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Orange Bowl 2019: Updated Odds and Preview for Virginia vs. Florida

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistDecember 9, 2019

Florida quarterback Kyle Trask throws during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Missouri Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

The Orange Bowl features the largest disparity in the rankings of its two participants of any New Year's Six bowl. 

The No. 9 Florida Gators earned an at-large berth by finishing ahead of the Utah Utes and Auburn Tigers in the final College Football Playoff rankings Sunday.

Since the event has an ACC tie-in, the No. 24 Virginia Cavaliers earned a trip to South Florida after the Clemson Tigers' playoff position was confirmed. 

Dan Mullen's team is one of the largest bowl favorites due to the gap in poll positions and the competition each side faced in the regular season.

Florida suffered its two defeats to the LSU Tigers and Georgia Bulldogs, while Virginia fell to a pair of unranked squads and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. 

              

Orange Bowl Information

Date: Monday, December 30

Start Time: 8 p.m. ET 

TV: ESPN 

Odds (via Vegas Insider): Florida (-13.5); Over/Under: 53.5

       

Preview

Virginia is the fifth ACC team to play in the New Year's Six, and it is in search of the conference's first non-playoff New Year's Six victory since 2016. 

For the second straight game, the 24th-ranked side will be a significant underdog, as Clemson was favored by four scores in the ACC Championship Game. 

The Cavaliers managed 387 total yards Saturday, but they mustered just 17 points in a blowout loss. 

In two games versus Top 10 teams, Bronco Mendenhall's squad was outscored 97-37. 

Trying to spin the matchup in favor of the ACC Coastal winner is a tough task, but if you are going to make the argument, it starts with Bryce Perkins. 

Steve Helber/Associated Press

The dual-threat quarterback has 3,215 passing yards, 745 rushing yards and 29 total touchdowns. 

However, the senior has 11 interceptions, three of which occurred in the last two contests versus Virginia Tech and Clemson. 

He will face a Florida defense with 15 picks from seven different players. 

What is impressive about that total is none came from C.J. Henderson, who recently declared for the NFL draft and will skip the Orange Bowl. 

Bleacher Report's Matt Miller had Henderson going 17th overall in his most-recent mock draft.

On Sunday, Mullen stated he "does not think" any other players will miss the Orange Bowl to prepare for the draft process, per Gator Country's Nick de la Torre

The Gators may not have a standout star on offense, like other SEC programs, but they have a collection of contributors who can put Virginia under pressure. 

Kyle Trask led the offense to 119 points in the final three games where he produced 988 passing yards and eight touchdowns. The junior's run of seven straight 200-yard outings has a good chance to continue, as Virginia allows 228.2 passing yards per game

Kyle Pitts, Van Jefferson and Freddie Swain own 18 of Florida's 32 receiving touchdowns, and they could all thrive versus the Cavaliers' secondary. 

John Raoux/Associated Press

While the double-digit spread seems high for a New Year's Six game, the Gators earned eight of their 10 wins by 10 points or more. 

Additionally, the SEC East squad earned its last four victories by a combined 107 points. 

The Gators are a battle-tested side that has been able to beat up on lesser opposition, and that could be the case again in the Orange Bowl.  

                 

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from ESPN.com.