College Football Odds Week 1 No. 7 Utah vs Florida

College Football Odds Week 1: No. 7 Utah vs Florida

Written by on September 1, 2022

Utah reached the Rose Bowl for the first time in school history last season and the No. 7 Utes might be even better this year as shown by the fact they are short favorites for their season opener Saturday at SEC school Florida. Here’s the game preview for your NCAAF Betting Odds.

How to Bet Utah at Florida NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

  • When: Saturday, 7 PM ET
  • Where: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
  • TV: ESPN
  • Stream: ESPN app
  • Radio: Tunein.com
  • Opening NCAAF Lines: Utah -2.5 (total 51.5)

Series History

It’s second-ever meeting between Florida and Utah and the first since UF’s 38-29 home victory on Nov. 19, 1977. Utah and Florida do have one huge thing in common: Both were once coached by Urban Meyer.

Why Bet on Utah?

Last we saw Utah it lost a shootout to Ohio State in the Rose Bowl – the Utes’ first-ever Rose Bowl appearance.  Starting QB Cam Rising is back among 15 returning starters.  Utah ranks No. 7 in the Preseason AP Poll, the highest preseason ranking in program history. The Utes have either been ranked or received votes in the last eight AP preseason polls, also finishing the year ranked or receiving votes in five of those years.

Rising was first-team All-Pac 12 last year, starting the final 11 games. He was 204-of-320 passing (5 INT, 20 TDs) for 2,493 yards, adding 74 carries for 499 rushing yards (6.7 ypc) and six rushing touchdowns.  Utah’s 3,035 rushing yards in 2021 ranks second all-time at Utah while its 37 rushing touchdowns broke the program record for single-season rushing scores. Utah has had a 1,000-yard rusher in 11 of head coach Kyle Whittingham’s 17 seasons.

The Utes were one of just six Power Five programs in 2021 with three different running backs rushing for over 450 yards with Tavion Thomas (1,108 yards) and Micah Bernard (523 yards) returning in 2022. Utah’s offense scored 24 of its 37 rushing touchdowns in the last seven games (65%) of 2021, recording 34 rushing scores during Pac-12 play to lead the league.

Thomas scored at least one touchdown in the last nine games he appeared in last season, putting in 15 of his 21 touchdowns in the final six games of the season (70%). He ranked third in the FBS and first in the Pac-12 in total rushing touchdowns (21), which tied for the sixth-most rushing scores by a Pac-12 running back since 1996

Utah scored over 30 points in 11 of its 14 games in 2021, including 35+ points in eight of its last nine. It was the most 30-point scoring games the Utes have had in a season in program history. Of Utah’s 61 offensive touchdowns scored in 2021, 32 came on drives of 70 yards or longer (52%).

Throughout 2021, teams struggled on the ground against Utah’s Pac-12-leading rushing defense, mustering just 119.4 yards per game. Utah was 7-0 in games during the 2021 season when allowing under 100 yards rushing. Since 2016, the Utes allowed just 111.8 rushing yards per game and have only allowed 68 touchdowns. Both are the best marks in the Pac-12 during that span.

Utah is 27-3 in regular season non-conference games since joining the Pac-12 in 2011 and is 33-8 since 2011 in non-conference games (including post-season). This will be the first the Utes have faced an SEC opponent since the Utes’ historic Sugar Bowl win over Alabama (31-17) in 2009. Utah is 77-50-1 all-time in season openers with just two season-opening losses in the last 15 seasons.

Why Bet on Florida?

This will be the Florida head coaching debut of Billy Napier. Napier is looking to become the first UF coach to beat a ranked team in his first game as head coach. Since 1978, UF had never been an underdog in a home opener. UF has been an underdog 28 total times in The Swamp in that span.

The last time Florida was an underdog in a season opener in The Swamp was on Sept. 20, 1969 vs. No. 7 Houston. Unranked Florida won that contest in convincing fashion, 59-34. This is the third time in program history that Florida is opening the season in The Swamp against a ranked opponent. No. 7 Utah is tied for Florida’s highest-ranked opening-week opponent ever (1969: No. 7 Houston). Florida has won both of its previous season openers against ranked opponents in The Swamp. UF owns the longest-active home-opener win streak in the FBS with 32 straight wins.

Returning starting QB enters as a projected first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. He completed 59.4% of his passes for 529 yards and six touchdowns (five interceptions) last season. Richardson also rushed 51 times for 401 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 7.9 YPC and 50.1 YPG. Richardson’s 7.9 YPC ranked 4th in the FBS among QBs with 50-plus carries last season. Richardson was among the best QBs in the nation vs. non-conference competition last season, as he accounted for three touchdown scores of 70-plus yards in the first-two weeks (vs. FAU, at USF) and posted a 231.4 overall passer rating in non-conference play — tied for second in the FBS among players with 15+ non-conference pass attempts.

Offensive linemen Kingsley Eguakun, Richard Gouraige, Ethan White and Josh Braun all return in 2022 having started a combined 39 games last season. That group is joined by Louisiana transfer O’Cyrus Torrence, who started 35 games for the Cajuns from 2019-21.

Florida out-gained its opponent in 11 of 13 games in 2021 (South Carolina, UCF). UF wrapped up the 2021 season with 11 100-plus yard rushing games, six 200-plus yard rushing games, four 290-plus yard passing games, 12 350-plus total yardage games, seven 400-plus total yardage games, four 500-plus total yardage games and two 600-plus yardage games.

Florida has scored in 423-consecutive games dating back to 1988 — an NCAA record and 56 games longer than any other college football team in the history of the sport.

Game Trends

  • Utes are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
  • Utes are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games.
  • Utes are 1-10 ATS in their last 11 games in September.
  • Gators are 0-7 ATS in their last 7 games overall.

Expert Prediction

  • Utah 24, Florida 23
 
 

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