2019 Orange Bowl Preview: #6 Florida vs. Virginia

This matchup features one of the largest spreads in the bowl season

Christopher Bowns, Flickr

Virginia (9-4) vs. #6 Florida (10-2)

Monday 12/30, 8:00pm EST

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  • The Orange Bowl features two teams who wear orange. The Florida Gators are taking on the Virginia Cavaliers on Monday 12/30 at 8pm.

  • The point spread sits at +/- 14.5 with Florida as the favorite. The over/under spread is set at 54.5. This year’s Orange Bowl features one of the largest spreads in bowl season.

  • The Cavaliers enter this matchup with the following records: 9-4 overall, 6-6 against the spread, 2-3 as the underdog (2-3 ATS).

  • The Gators enter this matchup with the following records: 10-2 overall, 6-3 against the spread, 8-0 as the favorite (5-1 ATS).

  • We are hoping this one stays close, but keep reading our Virginia Florida prediction to see if we think Florida will cover the number:

VIRGINIA

Virginia had the high of highs beating Virginia Tech in their last regular season game that sent them to the ACC championship game, and then they hit the low of lows when they got throttled by Clemson in that ACC championship game. Virginia had a good year but looking back I bet they would have like to have a few of these games back. They have losses from Notre Dame, Miami, Louisville, and Clemson. Other than Clemson those other games are games that a good team wins. Virginia is out punching their weight this season and their record is better than their talent. The bookmakers know this and that is why they are getting 14.5 points.

Virginia’s quarterback Bryce Perkins is a dynamic passer and runner who can give subpar defenses issues. If you can shut down Perkins, you can shut down Virginia. The Cavaliers love to throw the ball, they run a pass play 55% of the time and average 260 passing yards a game. Shutting down Perkins is all the Gators will really have to focus on because Virginia has big issues running the ball. They only average 119 rushing yards per game which makes them #112th in the country.

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Virginia’s defense has played well this season. The Cavaliers have done an excellent job stopping the run and only allow 137 yards per game, which ranks #33rd in the country. Even their pass defense has been stout. They do a good job of limiting completions and get to the quarterback. The big caveat to their defensive stats is that they were mostly against ACC Coastal teams. The defense will need to come up big and stop the Gator offense if they want to cover the spread, let alone win the game.

Virginia is in a spot they haven’t been in much this season, a big underdog. During this season, Virginia has only faced two spreads around this size, Notre Dame +10.5, and Clemson +29, Virginia failed to cover either of these spreads. Their ACC Coastal schedule allowed them to really bolster their record this season and Virginia hasn’t been able to hang with top tier talent this season, but at the same time 14.5 points in a bowl game is a ton! Keep reading to see our final Virginia Florida prediction.

FLORIDA

The Florida Gators are back! They had a great season and have gotten the program back on track. They finished the year 10-2 and have done a pretty good job of covering the spread. The Gators have big wins against Auburn and the bottom of the SEC East. They dropped their two biggest games this year against LSU and Georgia. Hard to blame them for the LSU loss but if Florida wants to be back to where they were during the Urban Meyer era, they need to beat that Georgia team. The Gators are a heavy favorite in this matchup and will have to score in bunches if they want to cover the spread. They are big favorites because they simply win football games. See the bottom of our Florida Virginia prediction to see if we think the Gators can cover the spread.

The Florida offense moves the football and they do it through the air. Kyle Trask can air the ball out and the Gators rank in the top 30 of all passing statistics. They don’t do a great job of running the ball and on average only pile up 105 rushing yards per game. The Virginia secondary has put up good numbers against the opposing team’s quarterbacks and they will have a big task on their hands in the Orange Bowl.

Wondering if expert bettors are leaning towards Florida or Virginia? Find out now!

Florida’s defense has been tough to beat this season. On average teams only score 17 points per game against them. They rank 13th in yards against per game and stop teams from scoring 25% of the time they are in the redzone. You have to be a little bit nervous if you are going up against this defense. Although they don’t have the best schedule in the country Florida still play legit teams. They have also stopped these legit teams. Virginia is going to need something special to get the ball in the endzone.

A big favorite is not new territory for the Gators. They have been the favorite 8 times this year and they have 8 wins in those game. As the favorite the Gators are 8-0 and have covered in 5 of those 8 wins. You have to think the Gators are in a comfortable spot to get this Orange Bowl win and cover the spread.

PREDICTION

Thanks to this year’s Orange Bowl we will finally figure out who the best team in college football who wears orange. The bookmakers have a very good feeling the Gators are going to win the Orange Bowl which is why they are -14.5 point favorites. Virginia has had a great year, but the Florida Gators are probably the second best team they will play this season other than Clemson. Last time Virginia played Clemson they gave up 62 points. If the Gators are focused and have prepared correctly, they can blow the doors off Virginia. Subscribe to BetQL to see our full score prediction, our over/under pick, and who our model says you should bet in this game.

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