The Florida Gators won’t have much trouble beating the overmatched Massachusetts Minutemen, making the big question surrounding their Week 1 regular season opener whether or not the EC playoff hopefuls will cover the college football betting line as an insane five-touchdown home favorite.
Let’s find out now.
Massachusetts Minutemen Vs #25 Florida Gators Betting Spread College Football Week 1
What: Massachusetts Minutemen (0-0) at No. 25 Florida Gators (0-0)
When: Saturday, September 3, 2016
Start Time: 7:30 PM ET
Where: Gainesville, FL
Stadium: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
Spread: Florida -36.5
Moneyline: Massachusetts +10000 vs Florida -30000
Game Total: 50
Watch: SEC Network
Stream: Watch ESPN
Listen: UMass vs Florida
Bet UMass at 36.5 because…
The Minutemen are getting a whopping five touchdowns as road dogs.
Massachusetts (3-9 SU,4-8 ATS) went 3-9 last season and will make their debut in this contest as an independent after leaving the MAC.
Virginia Tech transfer Andrew Ford takes over at quarterback for the Minutemen and he’ll hand off early and often to gifted running back Marquis Young while throwing t wideouts Jalen Williams and Bernard Williams.
Defensively, UMass has just three returning starters from last year’s underachieving unit in defensive tackle Peter Angh, linebacker Shane Huber and defensive back Khari Bailey-Smith.
Bet Florida at -36.5 because
The Gators are far superior to their opponents in every single aspect of the game.
Florida (10-4 SU,8-6 ATS) got off to a fantastic 10-1 start last season but lost their final three games of the season, so I suspect Jim McElwain’s team will want to get off to another fast start this season by spanking the Minutemen in this Week 1 matchup.
After lengthy quarterback battle this spring, McElwain has decided to go with young Luke Del Rio, the son of Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio, as his starting signal-caller. The Gators return three starters on the offensive line and will have a new featured ball-carrier this season in running back Jordan Scarlett.
Florida’s passing attack was mostly anemic last season, but the Gators are hoping to change that in 2016 as del Rio throws to talented wideouts Antonio Calloway and Brandon Powell.
Defensively, the Gators were absolutely stupendous in ranking eighth overall and a stellar 11th in points allowed (18.2 ppg). Despite losing two All-Americans in cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III and tackle Jon Bullard, there is still plenty of talent in the cupboard for McElwain to work with, starting with All-SEC cornerback Jalen Tabor, senior linebacker Jarrad Davis, junior cornerback Quincy Wilson and senior safety Marcus Maye.
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction
While Florida is the easy SU pick in this contest, I’m going to back UMass to narrowly cover the spread against a Florida team that has gone 0-4 ATS in their last four home games and an identical 0-4 ATS in their last four games against non-SEC opponents.
I know UMass is just 2-5 ATS in their last seven road games and an uninspiring 2-6 ATS in their last eight games overall, but I think the spread for this matchup is a just a few points too high for Florida to cover.