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Florida Gators @ Auburn Tigers - Saturday, October 15

Posted by Blake Frazier on 10/11/2011 6:17:44 PM

The Florida Gators will travel to the Alabama plains to take on the Auburn Tigers this weekend. It’s the kind of game in which each team’s weaknesses are the other’s advantages.

Florida Gators @ Auburn Tigers - Saturday, October 15

Sports betting line: Auburn +2

Why Florida Will Win

The ranks of college football betting  experts got to see the very best of the Auburn Tigers last season, with quarterback Cameron Newton setting the world on fire, en route to the Heisman Trophy, the SEC title, and the BCS national championship. Newton proved to be one of the most dynamic playmakers the sport of college football had ever witnessed in 142 years. The young man burst out of obscurity, and a sluggish early-September start, to master coordinator Gus Malzahn’s offense and turn Auburn’s attack into a legitimate, no-doubt juggernaut. Moreover, when Auburn’s offense struggled, Newton – by the force of his will and the power of his skill – was able to lift the Tigers out of the doldrums. A comeback from a 24-0 deficit against Alabama in the Iron Bowl rivalry game represented one of the greatest single-game feats of excellence ever seen in the long and storied history of the Southeastern Conference. Newton was a once-in-a-generation player, and Auburn stood on his very broad shoulders.

Now, Newton is cashing an NFL paycheck, however, and the new quarterback situation for Auburn is a mess. Barrett Trotter made some clutch throws against Mississippi State and South Carolina, but he lacks the natural talent and arm strength of an upper-tier quarterback. Auburn has to rely on running back Michael Dyer to eat up yards; when opposing defenses load up the tackle box to stop Dyer, Trotter has to beat them with the pass, and last Saturday night against Arkansas, he wasn’t able to do so. Auburn got shut out over the final three quarters in a decisive loss, and this is why the Tigers are vulnerable against a good Florida defense that will swallow up average athletes. Florida probably won’t score much in this game, but it can definitely hold down Auburn and earn a 16-13 decision.

Why Auburn Will Win

When you contemplate your sports bet in this game, you should naturally account for Auburn’s quarterback limitations, as Trotter and Kiehl Frazier try to establish some semblance of rhythm and continuity. However, you also have to look at the other side of the coin. For the second straight weekend, Florida will be without its No. 1 quarterback, John Brantley, due to an injury suffered on Oct. 1 against Alabama. Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel are both candidates for the starting spot, and head coach Will Muschamp will probably wait to name the man who will begin this game for the Gators under center. Both Brissett and Driskel are freshmen heading into a night road game in the SEC, an occasion that will test the patience of either man. Auburn’s defense has made considerable improvements in recent weeks. The Tigers should be able to hold down the Gators.

Who Will Win

It’s a battle of unproven quarterbacks. Florida’s quarterbacks are less polished and confident than Auburn’s mediocre signal callers. Add home field into the mix, and the Tigers should likely pull this one out.

College Football Betting Pick: Auburn

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