By Adam Dubbin September 9, 2022 10:39 am
By Adam Dubbin |
Just one more day until the Florida Gators host the Kentucky Wildcats in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium for their 2022 Southeastern Conference openers. The Gators scored a clutch victory against the Utah Utes to earn themselves a spot among the top 25 schools in the nation after starting off buried in the polls.
The Orange and Blue is ranked No. 19 in the USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll and No. 12 in the AP Poll coming into Saturday’s matchup while the boys from the Bluegrass State enter the Swamp ranked No. 20 in both polls after their Week 1 home win over Miami (Ohio), 37-13.
The two schools have split the last four meetings after Florida’s 31-game winning streak was snapped in 2018. Kentucky won the last meeting, 20-13, in Lexington, but they are traveling to Gainesville a bit short-handed due to injuries and suspensions.
Take a look below at the betting odds update for Friday.
Today, the Gators are favored by a 5.5-point spread over the Wildcats, unchanged since Wednesday. Here are the full odds as of 10:40 a.m. EDT Friday.
In an about-face from last week’s predictions, the Gators Wire roundtable was unanimously in favor of a Florida win this time around. The confidence built after the Utah win last weekend plus the rash of suspensions and injuries plaguing Kentucky has us very optimistic about the Gators’ chances at home in Week 2.
The group’s narrowest prediction was a four-point win while the largest margin of victory was 11 points, which two of our respondents called for. The composite results in a one-touchdown victory for the Orange and Blue.
Florida 31, Kentucky 24
Expert Predictions: Florida faces first SEC test vs. Kentucky Wildcats
Long snapper Marco Ortiz joined the injury report this week and is one of five Gators listed out for Saturday’s contest against Kentucky. Replacing him is Rocco Underwood, and Chase Whitfield is in as the backup. Other than that change, Florida stayed relatively healthy through week one and returns all offensive and defensive starters for week two.
The one addition to the depth chart is running back Lorenzo Lingard in the fourth-string spot behind Nay’Quan Wright, Montrell Johnson Jr. and Trevor Etienne. He didn’t receive a carry after being left off the week one chart, but was back in the gym the night of the victory. This could be a sign that he’ll be in the mix this week against the Wildcats.
Another minor change that’s worth noting is that Ricky Pearsall now has lone possession of the starting slot receiver spot. Trent Whittemore previously received an “OR” designation, but Pearsall was Richardson’s favorite target in week one and is the clear No. 1 there.
Cornerback Jaydon Hill could be coming off the injury report in the next few weeks. Napier said that he returned to practice and is expected to be back “soon.” – David Rosenberg
Florida updates depth chart ahead of Week 2 matchup with Kentucky
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. EDT on Sept. 10 in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, Florida. The game will be televised on ESPN, streamed on the ESPN app and can be heard on the Gators IMG Sports Network.
Get more betting analysis and predictions at Sportsbook Wire.
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