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Last Updated Sep 03, 2022, 7:21 PM

Utah Utes vs Florida Gators Picks, Predictions, Odds

The Utah Utes will travel close to 2,200 miles to take on the Florida Gators on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 PM ET at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida and can be viewed on ESPN. 


Utah may not get a whole lot attention from the media who tend to focus on USC and Oregon when it comes to the PAC-12, but this is a great football team and are coming into this season ranked seventh in the nation as well as reigning PAC-12 Champs. Their offense was great last season and should see similar success with the talent they have returning. The defense was good against everyone except Ohio State and while they lost some key players, the Utes should be good to go thanks to the transfer portal. Kyle Whittingham (144-70) will return for his 18th season as head coach and continues to put together great teams year after year and should be no different entering the 2022-23 season.  

After making it to the SEC championship game in 2020, the Gators fell flat on their faces and finished last season with a 6-7 SU record. This was bad enough for the Gators to get rid of Dan Mullen as head coach and bring in former Louisiana head coach Billy Napier. Napier coached four seasons at Louisiana and finished with a 40-12 SU record to go along with two Sunbelt championships. I would assume Napier is expected to make an immediate impact to the program. He will inherit an offense that finished 15th in total offense last season and a defense that was not great but not bad either. As long Napier keeps this team above .500, I would assume he has a couple of years to take this program back to the promise land.  

The travel distance concerns me a bit in this matchup, but I still think Utah takes care of business. The Utes continue to have success while Florida begins a new era under Billy Napier. I do think Napier will have the Gators in a good spot by the end of the season, but it will take some time to get things running smoothly. Back the Utes to cover in this one as they will be too much for Florida to handle in week one under a new head coach.  

Score Prediction: Utah 30, Florida 24
Best Bet: Utah -2.5 (-110)


More Odds | Futures Odds | CFP Central


Date: Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022
Matchup: Pac-12 vs. SEC
Venue: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
Location: Gainesville, FL
Time-TV: ESPN, 7:00 p.m. ET


Going back to last season, Utah is 5-2 SU ATS and 6-1 SU in their last seven games. The Utes are an impressive 13-0 SU in their last 13 week one matchups. The total has gone over in Utah’s last five road games. These teams last met in 1977 when Florida defeated the Utes 38-29 at home.  

Utah’s offense was great last season, finishing eighth in the nation in third down conversions, first in the Pac-12 in first downs, and averaged 436 yards alongside 36 points per game. Three starters are expected back on the offensive line that finished fourth in all of college football in pass protection and helped produce 217 rushing yards per game. Tavion Thomas will return as the starting RB. Thomas rushed for over 1,000 yards and had 21 TD’s last season. Cameron Rising will be the starting QB again after leading the Utes to a PAC-12 championship and oh so close to winning the Rose Bowl. Rising will be in good company with his leading receiver Brant Kuithe (TE) and Dalton Kincaid (WR) who led the team in receiving TD’s will both be returning.  

Utah brings back plenty of talent on the defensive side of the ball after finishing last season atop the PAC-12 in pass rush. The linebacking duo of Devin Lloyd and Nephi Sewell will without a doubt be missed but the Utes brought in Florida transfer Mohamoud Diabate to try and help fill the void. The pass rush will come from multiple guys, but Van Fillinger will return as the leading sacker from last season and will have his chance to shine once again. The secondary should be ready to go with Clark Phillips and Cole Bishop returning as well as bringing in FCS star Clayton Isbell from Illinois State. 

Florida is 16-2 SU in its last 18 home games. (Getty Images)


The Gators have gone 0-7 SU in their last seven games and are just 1-4 ATS in their last five week one games. The total has gone under in seven of their last 10 games. Following this trend, the total has gone under in four of their last six games when playing at home on a Saturday. Florida has seen recent success in September, going 11-2 SU in their last 12 games played in September.  

Billy Napier must be pleased with the offense he has to work with. Often times new head coaches will walk into a new program and have to rebuild the entire thing, but that is not the case here. After finishing 15th in total offense last season, the Gators know how to move the ball, they just need a little tweak here and there to put the ball in the end zone. Napier has brought with him offensive coordinator Ron Sale from Louisiana who helped Napier create Louisiana’s electric offense. RB Montrell Johnson also comes over from Louisiana and should make an immediate impact with Florida losing their top three rushers. Anothny Richardson will get the starting QB job and will have Justin Shorter and Ricky Pearsall as his top receivers. This offense should come together eventually, it’s just a matter of when.  

The Gators defense needs a lot of work after finishing last season tenth in the SEC in scoring defense. The d-line will return a couple of starters but will also be mixing a group of young players into the rotation. Linebacker Mohamoud Diabate transferred to Utah, which was a huge loss for the Gators, but Ventrell Miller will be returning. Miller missed most of last season with a torn bicep after leading the team in tackles in 2020. The secondary should be set with the talent they have, including the team's leading tackler from last season Trey Dean (S). 


  • Utah is 5-2 ATS in its last seven games.
  • Florida is 0-7 ATS in its last seven games.
  • The total has gone OVER in 12 of Utah's last 17 games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in seven of Florida's last ten games.
  • The total has gone OVER in five of Utah's last five road games.
  • Florida is 16-2 SU in its last 18 home games.
  • Utah is 1-10 ATS in its last 11 games played in September.
  • Florida is 1-4 ATS in its last five games played in Week 1.
  • Utah is 13-0 SU in its last 13 games played in Week 1.
  • Florida is 11-1 SU in its last 12 games played in September.
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