Utah vs Florida NCAAF Week 1 Preview and Prediction September 3, 2022


Utah vs Florida September 3, 2022 @ Gainesville FLA

Opening Betting Odds

Spread: Utah -2, Florida +2
Moneyline: Utah -135, Florida +115
Total: 52

Preview

These teams have met just once previously, all the way back in 1977. Utah was just 3-8 that season, and they lost to Florida by a score of 38-29. Things have changed, and the Utes come in as the defending PAC12 champions playing the role as road favorite.

The Gators fired head coach Dan Mullen in the middle of last season, after losing six of their first 11 games. Billy Napier will take over in 2022, becoming the fifth highest paid coach in the SEC. Napier has honed his craft under Dabo Swinney at Clemson and Nick Saban at Alabama.

With returning offensive starters only accounting for just 13 of the team’s 53 touchdowns last year, Napier knows he needs more talent. He told reporters that he plans to be “very aggressive” in the transfer portal, and he said “we need players”.

Utah

  • 10-4 overall in 2021
  • 8-1 in the PAC12 in 2021
  • 7-7 against the spread in 2021

With fifth year starter Cameron Rising back at quarterback and five of his six top receivers returning in 2022, the Utes offense has a chance to pick up where it left off. Tavion Thomas chose not to enter the NFL draft, and he returns at running back after rushing for 1,108 yards and 21 TDs last season.

The Utes are one of the favorites to win the PAC12 (+275), with only USC getting shorter odds (+220). They are still a long-shot to win it all priced at +5000.

The defense has to replace it’s top two linebackers Devin Lloyd and Nephi Sewell who have each moved on to the NFL. Ironically it’s Mohamoud Diabate who transferred from Florida who could be the answer. He was second on the Gators in tackles in 2021.

Florida

  • 6-7 overall in 2021
  • 2-6 in the SEC in 2021
  • 3-10 against the spread in 2021

The Gators are expected to start Anthony Richardson at quarterback. The redshirt sophomore threw for 529 yards and six TDs, and ran for 401 yards and three TDs as a backup last year. His 6’4″ 237 lb frame will allow him to make plays that Emory Jones wasn’t able to make. He will have to prove that he can stay healthy and avoid making poor decisions if he wants to remain the starter.

The bookmakers aren’t expecting much an improvement from Florida this season. Their regular season win total opened at 6.5 , and they are a 50-1 long-shot to win the SEC. They have a tough schedule to navigate, opening the season against Utah and also facing Tennessee and Kentucky in the month of September.

Relevant Trends

  • The Gators are 0-7 ATS in their last seven games overall.
  • The Utes are 1-6 ATS in their last seven non-conference games.
  • The Utes are 1-10 ATS in their last 11 games in September.
  • The over is 12-5 in the Utes last 17 games overall.
  • The under is 5-1 in the Gators last six home games.

Prediction: Utah 34 – Florida 21

The PAC12 may be the laughing stock of college football conferences, but the Utes are no joke. They went toe to toe with Ohio State in the Rose Bowl, and came up just short losing 48-45.  They have the majority of their key players back, they are well coached and they have experience at quarterback.

Florida should face growing pains as Napier tries to put his stamp on the team. With new personnel learning a new system, it might be unrealistic to expect the Gators to start the season with a win over a Top 10 ranked opponent.

For more free content, check out our previews and predictions page or our free picks page where our handicappers post free ncaaf picks all season long. For their best bets you’ll want to take a look at their NCAAF premium picks.

 

 

 

 

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