College Football Best Bet for Thursday
Florida Gators vs Utah Utes
Thursday August 31st 5:00 PM Pacific (ESPN)
Rice-Eccles Stadium (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Line: Utah -4.5 Total: 44.5
The point spread has shifted towards Florida here as the line opened up at Utah -7, however you can now find the number at Utah -4.5 at several sports books. The reason of course is the availability, or lack thereof, of Utah QB Cam Rising who is still recovering from a knee injury and will sit this week one opener out. That leaves Bryson Barnes to run the offense for Utah and we will also see the very athletic Nate Johnson behind center on certain plays for the Utes. Look for Johnson to be inserted in red-zone situations and make exploitive wide runs vs a Florida defensive front that’s top-heavy on the strong side. Gator Edge Princely Umanmielen has the strong side locked down but Utah’s offense should take advantage of the opposite/weak side of the Gator defense in the red zone where the boys from Florida lack depth and experience – Florida’s starting defensive end opposite of Umanmielen has three career tackles, one of which came in a blowout win vs Eastern Washington last season. Cam Rising or not, Utah is the better team and it’s simply not in Florida’s DNA to leave the Sunshine State during their non-conference adventures. Utah went 7-1 as a favorite of 4.5 points or more last season and I think that trend continues here. This is too tough of a spot for Florida.
The Play: Utah -4.5