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What is
Las Vegas Saying?

Written by Daniel Thompson, July 31, 2013, 1 Comment,
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Right around this time every year, some of the smartest mathematicians/sports analysts in the world release their college football odds for the year. In late July/early August the sports books in Las Vegas release their lines and prop bets for the season – including favorites for the Heisman trophy, odds on the winners of each conference, and an over/under on the number of wins each team in college football will have for the next season.

Over the past few weeks, the sports books in Las Vegas have released numerous lines that involve the Florida Gators football team and individual football players.

Let’s take a look at what the sports books are saying.

Currently, the online sports book Bovada has released the following odds:

  • Odds of the Florida Gators winning the Southeastern Conference: 9/1
  • Odds of the Florida Gators winning the National Championship: 25/1
  • Odds that Florida Quarterback Jeff Driskel wins the Heisman Trophy: 50/1
  • Over/Under on the number of wins the Florida Gators attain in the 2013 season (not including any championship or bowl games) – 9

Current lines from the Golden Nugget for nine University of Florida football games:

  • Florida is a 2.5 point favorite over Miami
  • Florida is a 12 point favorite over Tennessee
  • Florida is a 20 point favorite over Kentucky
  • Florida is a 17 point favorite over Arkansas
  • Florida is a 4 point underdog against LSU
  • Florida is a 6 point favorite against Missouri
  • Florida is a 4 point underdog against Georgia
  • Florida is a 5 point underdog against South Carolina
  • Florida is a 2 point favorite against Florida State

(Also, according to the website BetOnline, Florida is a 21 point favorite against Toledo.)

Analysis:

These figures are simply fun with numbers and not much else. Last season, Matt Barkley, Montee Ball and Denard Robinson were all favorites to win the Heisman Trophy and none were invited to New York City, nor were they ever really considered after the first few weeks. Further, last season the sports book at Caesars Palace had LSU at 3-to-1 odds to win the National Championship with Southern California at 6-to-1 and Alabama at 7-to-1. Notre Dame, who played in the National Championship, was at 22-to-1 odds. Other top finishers last season were at long odds before the season began, as well: Kansas State was at 25-to-1, Texas A&M was at 60-to-1 and Louisville was at 100-to-1 odds.

While odds makers are exceptionally brilliant, it is an inexact science to try to prognosticate on what teams may or may not do in the next season.

While I am not an odds maker, I think these bets would be:

Good value buys:

  • Over/Under on the number of wins the Florida Gators attain in the 2013 season (not including any championship or bowl games) – 9
  • Odds of the Florida Gators winning the Southeastern Conference: 9/1
  • Odds of the Florida Gators winning the National Championship: 25/1
  • Florida is a 4 point underdog against Georgia

If Florida can improve on offense drastically (ranked 104th nationally last season) and maintain on defense, they could be a threat to not only win 11 or more games, but could contend for a National Championship. At large odds, there is an opportunity for a big payout if you gamble on the Gators to improve. The quarterbacking should improve, the running game should stay equally solid, the wide receivers should improve and there should be a marked improvement on the offensive line. I like the lines because you can bet little and win big, and there seems to be a reason for excitement.

Also, I think this is the year that Florida can beat Georgia, especially if given four points. I don’t think Florida will have six turnovers this year and I think they can continue to pressure Aaron Murray into some bad decision making. I like Florida to win outright this year, and I especially like them, if I’m given four points.

Bad value buys:

  • Florida is a 20 point favorite over Kentucky
  • Florida is a 17 point favorite over Arkansas

Please do not immediately jump into the comment section and blast me for thinking that Florida may lose. My thought process is – it is very hard to pick lines with large spreads because a late touchdown could cause, what would be a 23 point blowout, to a lost spread. With that in mind, I stay away from large spreads. I think Florida will beat Tennessee by more than 12 points, so they are not included, but I think you could see considerable improvement in Kentucky where they could keep the final score within 20 points under new head coach Mark Stoops. Also, I think Arkansas, while they were very bad last year, is not as bad as giving up 17 points right now. Certainly, Arkansas could start the season and be very poor on offense and defense again, but I believe new head coach Bret Bielema could keep Arkansas within 17 points of the Gators. Finally, my last reason does not lie on the side of Kentucky or Arkansas, but on the side of Florida. Florida must prove that they can put points on the board next season, while still keeping them off the board.

I could be right, or I could be dead wrong, about this analysis. The good thing? The people in Vegas are much better at this than I am, and they could be just as right or wrong as me!

 

Daniel Thompson

About Daniel Thompson

Dan Thompson is a 2010 graduate of the University Florida, graduating with a degree in Economics and a degree in Political Science. During this time at UF, Dan worked three years for the Florida Gator Football team as a recruiting ambassador. Dan dealt daily with prospects, NCAA guidelines, and coaching staff. Dan was also involved in Florida Blue Key, Student Government and Greek Life. Currently, Dan works as an Executive Head Hunter for a Tampa-based company. Dan enjoys golfing, country music, gin, travel, oysters, and a medium-rare steak. Dan has previously covered the Gators extensively on BourbonMeyer.com; on Twitter @DK_Thompson; and as the administrator of TheGatorsDaily.com.

