The Vegas folks waited a while before posting a line on Georgia-Florida because they wanted to see if Florida quarterback John Brantley is apt to play. On Monday, the Gators classified Brantley as “probable.” And Georgia has been made a three-point favorite.
Which makes you wonder: If Brantley had been listed as “doubtful” or even “questionable,” would Georgia be a seven-point favorite?
There’s no doubt Brantley makes some difference for the Gators. Florida was 4-0 and had taken an early lead on Alabama — which admittedly didn’t last long — the night he suffered his “lower leg” injury. They’ve scored a total of 17 points in two games since.
Brantley has been better under Charlie Weis than he was last season. Had he thrown enough passes to qualify, he’d be second in the SEC in passer-efficiency rating behind Jarrett Lee of LSU. (Brantley’s at 152.6; Georgia’s Aaron Murray is at 150.3.) But I don’t know that Brantley is a Tebow or a Wuerffel or even a Kerwin Bell or a Rex Grossman. He’s a good college quarterback. His presence will give Florida a fighting chance. That said …
Alec Ogletree will return at linebacker for Georgia. That’s a pretty big deal in itself.
Oh, and if you care to chart an intriguing bit of line movement, watch what’s happening with Georgia Tech and Clemson. The Tigers opened as a 4 1/2-point road favorite. They’re now favored by 3 1/2 points, which means: Some speculators out there like the Jackets’ chances.
By Mark Bradley