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College Football Betting Preview: Florida Gators vs. Utah Utes

August 31, 2023

This is going to be a make-or-break year for Billy Napier even though this is only his 2nd season at the University of Florida. Napier led the Florida Gators to a record of 6-7 last season and a spot in the Las Vegas Bowl in which they were blown out by a score of 3-30. The Gators will have a new quarterback as Anthony Richardson left for the NFL and was selected by the Indianapolis Colts with the 4th pick of the 1st round. 

Florida enters this season with an over/under win total of 5.5 wins and if they don’t get above that win total I firmly believe that Napier will be fired as the boosters and alumni will not put up with a losing record for the 2nd year in a row. Based on Vegas odds the Florida Gators are projected to be the 8th-best team in the SEC behind the Georgia Bulldogs, Alabama Crimson Tide, LSU Tigers, Texas A&M Aggies, Tennessee Volunteers, Ole Miss Rebels, and Auburn Tigers.

The Utah Utes are one of the best teams in the Pac-12 this season and enter the season ranked 14th in the AP and Coaches Polls. The Utes have an over/under win total of 8.5 wins after finishing last season with a record of 10-4 and winning the Pac-12 Championship game against the USC Trojans, however, they ended the year with a loss against the Penn State Nittany Lions in the Rose Bowl by a score of 21-35. Cameron Rising returns for his Senior season after suffering an injury in the Rose Bowl against the Nittany Lions. Based on Vegas odds the Utes are projected to be the 4th best team in the Pac-12 behind the USC Trojans, Oregon Ducks, and Washington Huskies.

BookMaker has the Utah Utes listed as 6.5-point favorites at home against the Florida Gators in week 1 of the college football season on Thursday night. This will be the 2nd time that these teams have played each other in college football with the other matchup occurring last season in which the Florida Gators won at home by a score of 29-26 and covered the spread as a 2.5-point underdog. Florida finished last season with a record of 7-6 ATS overall, 3-1 ATS on the road, and 5-1 ATS as an underdog while the Utah Utes finished with a record of 8-6 ATS overall, 5-1 ATS at home, and 7-4 ATS as a favorite.

Utah is the more talented team this season and has the more experienced team including at the quarterback position as Cameron Rising returns for his senior season while Graham Mertz, a transfer from Wisconsin, was named the starter for the Florida Gators. Florida got the best of Utah in an exciting game last season at home, however, they had the better quarterback in Anthony Richardson. 

I don’t think Florida will win this game and I don’t expect this to be a close game as I look for the Utah Utes to avenge last season’s loss against Florida in a dominating fashing which is why I am buying the .5 point and taking the Utah Utes -6 on BookMaker for this matchup on Thursday.

Spooky Express Pick: Utah Utes -6

Written By: Daniel Newton