The No. 7 Utah Utes -3 (-105) enter its Week 1 visit at the Florida Gators +3 (-115) with the highest expectations in program history. This is Utah’s best preseason Associated Press preseason ranking ever.
Football Outsiders give the Utes a 26% chance at a College Football Playoff berth. But, Utah to win 10 or more games has a 43% probability per Football Outsiders. Essentially, the football nerds think Utah will be good this season.
The betting market followed their lead by barreling into the Utes. Circa Sportsbook in Las Vegas opened Utah-Florida at a pick ’em in May (both teams had the same odds to win outright). Since then, Utah has been steamed up to the current price due to one-way action.
Fading The Utah Hype
The gist of my handicap is Utah’s line has moved too far off the opener. Utah’s Rose Bowl appearance last year combined with a returning quarterback and Florida hiring a new coach equals a ton of pro-Utes money.
In fact, roughly 70% of the action at DraftKings is on Utah, according to VSIN. The oddsmakers knew all the factors written above before setting Utah-Florida at a coin-flip price. All of the action afterward is based on the market’s read. But, the House knows best and the first line is the better number.
It might take Florida a few years to compete in the SEC under new head coach Billy Napier. But, Florida could certainly upset a Pac-12 team at home. The Pac-12 is by far the softest Power 5 conference. Utah would struggle as much as Florida in recent seasons if it relocated to the SEC.
Furthermore, Utah is 1-6 against the spread (ATS) in the last seven non-conference games. Florida is 4-1 ATS in the last five games as home underdogs.
Utah’s Defensive Departures & Weather
Utah’s defense will take a step back in 2022 and Florida’s dual-threat QB Anthony Richardson should feast. The Utes lost last season’s two leading tacklers (LBs Devin Lloyd and Nephi Sewell) and leading pass rusher (DE Mika Tafua). Without those guys, who’s going to bring down Richardson when he gets to the second level?
The weather could be another factor for Utah-Florida. The Gators already have one of the biggest home-field advantages in college football but The Swamp on gameday will be touching 100 degrees Saturday. Between the weather and having better athletes, I see Florida wearing Utah down this weekend.
Go over to DraftKings Sportsbook and BET the FLORIDA GATORS +3 (-115).
- A $115 bet on Florida +3 (-115) returns a $100 profit for a win or loss by 1 or 2 points. You can also chop the bet and get your money refunded if Utah beats Florida by 3 points.
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