College Football Picks: Florida vs. Miami

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The college football season is finally here. We’ll have to wait for most of the action next week, but we get an appetizer as the NCAA football season kicks off with two games Saturday night.

The Miami Hurricanes and Florida Gators meet in the first matchup of the night, followed by a late game in Hawaii when the Rainbow Warriors host the Arizona Wildcats.

Let’s breakdown the sports betting information you need to know to make your first college football picks of the 2019-20 season.

For more general betting tips, check out our college football picks betting guide.

College Football Picks — Florida vs. Miami +7, O/U 45.5

Miami’s Manny Diaz makes his head coaching debut in a highly anticipated matchup with some in-state foes. The two teams haven’t played each other since 2013, so they aren’t as familiar with each other as they once were. At one point, Miami and Florida played each other for 43 consecutive seasons between 1944 and 1987.

Diaz takes over after serving as Miami’s defensive coordinator for three seasons under now-retired MarK Richt. Can Diaz put The U back on the map following a disappointing 7-6 season? A win, or even a close game, could set the tone for an exciting new era in Miami football, while a decisive defeat will signal another mediocre season is on the horizon of South Beach.

Setting the tone won’t come easy against the No. 8 Florida Gators. Florida ended their season with four straight wins, including a 41-15 pounding of Michigan in the Peach Bowl.

The Spread

Fresh off their bowl victory, Florida opened as 7.5-point favorites. That number has fallen to a 7 points with a slight majority backing the Hurricanes, according to

Best Case for Miami: There’s the possibility that Florida is a bit overhyped after the strong ending to their 2018 season. Miami’s defense is the heart and soul of this team, and their front 7 is the most talented group on the roster. Like the Oklahoma Sooners, the Florida Gators replace 80% of their offensive line from a season ago. They aren’t replacing just anybody — last year’s offensive line included two tackles who are now in the NFL. If Miami pulls off the upset, you can expect a bigger party in South Beach than usual, and party goers will be toasting to the Miami defense. For what it’s worth, this is where my money is going.

Best place to bet Miami: Miami +7.5 (use our DraftKings Sportsbook promo code to get these odds)

Best case for Florida: While Miami has the defensive edge, what they don’t have is experience at quarterback. Redshirt freshman Jarren Williams came out ahead in the QB battle, and he doesn’t get to ease into the starting role with some FCS opponent. Instead, it’s an SEC team with higher expectations than any other team in the Sunshine State. Not only does Miami lack experience behind center, but the Florida’s Dan Mullen has the coaching edge over first-year head coach Manny Diaz.

Best place to bet Florida: Florida -7 (use our William Hill promo code to get these odds)

The Total

The Over/Under has been all over the place, reaching as high as 52 at some sportsbooks this summer, per VegasInsider. The total is now 46 at most online sports betting sites, with the catalyst for the move being the stout defenses and Miami’s offensive youth.

While the Under is the popular bet, I’m backing Over 45.5 (use our DraftKings Sportsbook promo code to get these odds). Jarren Williams won the starting job in a competitive race, and I think Miami’s offense could surprise people. The total has dipped enough to make the Over intriguing. At 45.5, I think any value there once was on the Under is gone.

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About the Author

  • Matt Schmitto (schmitto)

  • Matt Schmitto is the sports betting editor for RotoGrinders. He grew up in Texas, graduating from Texas Tech University. He has played high stakes DFS since 2013, and enjoys betting on golf, basketball, football and whatever else is put in front of him. Schmitto is an advocate of The Bettor’s Oath.

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