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Florida vs Alabama Betting Odds - Tebow, defense lead Florida into another BCS title game

Posted by Blake Frazier on 12/3/2009 1:40:28 PM

NCAA Football Odds: Pick Florida -4.5

football bettingOnline betting players have been waiting for this game since the beginning of the college football season: Florida against Alabama for the SEC championship. This will be the seventh time that these national powerhouses meet for the conference title, and it’ll be a rematch of last year’s classic. The Gators have the historical edge in this rivalry, and they’ll ride their legendary quarterback and the country’s best defense to another SEC crown.

Florida vs Alabama Betting Odds: Florida -4.5
WHAT: NCAA football betting
WHEN: Saturday, December 5, 4:00 PM ET
WHERE: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA
KEY STAT: Florida is 4-2 in six SEC title games against Alabama

Florida vs Alabama betting odds breakdown: What’s On The Line
So much is at stake here: a berth in the national championship game and the SEC title. The No.1 Gators (12-0, 8-0) beat the No.2 Crimson Tide (12-0, 8-0) 31-20 in last year’s SEC title game, and this will be the first time that the top two teams in the BCS will meet in a conference-championship game. Florida and Alabama feature two of the best defenses in the country, and a pair of Heisman candidates in the Gators’ Tim Tebow, who won in 2007, and the Crimson Tide’s Mark Ingram. It also has two of the best coaches in the nation in Florida’s Urban Meyer and Alabama’s Nick Saban.

Betting Edge: Draw

Florida vs Alabama betting odds breakdown: Offense
The Florida offense runs through Tebow, who accounted for five touchdowns in a 37-10 dismantling of Florida State in his last game at “The Swamp”. The Gators are sixth in the nation in rushing out of their spread offense, and the aerial attack, led by Riley Cooper and Aaron Hernandez, has shown signs of life.

Ingram had his worst game of the season in a 26-21 win over rival Auburn in the “Iron Bowl”, as he was held to 30 yards on 16 carries. But quarterback Greg McElroy picked up his teammate, going 21-of-31 for 218 yards and two touchdowns. There’s been some questions as to whether McElroy could be counted on to make big plays, but the junior pivot has held his own in his first season as the Alabama starter. He’s only turned the ball over four times, and he’ll need to take care of the pigskin against this fierce Florida defense.

Betting Edge: Florida

Florida vs Alabama betting odds breakdown: Defense
The Gators have managed to stay the sportsbook favorites in college football betting thanks to the No.1 defense in the country, which is as experienced as anyone in the country. Led by linebacker Brandon Spikes, the entire Florida defense from last year came back for another run at the title, and they never allowed an opponent to score more than 20 points all season.

The Crimson Tide aren’t far behind at No.3 in defense, ranking in the top five in both rush and pass defense. Alabama is also second to Florida in terms of points allowed, as the 24 points they gave up in their season opener at Virginia Tech was the highest all season. Linebacker Rolando McClain and corner Javier Arenas power this opportunistic unit, and a major reason why the Crimson Tide are fifth in the country in turnover margin.

Betting Edge: Draw

Florida vs Alabama betting odds breakdown: Notable Injuries
The Gators managed to come away from their rivalry game with Florida State unscathed, as coach Urban Meyer pulled many of his starters in the third quarter.

Ingram was on the sidelines late in the Auburn game with a hip pointer, but coach Nick Saban figures he’ll be ready to go against the Gators, and Alabama will need him to keep Florida honest.

Betting Edge: Florida

Florida vs Alabama betting breakdown: Outlook and Pick
This is the first time all season that either team has been a sports betting underdog, and Florida covered the 10-point spread in last year’s game for their second straight win over the Crimson Tide. Tebow accounted for 273 yards and three touchdowns last year, and it should be much of the same again this year. The key will be McElroy, and how he handles the Florida defense, which will look to shut down Ingram and put the game in McElroy’s hands. Florida just has more offensive weapons than Alabama, and it all starts with No.15 under center.

BLAKE’S PICK: Florida -4.5

For more sports betting tips and picks in all of the conference title games, bookmark BetOnline’s The Betting Edge. For more on the Florida vs Alabama betting matchup, check out our stats section.



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