- Utah is a 2.5-point favorite over Florida in this Pac-12-SEC clash in Gainesville on Saturday
- The Utes were only 1-4 ATS as a road favorite last season
- Read below for Utah vs Florida odds, analysis, and betting prediction
Utah is a 2.5-point favorite in its 2022 season opener against Florida at The Swamp in Gainesville, Florida on Saturday (September 3) at 7:00 pm ET on ESPN. On its way to capturing the first Pac-12 title in program history, Utah was only 1-4 ATS as a road favorite last season.
Meantime, the heralded Gators went 3-10 ATS in 2021 — good for fifth-worst in FBS.
Let’s analyze the Utah vs Florida odds and find the best bet for Saturday’s Week 1 game.
Utah vs Florida Odds
|O 51 (-112)
|U 51 (-109)
Odds as of August 31st at Barstool Sportsbook.
Utah is a -143 favorite on the moneyline in the college football odds, giving them 59% implied probability to win the game.
Utes Being Served
Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said the atmosphere at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday night may be the most hostile the Utes program has ever faced. But it’s something quarterback Cam Rising is looking forward to.
Cam Rising on week one: "Just itching for it. Just want to get out there on the field with the fellas and finally get the ball and play again…it feels like Christmas is coming early and we finally get to play football again. That's all we're really looking forward to." #GoUtes
— Cole Bagley (@bagley_cole) August 30, 2022
As long as the darkhorse Heisman Trophy candidate doesn’t get intimidated by nearly 90,000 Gator fans in full throat, Utah should be OK. One of the big keys figures to be who Rising is handing off to. In their seven losses last season, the Gators allowed an average of 205 rushing yards allowed compared to just 116 in their victories. If Utah can get around 200 yards on the ground — and suck the life out of that crowd — they should walk away with a victory. Roughly the same stable of running backs averaged 216 yards per game last season.
Much has been made about Ohio State having a chip on its shoulder this season. But the same could be said for the team the Buckeyes beat in the 2022 Rose Bowl Game. For Utah to take the next step as a program, it needs to knock off a rebuilding blueblood in its place.
This is … (Still) Gator Country
New Florida head coach Billy Napier is trying to become the first Gators lead man to beat a ranked team (Utah is No. 7 in the AP poll) in his first game as head coach. The 43-year-old compiled a 40-12 record and two Sun Belt championships in four seasons while patrolling the sidelines for the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns. But being in control of Florida is a different animal. And drawing the Utes in your debut is no easy task.
Billy Napier hopes #Gators' preparation is the same week to week, regardless of opponent. However, he recognizes that it's human nature for players to get geared up for top-ranked teams, rivals, big games, etc.
— OnlyGators.com: Florida Gators news (@onlygators) August 29, 2022
This is the third time in program history that Florida is opening the season in The Swamp against a ranked opponent. The Gators won the previous two. The program also owns the longest-active home-opener win streak in the FBS with 32-straight victories. But if Napier — with his promised high-rotation roster — is to keep those streaks alive, he’ll have to get a solid outing from Anthony Richardson.
The big (6-4, 232) dual-threat quarterback completed 59.4% of his passes last season and recorded 930 total yards of offense, including 401 rushing and 529 passing. While Richardson has come a long way in the passing game, Utah shouldn’t have an issue defending against it with their stacked and experienced secondary.
Utah vs Florida Prediction
This “Urban Meyer Bowl” (the NFL bust parlayed a short run in Salt Lake City nearly two decades ago into his eventual gig in G’ville) is a battle of perceptions. Is Utah really legit? Should Florida still be considered among the elite of the elite? But facts are facts. Over the last 11 seasons, Utah has had at least nine wins on six occasions, with Florida owning five such campaigns.
The Utes are stout defensively, coming off a season that saw them rank 19th nationally in run defense (66 spots better than the Gators). Meantime, in a case of addition by subtraction, Florida transfer Mohamoud Diabate, is a big add and also gives Utah a first-hand, walking, talking scout of Florida’s personnel. Don’t be fooled by reputation and roll with Utah.
The pick: Utah -2.5 (-112)