The Beavers wrapped up their regular-season schedule in heart-stopping fashion with a 38-34 comeback victory over the rival Oregon Ducks. Conversely, the Gators struggled down the stretch, ending their schedule with a 45-38 loss to Florida State that marked their fourth loss in five games played away from home this season.
Las Vegas Bowl Sportsbook Odds
With injuries mounting, the Gators have faded to 11-point underdogs since Sportsbook at +7.5. The total has also been on the decline, falling to 51 after Sportsbook at 55. Saturday’s matchup marks the first-ever meeting between these teams.
The Gators ride a two-game SU losing streak in bowl game action, with both of their recent losses coming by double-digit margins. The Beavers have also struggled in postseason action, losing outright in three of their past four bowl game appearances, a run that started with a 44-20 loss to BYU in the 2009 Las Vegas Bowl.
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Latest Betting Notes: Florida
With Anthony Richardson skipping the Las Vegas Bowl after announcing he will be entering the 2023 NFL Draft, former Ohio State quarterback Jack Miller is expected to make his first start since transferring to Florida last December. The freshman was expected to serve as Richardson’s backup this season before suffering a hand injury that sidelined him for the campaign.
Miller inherits an offense that averaged 31.8 points per game, but which has been depleted by recent injuries. Among the players whose status remains uncertain for next Saturday’s game are receivers Justin Shorter and Xzavier Henderson, who combined to tally 987 yards this season.
The Gators have also been depleted by the absence of several players getting set to make transfers. That list includes linebacker Ventrell Miller, who ranked third on the team with 75 tackles. The status of Rashad Torrence II is also questionable after the talented safety missed the team’s regular-season finale due to injury.
Latest Betting Notes: Oregon State
The Beavers steadily swung into form as the season progressed, closing on an impressive 6-1 SU run, capped by their win over the Ducks in a contest they trailed 34-17 early in the fourth quarter. Oregon State has now averaged 35.7 points per game during its current 3-0 SU run while extending its ATS win streak to six games.
Oregon State has also established itself as a good bet when pegged as double-digit chalk, covering in two straight this season and eight of nine overall. And unlike Florida, the Beavers lineup has not been impacted by large numbers of injuries or transfers, with the glaring exception being senior defensive back Rejzohn Wright, who will miss the contest due to a wrist injury.
However, more will be expected from quarterback Ben Gulbranson in his bowl game debut. The freshman has played a key role in this team’s steady resurgence since taking over the offense from Chance Nolan. Gulbranson failed to find the end zone and tossed two picks while going just 6-for-13 against the Ducks after connecting for eight scores over his previous six appearances. But he made up for his aerial shortcomings with a pair of TD runs.
Keys to Victory: Florida
Suddenly faced with a new-look lineup, the Gators have little time to adjust. With Jack Miller set to make his first collegiate start while potentially missing two of the team’s most productive targets, Florida must keep its offensive schemes simple and make better use of the ground game if they are to keep things close against a Beavers squad that has allowed just 11 scoring passes while making 12 interceptions this season.
Keys to Victory: Oregon State
The Beavers have been effective at putting opponents on their heels by seizing early leads in each of their past six games. And with the nation’s 27th-ranked ground game, which has produced 33 scoring runs, this team is also effective at eating up the clock and keeping opposing defenses on the field for long stretches. That likely means another busy day for freshman running back Damien Martinez, who has topped 100 yards in six straight outings. However, Gulbranson must avoid the types of lapses that led to two of the team’s three giveaways that cost them 10 points vs the Ducks.
Las Vegas Bowl Computer Pick: Florida +10
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