
  • TV Coverage: ESPN
  • Opening Odds: Florida -10 | O/U 60 (Line History)
  • Florida vs Ole Miss Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Florida has drawn plenty of early support, driving this line up to -13 at many betting sites as of Sunday night. The Gators have been double-digit favorites on the road just once in the past three years, failing to cover as 10-point chalk last year in a 29-21 win at Kentucky.

Florida News & Notes

Quarterback play has long been a weakness in Florida, but the Gators may enter 2020 with the most proven pivot in the SEC. Kyle Trask is back at QB after going 11-2 as a starter last year, completing 67 percent of his passes for 25 touchdowns, seven interceptions and nearly 3,000 yards.

Trask is surrounded by plenty of returning talent on offense, including tight end Kyle Pitts and big-play receivers Trevon Grimes, Jacob Copeland and Kadarius Toney. Florida also has a veteran offensive line with three returning starters, although the Gators need to improve on a run game that ranked 117th in the nation with just 118.1 yards per outing last year.

That continuity on offense may help Florida continue to play high-scoring games on the road. The Gators have gone OVER the total in five of their last six games in enemy territory, seeing an average of 55.5 points scored in those contests.

Ole Miss News & Notes

The Rebels could employ a dual-quarterback system in the opener. Sophomore John Rhys Plumlee turned heads with his running skills last year after replacing injured starter Matt Corral, but Corral is considered a better fit for new head coach Lane Kiffin’s offensive system because of his ability to throw the ball down the field. Ole Miss had yet to announce its starting quarterback as of Sunday.

Don’t be deceived by the Rebels’ 4-8 SU record last year (2-6 in conference play). Ole Miss went 0-5 in one-possession games and was 2-1-1 ATS at home against SEC opposition.

Betting Pick: Florida -13

The Gators have plenty of familiar faces returning while Ole Miss is plugging in new systems in its first game under Kiffin. I’ll lay the points with the national title contender and look for Florida to improve to 7-1-1 ATS in its last nine road games.

Shark Bites
  • Florida is 6-1-1 ATS in its last 8 games on the road.
  • Ole Miss has lost its last 5 conference games.
  • The OVER is 5-1 in Florida’s last 6 road games.