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Florida Gators at Utah Utes Betting Preview

College Football will occur on Thursday, August 31, 2023, at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah, as the Florida Gators will take on the Utah Utes.

The first season for the Gators under head coach Billy Napier was not quite as expected. The Gators started the season ranked as high as 13th in the preseason polls but finished a disappointing 6-7. Their season ended in a 30-3 loss in the Las Vegas Bowl to Oregon State.

For Utah, they went to the Pac-12 title game and beat USC a season ago, but then fell to Penn State in the Rose Bowl. The Utes finished the season 10-4. This is the first game of the season for both teams.

The Utah Utes come into this game as the favorite. Utah is listed at -7, while the Florida Gators are +8. The total for this game is listed at 46.5 points.

Whittingham’s Utes Overlooked

The Utah Utes seem to be an overlooked team in College Football every season. The Utes, once again, are going to put together a squad this season. Utah ranked inside the Top 25 in both points scored and points against last season. Utah also was just outside the Top 10 in rushing the football and 50th with 250 passing yards per game.

Cameron Rising was the big star a season ago, with more than 3,000 passing yards, 26 touchdowns, and just eight interceptions. It appears Rising will start as the quarterback despite the knee injury he suffered in the Rose Bowl loss. He will also have one of his weapons in DeVaughn Vele back.

Vele caught 55 passes for 695 yards and five touchdowns a season ago. His top threat a season ago was tight end Dalton Kincaid. He is now a member of the Buffalo Bills after catching eight touchdowns a season ago.

Ja’Quindend Jackson is listed as the lead running back. He finished as the top touchdown rusher a season ago with nine. Tavion Thomas led the team with seven, and Micah Bernard picked up over 100 carries, but Bernard appears to be second on the depth chart.

Gators Seeking Hot Start to 2023

Thursday Night Football and the Florida Gators are ready to get off to a quick start and have a much improved 2023 season. The Gators get to go home after this game and play three straight there; McNeese, Tennessee, and Charlotte all come to town.

Florida was a really solid rushing team a season ago but struggled a bit time throwing the football. The defense for the Gators also was not up to standards, leading to the 6-7 season.

Florida has moved on from Anthony Richardson, who is going to be playing in the NFL. He threw 17 touchdowns a season ago. Instead, fifth-year junior redshirt Graham Mertz from Wisconsin will get the start. Mertz struggled during his time in Madison but hopes to regroup as a member of the Gators.

Montrell Johnson Jr could be the key to the Gators’ offense. Florida will look to get him the ball early and often. A season ago, he carried it 155 times for 841 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Utah Snags Home Win

The Utah Utes are a well-oiled machine. Florida is not quite back yet, and they have some question marks they need to solve. With this game being in Utah, there is no doubt who the favorite is and should be.

In the end, betting the Utah Utes to win this game by a touchdown or more seems to be the right move. Take Utah -7 over Florida on Thursday Night to start the College Football season.

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