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Georgia vs. Florida Preview and Pick

Those calls for the head of Georgia coach Mark Richt have suddenly gone quiet as the Dawgs enter the annual “Cocktail Party” game in Jacksonville with a sliding Florida Gators team with UGA tied atop the SEC East Division. Georgia is a 3-point betting favorite on WagerWeb.com.

A bye week came at just the right time for Florida, which has lost three straight and been offensively inept in all three, scoring a total of 27 points — although all three opponents were ranked. Starting QB John Brantley was knocked out of the first loss of that skid, vs. Alabama, and hasn’t played since. But he is expected to start Saturday.

Florida’s offense is completely different with Brantley under center and if the Gators are going to end their losing streak, Brantley will likely have to be under center against this tough Georgia defense. If he can play like he did before he was injured against Alabama, the Gators’ offense will match up much better against the Bulldogs’ defense. The senior put up modest numbers in his five games — 942 passing yards, five touchdowns, three interceptions and a 64.7 completion percentage — but those numbers dwarf his backups.

If Brantley can’t play, true freshman Jacoby Brissett is next in line to make his third straight start. Brissett played the entire LSU game and the first half of the loss at Auburn two weeks ago, before giving way to fellow freshman Jeff Driskel in the second half. Brissett is just 13-for-23 passing for 139 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. The Gators were held to a combined 629 yards in losses to the Crimson Tide, LSU and Auburn — the program’s fewest in three consecutive games since 1988. UF hasn’t lost four straight since then.

Georgia, off a bye week like Florida, also gets a key player back. It’s been six weeks since linebacker Alec Ogletree has played a down for Georgia. After a broken foot in the first quarter of the Boise State game brought Ogletree to the sidelines, the sophomore linebacker is ready to make his return on Saturday. Ogletree will look to build off of a successful freshman campaign. Playing safety, he totaled 34 tackles, one tackle for loss, one pass break-up and the team’s only blocked kick. Ogletree was named to the SEC Coaches’ All-SEC Freshmen Team.

Georgia leads the all-time series 47-40-2, including 40-38-1 in Jacksonville. After Georgia dominated the 1980s by going 9-1 in the series, the Gators are 18-3 over the last 21 seasons. In 2010, the Bulldogs fell to the Gators in the first-ever overtime game in the series history 34-31. This year will mark the first time since 2004 that the Bulldogs enter this game ranked and the Gators are not. That year, Georgia won 31-24. The Dawgs are 12-4 under Richt following an open date including 1-1 when it comes before this game. The Bulldogs dropped their 2009 matchup 41-17. <– By Wagerweb

Sportsbook Advisor take: We love the Gators in this one. The team is coming off bye week and has sorted out their issues. The Gators are a very talented team that has just needed to regroup and get their act together.  About 2/3 of the public is on Georgia and that is only after they bet the line from -1 to -3. We believe that Georgia has peaked and we are playing strong on Florida +3

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Friday, October 28th, 2011 College Football Betting 2011

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