While the first few weeks of the 2021 season have been chaotic there is one constant among everything. The Alabama Crimson Tide are again the class of the college football world. Perhaps peeking ahead to this week’s top-15 matchup with the Florida Gators, the Tide started slowly against Mercer before turning things on for a 48-14 triumph, their second 30+ point win of the season.
And like with most opponents over the last several years Alabama has owned the rivalry winning seven consecutive games with the last three coming in the SEC Championship. Bama has been at least a two-touchdown favorite in each of the last four meetings and hit the board as 15-point road chalk.
The Week 3 college football game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and Florida Gators will take place at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, September 18, 2021 and will be televised on CBS.
Alabama Crimson Tide vs Florida Gators Odds
Alabama Crimson Tide -15 | Florida Gators +15 [BET NOW]
Alabama Crimson Tide vs Florida Gators Money Line
Alabama Crimson Tide -675 | Florida Gators +492 [BET NOW]
Alabama Crimson Tide vs Florida Gators Over/Under
Over/Under 57.5 [BET NOW]
This might be the toughest test the Tide has all season and they’re still laying 15-points on the opening line. That just shows us how dominant they are. The spread is quite a bit lower than what we saw last week when Bama closed as a whopping 54-point favorite over FCS Mercer. They failed to cover in the 48-14 victory. The line is actually the shortest in a Bama regular season game since last October when they defeated Georgia 41-24 as a 6-point favorite. The Tide entered last season’s SEC title game as 16-point favorite and eked out a 52-46 win. Despite that they are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games.
The Gators had a few patsies to work out the kinks and they did a nice job. They handled FAU in the opener 35-14 and throttled USF last week 42-20. While the results were favorable Florida backers aren’t so thrilled. Favored by more than 23 points in each game the Gators failed to cover both times going 0-2 ATS. And wins over G5 programs hasn’t done much with pollsters, either. UF moved up to No. 11 in the recent AP poll. The Gators haven’t gotten this many points in a home game since 2013 and they have a chance to make a statement against the top-ranked team in the land.
Alabama Crimson Tide
Why is Alabama so good? Well, having the best players certainly helps. But they also have a coach who strives for perfection and has his finger on the pulse of his club. Nick Saban ranted about his teams play in a season-opening 44-13 win over Miami. He also questioned publicly whether his team respected last week’s opponent Mercer enough. After the Tide was forced to punt on its first two possessions, the coach might have been on to something. Bama eventually got things rolling in the 48-14 laugher.
There will be pressure on Bryce Young this week facing a top-15 team in a hostile environment. The QB finished off an efficient day going 19 of 27 for 227 yards and three touchdowns against Mercer. It was a nice tuneup for the Bama defense, too. The group allowed just 216 total yards while holding the Bears to 3 of 12 on third downs. The competition definitely takes a step up this week, but the Tide have been up to the challenge so many times I doubt they’ll be affected by the atmosphere or the Gators.
The last thing the Gators need ahead of this critical SEC matchup is any distraction. Dan Mullen effectively slapped down a media-contrived quarterback controversy by saying Emory Jones is his starter. That doesn’t mean he won’t use the two-QB system that has been so successful early in the campaign. Anthony Richardson will continue to take snaps he just won’t take the first offensive snap of the game. “We have two quarterbacks that are pretty talented guys that can make things happen on the field,” Mullen said.
And the Gators will need all the offense they can muster to run with the Tide. Both players had their way in the first half against USF with Jones passing for a touchdown and adding another on a 33-yard run. Richardson had scoring strikes of 75 and 41 yards as the Gators scored on five consecutive possessions building a 35-3 halftime lead. Richardson added an 80-yard touchdown run in the final quarter finishing 3 of 3 for 152 yards in the air with 115 yards on 4 rush attempts. He tweaked his hamstring, though, on the scoring run and it remains to be seen how effective he’ll be this week.
Alabama vs Florida Prediction
Our picks: Florida Gators +15 and OVER 57.5
Florida’s defense remains a mystery and I expect the Tide to exploit a thin secondary. There have been points aplenty in recent matchups and even though the names have changed the schemes haven’t. The teams have cashed the OVER in the previous five hookups. The atmosphere alone will be worth backing the home team and more than two touchdowns is a lot to pass up.
View today’s college football odds.