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Utah vs. Florida Odds, Picks & Predictions: Back the Utes in the Swamp

<p>AP Photos</p>

AP Photos

The college football week one slate brings us another beautiful matchup, this one between the Florida Gators and the Utah Utes.

This game is being played on Saturday, September 3rd at 7 p.m. ET, and is a home game for Florida.

Florida vs. Utah Betting Odds

TeamOdds
Utah Moneyline-126
Florida Moneyline+106
Utah Spread-2.5
Florida Spread+2.5
Florida-Utah over/under53.5
Date & TimeSaturday, September 3rd, 7 p.m. ET
Odds via OddsJam Perfect Line

Starting with Florida- they enter a new chapter in their prestigious football history with Billy Napiers head coaching debut. He does have a tough start to this season, facing off against a Utah team that was in the Rose Bowl last season.

Napier, who built a strong program at Louisiana before coming to Florida, will replace Dan Mullen, who only led the Gators to six wins this past season.

Napier has also spent time as an assistant coach under Dabo Sweeney and Nick Saban, so there is a decent amount of hype surrounding what he is going to bring to Gainesville.

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Projected starting quarterback Anthony Richardson displayed elite talent in his limited playing time as a backup this past season, but it is to be determined how he will perform as a full-time starter.

He will need to improve upon consistency, decision making, and prove that he can stay healthy, but he sure does have the playmaking skills.

Surrounding Richardson is a team that only returns 13 of their 53 total touchdowns this past season. Along with Richardson, Florida will need their skill positions to step up as well if they want to have a successful season.

Where Florida is not lacking, though, is up-front. Napier is known for emphasizing the offensive line, proven this year by having two offensive line coaches to coach up the unit.

They return three starters, and also feature a transfer from Louisiana at guard, who has experience under the Napier system.

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Defensively, Florida improved upon their 2020 campaign in 2021, but is still a ways away from producing an elite defense that we were so accustomed to seeing in the Urban Meyer days.

The biggest concern among the Florida defense is depth. They are going to need players that were injured last year to stay healthy, or young, unproven guys to step up, or most likely both!

On the Utah side, there is a lot of positive momentum for this team.

As mentioned previously they made the Rose Bowl last season, winning the Pac-12 Championship to get to that point. The most exciting part of all that is they return most of the main characters of that 2021 squad as well.

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Head coach Kyle Whittingham isn’t going anywhere, and they are returning quarterback Cameron Rising along with five of their top six pass-catchers from 2021.

The biggest question Utah will need to answer at receiver is replacing Britain Covey, who is currently showing out in NFL training camp with the Eagles and was an incredibly productive receiver for Utah last year.

If there is one question mark for this Utah offense as a whole, it is along the line, where two starters from 2021 have moved on to the NFL as well.

Defensively, the only major issue comes in at linebacker, with their top two LBs also leaving for the NFL. The good news is they have plenty of options to replace them.

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Overall, there is a lot to like about this Utah team, with them having a lot less questions than most teams due to the amount of players returning from their Rose Bowl squad this past season.

They are ranked 8th in the nation for a reason, so I have a tough time picking anything other than a Utah W for their opening game.

They have the better team, are not dealing with wholesale changes that Florida is dealing with, and I’m not scared off by this game being played at Florida.

While I do have high hopes for Napiers tenure in Florida in the long-term, I have a hard time seeing them opening their season with a win against Utah.

Florida vs. Utah Betting Pick: Utah Moneyline | -126 at FanDuel

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