Miami Ohio Redhawks vs. Florida Gators Preview and Pick – Point Spread – Betting Odds

Miami (Ohio) Redhawks (0-0 SU, 0-0 ATS) vs. No. 3 Florida Gators (0-0
SU, 0-0 ATS), Week 1 NCAA Football, 12:00 p.m. EST, Saturday, September 4, 2010, Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, Fla., TV: ESPN

by Badger of

Point Spread: Miami (Ohio) +35/Florida -35
Over/Under: 55.5

The 3rd-ranked Florida Gators start life A.T. after Tebow, on
Saturday (September 4th) when they welcome in a nice, softy of an
opener against the Miami (Ohio) Redhawks of the Mid-American
Conference in The Swamp of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville.

After attempting 48 passes last year as a sophomore in mostly mop-up
situations, Floridas John Brantley will be put in full control of
the stable of athletes the Gators have on offense for the first time
since he committed to Florida three years ago. With Brantley running
a more traditional pass offense, hopes are high for the Gators this
season to get another shot at another SEC Championship game appearance.

Brantley should have little trouble getting his feet wet against a
Redhawks team that went 1-11 in the MAC last season. Sportsbook
oddsmakers are getting the same vibe for this game too, since theyve
had to make the Gators as high as 35-point favorites at home to get
anyone to even think about a wager on the Redhawks.

The over/under total is listed at 55.5 on the board at most of the
offshore sportsbooks, but a few houses have already moved it up to
56, so the total could still move a few points before kickoff.

The Gators offense still has plenty of weapons to fall back on to
take the pressure off of Brantley, including running back Jeff Demps
and receivers Chris Rainey, Andre Dubose and Deonte Thompson. But
with only a week and a half before kickoff the Gators two starting
tackles, Xavier Nixon and Matt Patchan, have yet to practice this
fall due to injuries and they may or may not be back in time for the
opener. When added to the fact Florida was already dealing with new
players at guard and center, those skilled perimeter players wont
get a chance with Brantley laying on his back.

Miami does have an experienced quarterback leading the offense, since
sophomore Zac Dysert took his lumps during last years 1-11 dismal
season. Dysert actually led the Redhawks to the nations 22nd best
passing attack last year at 273.7 yards per game, but without any
running game (70.1 ypg 119th) he became a human piata and the
Redhawks failed to score more than 15.6 points per game (116th).

Dysert should get some help from RB Thomas Merriweather and WR Armand
this season and the Redhawks offense should get better, but
it would take a colossal improvement to match the talent the Gators
have riding the pine.

The difference in this ball game will be on the defensive side of the ball.

Florida lost players at every level of the defense, but with talented recruits waiting their chance they should be able to survive their
inexperience in the early going. Dont expect the unit that finished
4th in the country in points allowed (12.4 ppg), but they shouldnt
fall too far down the list.

The Redhawks defense on the other hand was as lousy as their 1-11 record would indicate, giving up over 34 points per game (34.2 ppg)
including an average of 45 per game in two non-conference games
versus Kentucky and Boise State. The defense looked good in
scrimmages and in the spring game this year, but that was against
their own offense and not the Gators. Once the adrenaline wears off
late in the third quarter (or earlier), the Redhawks defense will be
overmatched and it will be a hope and a prayer they can keep it under
the spread.

This will be the first ever meeting between the two schools on the
gridiron, so betting trends are hard to come by for the most part.

Miami is only 2-5 ATS in the last seven road games and a bankroll-killing 0-5 ATS in their last five games in September (i.e. early non-
conference games).

Florida is on the other end of the spectrum 21-7 ATS in their last 28 non-conference games and 4-1 ATS in their last five at home in the

The under bet seems to have the strongest trends. Its 4-0 in the
Redhawks last four non-conference and 5-2 in their last seven on
grass, while the under is 6-2 in the Gators last eight games in
September and 8-2 when the Gators play on grass.

Badgers Pick: If you have to give up 35 points to pick the Gators
here is it really worth the bet? I doubt it, even though I think the
Gators probably will cover it. The best value could be the under of
55.5 (or 56 at some sportsbooks), hoping the Gators call off the dogs
once they get it to a 41-0 or 45-0 score. Take the under of 55.5.