  1. gatordonAugust 1, 2013, 4:29 pm

    The offense should show improvement because of another year for Driskell and Pease, as well as adding more talent to WR and OL. I am concerned about the 7 starters we lost on D, the new faces need to learn and step up quickly.

http://www.gatorcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Gator_Football_Swamp_Tunnel_Brian_Poole_Dominique_Easley-150x150.jpg Daniel Thompson FeatureFootball
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Right around this time every year, some of the smartest mathematicians/sports analysts in the world release their college football odds for the year. In late July/early August the sports books in Las Vegas release their lines and prop bets for the season – including favorites for the Heisman trophy, odds on the winners of each conference, and an over/under on the number of wins each team in college football will have for the next season.

Over the past few weeks, the sports books in Las Vegas have released numerous lines that involve the Florida Gators football team and individual football players.

Let’s take a look at what the sports books are saying.

Currently, the online sports book Bovada has released the following odds:

  • Odds of the Florida Gators winning the Southeastern Conference: 9/1
  • Odds of the Florida Gators winning the National Championship: 25/1
  • Odds that Florida Quarterback Jeff Driskel wins the Heisman Trophy: 50/1
  • Over/Under on the number of wins the Florida Gators attain in the 2013 season (not including any championship or bowl games) – 9

Current lines from the Golden Nugget for nine University of Florida football games:

  • Florida is a 2.5 point favorite over Miami
  • Florida is a 12 point favorite over Tennessee
  • Florida is a 20 point favorite over Kentucky
  • Florida is a 17 point favorite over Arkansas
  • Florida is a 4 point underdog against LSU
  • Florida is a 6 point favorite against Missouri
  • Florida is a 4 point underdog against Georgia
  • Florida is a 5 point underdog against South Carolina
  • Florida is a 2 point favorite against Florida State

(Also, according to the website BetOnline, Florida is a 21 point favorite against Toledo.)

Analysis:

These figures are simply fun with numbers and not much else. Last season, Matt Barkley, Montee Ball and Denard Robinson were all favorites to win the Heisman Trophy and none were invited to New York City, nor were they ever really considered after the first few weeks. Further, last season the sports book at Caesars Palace had LSU at 3-to-1 odds to win the National Championship with Southern California at 6-to-1 and Alabama at 7-to-1. Notre Dame, who played in the National Championship, was at 22-to-1 odds. Other top finishers last season were at long odds before the season began, as well: Kansas State was at 25-to-1, Texas A&M was at 60-to-1 and Louisville was at 100-to-1 odds.

While odds makers are exceptionally brilliant, it is an inexact science to try to prognosticate on what teams may or may not do in the next season.

While I am not an odds maker, I think these bets would be:

Good value buys:

  • Over/Under on the number of wins the Florida Gators attain in the 2013 season (not including any championship or bowl games) – 9
  • Odds of the Florida Gators winning the Southeastern Conference: 9/1
  • Odds of the Florida Gators winning the National Championship: 25/1
  • Florida is a 4 point underdog against Georgia

If Florida can improve on offense drastically (ranked 104th nationally last season) and maintain on defense, they could be a threat to not only win 11 or more games, but could contend for a National Championship. At large odds, there is an opportunity for a big payout if you gamble on the Gators to improve. The quarterbacking should improve, the running game should stay equally solid, the wide receivers should improve and there should be a marked improvement on the offensive line. I like the lines because you can bet little and win big, and there seems to be a reason for excitement.

Also, I think this is the year that Florida can beat Georgia, especially if given four points. I don’t think Florida will have six turnovers this year and I think they can continue to pressure Aaron Murray into some bad decision making. I like Florida to win outright this year, and I especially like them, if I’m given four points.

Bad value buys:

  • Florida is a 20 point favorite over Kentucky
  • Florida is a 17 point favorite over Arkansas

Please do not immediately jump into the comment section and blast me for thinking that Florida may lose. My thought process is – it is very hard to pick lines with large spreads because a late touchdown could cause, what would be a 23 point blowout, to a lost spread. With that in mind, I stay away from large spreads. I think Florida will beat Tennessee by more than 12 points, so they are not included, but I think you could see considerable improvement in Kentucky where they could keep the final score within 20 points under new head coach Mark Stoops. Also, I think Arkansas, while they were very bad last year, is not as bad as giving up 17 points right now. Certainly, Arkansas could start the season and be very poor on offense and defense again, but I believe new head coach Bret Bielema could keep Arkansas within 17 points of the Gators. Finally, my last reason does not lie on the side of Kentucky or Arkansas, but on the side of Florida. Florida must prove that they can put points on the board next season, while still keeping them off the board.

I could be right, or I could be dead wrong, about this analysis. The good thing? The people in Vegas are much better at this than I am, and they could be just as right or wrong as me!

 

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