Florida 2019 Betting Guide: Bet on the Gators in These Key Spots
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Florida Gators quarterback Feleipe Franks
Florida 2019 Betting Odds
- National Title: 50-1
- To Win SEC: 20-1
- To Make The Playoff: 12-1
- Win Total: 9
Florida Schedule, Projected Spreads
What to Like about Florida
Preseason polls never stopped Dan Mullen from having a successful season. The SEC media poll consistently picked Mississippi State for the basement of the conference since his induction as head coach in 2009.
The Bulldogs would go on to tie for fourth in the SEC West and never finish dead last in any single Mullen season through nine years.
Last season — Mullen’s first with the Gators — the strides on both sides of the ball were eye-popping in the advanced stats. Florida moved from 108th in offensive S&P+ to 15th, while the defense increased from 54th to 17th. There is no reason to expect a drop off with Mullen, who gave defensive coordinator Todd Grantham a raise.
The biggest improvement came in the play of quarterback Feleipe Franks. The junior signal-caller improved to a 24-6 touchdown-to-interception ratio while lowering his sack rate from 11.2% to 4.5%.
Throw in another seven touchdowns through 441 yards of rushing and Franks has developed into one of the better quarterbacks in the SEC.
The Gators head into halftime with the lead thanks to this TD from Feleipe Franks. pic.twitter.com/T6ZZatIyMN
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 29, 2018
The defense deserves hefty praise with a overall havoc rank of 22nd. The praise should go to Grantham, who led Mullen’s defense at Mississippi State in 2017 to an overall havoc rank of seventh. The secondary remains in tact, which bodes well as Florida ranked 23rd in defensive passing efficiency and 16th in opponent completion rate.
What Could Cause Problems
Even though the overall returning production rank is 26th, the offensive line loses 152 career starts. This unit was 23rd in sack rate and 20th in stuff rate.
Only center Nick Buchanan returns to the unit with a handful of other players getting playing time. A medical retirement by Noah Banks leaves a large amount of freshmen on the two-deep depth chart.
The schedule deserves plenty of attention. Based upon 2018 records, Florida has strength of schedule among the 15 toughest in the nation. Mississippi State rolls off the schedule for Auburn in cross-division play. Florida will travel to Baton Rouge in a revenge spot against LSU.
The difficulty of the non-conference comes in the neutral-site opener against Miami and the finale hosting Florida State. This is also a season where the neutral-site game with Georgia counts against Florida’s home games in the SEC, leaving just three conference games in The Swamp.
The great news is the placement of the Gators’ bye weeks. Because of a Week 0 game against Miami, Florida will have double-digit rest in three separate occasions, including UT Martin, Georgia and Florida State.
Bets to Watch
The Action Network win total for the Gators comes to 8.9. There was a play at low limits back in the spring on Florida Under 9, but no normal unit size investment is recommended.
The schedule sets up where a victory against LSU or Georgia will more than likely be needed to get the Gators to 10 wins. In lieu of hitting a season total, set a calendar reminder to bet three spots on the schedule.
Kentucky beat Florida for the first time since Mookie Wilson dribbled a grounder through Bill Buckner’s legs in 1986. The Gators will put three weeks of prep into the game immediately after the Miami opener.
A trip to LSU is another spot where revenge from 2018 could be exacted. If LSU is successful in a victory against Texas, the Tigers have three consecutive non-conference games before hosting Florida. There could be a bloated point spread attached to LSU on Oct. 12.
Finally, there is no love lost between Vanderbilt and Florida. Derek Mason is on the coaching hot seat and failure to make a bowl may result in unemployment. An incident in last year’s 37-27 Florida victory, and heartbreaker for anyone with Vanderbilt +9, should have Dan Mullen fired up for this Nov. 9 game.