Florida and Miami kick off the college football season with an Orlando neutral site contest for the in-state rivalry. The Gators are a seven-point favorite in the latest odds and the total is set at 46 points, per OddsShark. The public is siding with Florida with 54 percent of the money picking the Gators to cover the spread.
As the spread indicates, Florida represents more a known commodity heading into the season. The Gators offense took a step forward under head coach Dan Mullen, and Florida is hoping quarterback Feleipe Franks can improve even more in 2019. Florida is coming off a 10-3 season and are looking to contend in the SEC East.
The Hurricanes are beginning the Manny Diaz era in Miami. Diaz admitted that this is not just another game for Miami as they look to renew a historic rivalry with Florida.
“It’s been on our mind all offseason,” Diaz explained to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “It’s been a game that has been able to give us a focus in terms of every lifting session, every running session, and certainly throughout our training camp.”
Jarren Williams Beat Out Tate Martell for the Starting Quarterback Position
The most surprising news of the offseason was Jarren Williams beating out Ohio State transfer Tate Martell for the starting quarterback position. This is good news if it means that Miami has something special in Williams as he was able to beat out a former top recruit in Martell. It could also mean Martell was a major disappointment as the former Buckeyes quarterback is exploring making a position change to wide receiver.
Florida made it clear they plan to put pressure on the freshman signal-caller. Gators defensive lineman Kyree Campbell noted the team is looking to take advantage of Williams’ inexperience.
“I’m not going to underestimate him, you feel me, but like I said, we going to come out and do what we do,” Campbell said, per Saturday Down South. “We are going to rush him, he’s going to see a lot of stuff. He’s going to see what he’s going to see…He’s going against a team that brings a lot of pressure, so I hope he’s ready — that’s all I’m gonna say.”
Florida Is the Smart Pick Given the Uncertainty Surrounding Miami
There is a scenario where Williams has a smashing debut while the Hurricanes defense keeps them in the game. That said, the Gators have enough weapons to make it challenging for a good Miami defense. Unless Franks completely disappoints, Florida should take advantage of their experience and start the season off with a comfortable win.
The Gators defensive line is also likely to provide problems for Williams in his college debut. Look for the Miami offense to have trouble matching Florida’s explosiveness.
PICK: Florida 20 Miami 10. Florida Covers -7 Spread. Under the Point Total.