Florida opens a two-touchdown underdog the week after knocking off a Top 10 team? The University of Miami, despite being 2-3 and looking more G5 than P5 the last two games, favored over a ranked opponent? Florida State a four-touchdown underdog like some Ball State or Kent State?
Welcome to this week’s betting lines involving the state’s FBS college-affiliated football teams.
Florida’s defense broke Auburn freshman quarterback Bo Nix like first-year college romance and pulled away to a 24-13 upset win in The Swamp over the then-No. 7 Tigers. Now, it’s the Gators (6-0, 3-0 in the Southeastern Conference) occupying No. 7 in the Associated Press poll, only two spots behind No. 5 LSU (5-0, 1-0).
Still, the consensus opening line, according to Vegasinsider.com, put the Gators as 13-point underdogs and bettors moved that to 13.5.
Venue undoubtedly plays into the spread. The Gators got Auburn and Nix in The Swamp while they go to
The Hurricanes (2-3, 0-2 in Atlantic Coast Conference play) opened 1-point favorites for Saturday’s home game against No. 20 Virginia (4-1, 2-0) apparently on name recognition alone.
When last seen Saturday, UM fell behind by 28 and 42-35 at home to a Virginia Tech team that got bullied at home by Duke and stretched at home by Furman. And the Hurricanes laid that dinosaur egg after a bye week and barely outlasting Central Michigan at Hard Rock Stadium. Virginia’s only loss was a 35-20 adverse decision at No. 9 Notre Dame.
The books clearly still believe in the Hurricanes’ defense and/or that the UM offense won’t seed Virginia’s point total with turnovers: the consensus Over/Under opened at 42.5 and has moved up to 43.5, still low for modern college-affiliated football.
Florida State (3-2, 2-1) heads for No. 2 Clemson (5-0, 3-0), which still would be No. 1 if it still looked like the defending national champions that they are. But the Tigers have looked good enough and the Seminoles looked mediocre enough that the Tigers opened 27.5-point favorites over FSU. Bettors bet that down to 26.
As for the rest of the state:
▪ Bettors apparently thought they caught the books with their Group of 5 pants down and jumped all over FIU (2-3, 0-2 in Conference USA) at home against Charlotte (2-3, 0-1). In one day, the Panthers shot from 2-point favorites to 5.5-point favorites and the consensus Over/Under went from 58.5 to 63.5. Bettors at William Hill bet the Panthers up to 6-point favorites.
▪ Also trending up is Florida Atlantic (3-2, 1-0), consensus 10.5-point favorites over Middle Tennessee State (2-3, 1-0) at the open and favored by 11 or 11.5 points (depending on your book) by Monday afternoon.
▪ The bettors like South Florida (2-3, 1-1 in the American Athletic Conference) more than the books, pulling the spread from BYU by 6.5 at the open to BYU (2-2) by 4.5 Monday afternoon. Maybe that has something to do with the Cougars losing to Toledo, 28-21. Also, the total has dropped from 53.5 to 50.5, a number only that Toledo game hasn’t surpassed.
UCF is having a bye week.