NCAAF Preview: Michigan vs Florida, Vegas Odds and Free Pick

On Saturday, September 2nd, college football fans will be treated to one of the top games of the week as Power 5 Conference schools the #11 ranked Michigan Wolverines do battle against the #17 ranked Florida Gators. The game will be played at the neutral site of AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Kickoff is at 3:30 P.M. ET.

Vegas Betting Line and NCAAF Game Preview: Michigan vs. Florida

This game headlines the undercard for an opening week that also features Florida State vs. Alabama. The stakes are just as big for this battle as both Florida and Michigan have tough conference schedules where they can’t afford a loss right out of the gates.

Michigan finished 2016 with a respectable 10-3 record, but fell short in their quest to win the Big 10 Conference and make the CFP. They have a ton of talent across the board, but they are young or inexperienced in key positions.

Florida posted a solid 9-4 record last season in arguably the toughest conference in the land. They return a great defense and hope to see improvements on the offensive side of the ball. The Gators have arguably, a tougher schedule the rest of the season, which places even more pressure on the team to win this game.

The spread opened with Michigan as a 5-point favorite. It has since come down to 3.5 points and an Over/Under of 45 points.

Free Vegas Spread Pick and College Football Prediction: Michigan -3.5

The last time these two teams played, Michigan crushed Florida in the 2016 edition of the Citrus Bowl. Since then, the two teams have undergone some changes that bring us to the 2017 season. For Michigan, they have the luxury of veteran quarterback Wilton Speight driving the offense. Speight, who should be playing in the NFL next year, led the Wolverines to 40 points per game. Although they have new players filling in for departed contributors, Speight and the offensive line will keep this unit trucking along.

Florida’s offense was atrocious last year as they failed to establish any real identity. Add to the fact that their most explosive offensive player in Antonio Callaway is suspended for the first game of the season, the Gators offense will once again struggle to find success and points. Last year, Florida only scored 23.9 points per game and might struggle to score that many points in the opening week.

On the flip side, Florida has an elite level defense that only allowed 16.8 points per game. They will keep the Gators in most games and probably win a few of them. However, they lost the majority of their secondary to the NFL and will be vulnerable against the Wolverines offense if they don’t get any pass rush. In their four losses last year, the Gators only had 4 sacks. In their 9 wins, they had 27 sacks.

Last year, Michigan was the top defense in the nation and allowed only 14.1 points per game. Unfortunately, they lost 11 of their top 13 tacklers and their entire secondary. They have a lot of players to replace on the defense and it will take a few games before we see continuity and consistency.

Ultimately, this game will come down to who’s passing game can move the ball. With Florida’s struggles on the offense and a new secondary, Michigan should be able to make more plays in the passing game to outscore the Gators. Look for late game points by the veteran Speight and the Wolverines to cover the 3.5 point spread.

Florida is 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games on field turf and 1-7 ATS in their last 8 non-conference games.

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