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Florida Favored Over Miami on NCAA Football Odds

Florida Favored Over Miami on NCAA Football Odds

Gators set as betting chalk for matchup in Orlando as college football season gets underway.

One of college football’s fiercest rivalries will be rekindled on Saturday when the Florida Gators take on the Miami Hurricanes to open the 2019 season in a neutral site clash as 7.5-point favorites on the NCAA football odds.

The Gators enter the new campaign amid high expectations after closing out the 2018 season with four straight wins, capped by a 41-15 rout of the Michigan Wolverines as 4-point underdogs in the Chick fil-A Peach Bowl. Listed at No. 8 on the Coaches Poll preseason rankings, Florida also sports +3300 odds to win the national championship going into Saturday night’s matchup at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.

Led by quarterback Feleipe Franks, the Gators emerged as one of the top-scoring teams in the nation down the stretch last season, averaging 45 points per game during their season-ending 4-0 run. Now entering his third season at the helm of the Florida offense, Franks is expected to regularly target wide receiver Van Jefferson, who returns for his senior year after leading the Gators last season in touchdowns, receptions, and receiving yards.

Florida will likely need another big defensive effort if the team is to reach double digits in wins in consecutive seasons for the first time in over a decade, and pay out as a +145 wager to win OVER 9.0 games this season on the college football odds.

With just 20.4 points per game surrendered, the Gators ranked 21st in the nation last season. But the team will have to get by without safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, who was drafted by the New Orleans Saints this past spring after racking up 71 tackles, three sacks, and a team-leading four interceptions last season.

However, the Gators impressed last season in contests played away from the friendly confines of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, going 5-1 SU and against the spread on the NCAA odds, with their lone defeat coming in a lopsided 36-17 loss to Georgia as 7-point underdogs in a neutral site contest at TIAA Bank Field.

The Bulldogs are once again expected to be Florida’s biggest rival in the SEC East in 2019. Georgia outpaced divisional rivals with a 7-1 record last season, and sits as strong -215 chalk to once again lead the East, well ahead of the Gators, who sit second in college football betting as a +375 wager to claim their first divisional crown since 2016.

Miami Has Recent Edge in Clashes with Florida

An annual late-season clash on the college football schedule for half a century, the Gators and Hurricanes have met just four times during the regular season since 1987, with Miami dominating with three wins during that stretch, and going 7-1 straight up in eight meetings since 1985.

However, the Hurricanes enter the 2019 campaign with much work to do after struggling down the stretch last season. The team posted just two SU wins in their final seven outings, capped by a stunning 35-3 loss to Wisconsin as 2.5-point chalk in the Pinstripe Bowl. The Hurricanes were forced to settle for a 4-4 SU record in conference play, 7-6 overall, but are expected to rebound this season, with +160 odds in NCAA football betting to win the ACC Coastal Division for the second time in three years.

Miami’s hopes of winning its first conference title since claiming the Big East crown back in 2003 were expected to sit squarely on the shoulders of quarterback Tate Martell, who joins the Hurricanes after transferring over from Ohio State during the offseason.

Martell is set as a +8000 dark horse on the Heisman Trophy odds going into the season. However, the 21-year-old has reportedly lost the battle for the starter’s job to freshman Jarren Williams, setting the stage for a quarterback controversy as the season gets underway.

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