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Opening Odds Set Gators as Huge 8-point Favorite in Florida vs Miami Rivalry Game

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Are the Florida Gators worth a bet at -8 to open the 2019 season? Photo by Berniestew (Wikimedia Commons) [CC License].
  • The Florida Gators went 10-3 in 2018 after going just 4-7 in 2017
  • The Miami Hurricanes were just 7-5 in 2018
  • Manny Diaz takes over as head coach of the Hurricanes after Mark Richt’s abrupt retirement

The Florida Gators and Miami Hurricanes will kickoff the 2019 college football season when they clash on August 24th. It’ll be the first college football game of the year. Miami is fresh off a tumultuous season while Florida appears to be on the rise. Can Miami surprise or will the Gators win and cover the spread, which Bovada has set at 8.0 in its early 2019 NCAAF lines?

2019 Florida Gators vs Miami Hurricanes Odds

Team Odds at Bovada
Florida Gators -8 (-110)
Miami Hurricanes +8 (-110)

Gators Are Ahead Of Schedule

Coming off a 10-3 season, the Gators appear to be ahead of schedule. Head Coach Dan Mullen came in with high expectations and a six-win jump from 2017 to 2018 has only raised the stakes for 2019. Success will be tied to quarterback Feleipe Franks, who evolved into a competent starter last season. He had just nine touchdowns and eight interceptions in 2017 but had 24 and nine last year.

By all accounts, he continued to receive rave reviews in spring football. There’s a solid cast around him returning with what might be Florida’s best receiving crop in a decade. Better yet, the team should again field a strong defense, which means the offense won’t have to do a ton to win games. That’s why the Gators are now down to just +350 to make the College Football Playoff.

Gators Defense Looks Legit

While the offense may or may not be getting too much hype, the defense should again be excellent. This unit returns seven starters, including corners C.J. Henderson and Marco Wilson, who should be among the best tandems in the nation. They get a great matchup to start with as Miami’s quarterbacks were pathetic last year and are a question mark heading into 2019.

Hurricanes Have All Sorts Of Questions

The Canes come into the 2019 season with all sorts of questions that need answering. Who is the starting quarterback? Is the offensive line any good? Can the receiving corps deliver? Will we see the 2017 defense again or will it be the 2018 version, which fell off a bit?

On top of that, Manny Diaz is now the head coach. Of course, the defense thrived under him before but we still don’t know what he’ll look like as a head coach. Plenty of good coordinators look great managing one aspect of the team but struggle when they’re tasked with being the head coach.

Bad Matchup For Miami, Bet Florida

I have the Gators here winning by about 10 points. Sure, Miami’s offense won’t be worse than it was last year but I’m not sold that they’re better. And even if they are improved, this is a tough matchup against a really good Florida defense – especially the corners.

The Hurricanes defense will have some swagger in this game but they weren’t great at stopping the run last year. They’ll slow the Gators early, which should lead to a low-scoring first half, but eventually, the Gators will break through.

I simply don’t trust Miami to put up a lot of points in this contest given their offensive struggles and given the opponent. If they prove me wrong in this spot, I might change my strategy with them going forward but for now, I like the Gators minus the points in this spot.

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