Michigan State vs Ohio State: line, spread: Gators open as more than a touchdown favoriteTime certainly flies, and as such, we are somehow just two months out from the start of the 2019 college football season.
which begins a week early thanks to the Florida Gators and Miami Hurricanes agreeing to move up their neutral-site game. Florida and Miami will battle on Saturday, Aug. 24 in Orlando, Florida, meeting on the gridiron for the first time since 2013.
Now that the game is slowly but surely approaching, oddsmakers have come out with lines that have Florida listed as anywhere from a 7-point to an 8-point favorite against Miami.
As noted by SportsBettingDime.com, which lists the Gators at -8, Florida is coming off an impressive 10-3 season, its first under head coach Dan Mullen. Miami, of course, struggled to a 7-5 showing under Mark Richt and changed coaches this offseason, moving to Manny Diaz, who previously served as the team’s defensive coordinator.
Diaz actually served as Mullen’s defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for two nonconsecutive seasons at Mississippi State (2010, 2015) before joining the UM staff in 2016. In both of those short tenures at MSU, Diaz helped lead an immediate defensive turnaround.
Still, it is UF that should enter this game with the momentum coming off a successful 2018 campaign with redshirt junior quarterback Feleipe Franks finally seeming to understand what it takes to be in command of the offense. Florida returns a tremendous amount of offensive firepower in 2019 at the skill positions, and its depth has improved defensively even though the Gators made some strides on that side of the ball last season.
It is too early to make a prediction, of course, but one would expect this line to fall below a touchdown as we get closer to kickoff. That would make taking Florida a little more palatable as it is always difficult to take a team by a touchdown in a rivalry game during their first appearance of the season. There are generally too many unknowns — and too many nerves — to feel comfortable laying that number unless there is a significant talent disparity.
The Hurricanes lead the all-time series 29-26 over the Gators, though Florida at one point won seven straight meetings from 1971-77. Still, Miami has been victorious in seven of the last eight meetings dating back to 1986 with the teams 1-1 in the last decade.