College football betting handicappers will have to get used to a Florida team that is no longer with Tim Tebow, a major asset to bet on college football action with since 2006.
Florida will open against Miami-Ohio on ESPN Saturday with kickoff at 12:05 PM. Sports-Gambling.com opened with Florida as a 35-point favorite.
Tebow was a mainstay at quarterback since 2006 and junior John Brantley is the man that will step into the fold. Brantley is a much more conventional signal caller than Tebow but also considered to be a far better pure passer than the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner.
In Tebow’s 3 seasons as the starter Florida showed a profit each year and is coming off a record of 13-1 straight up and 7-6 against the spread for 2009. With Tebow gone, along with 10 other starters, Florida may actually bring better NCAA betting board value than was the case in the past few seasons.
While Florida head coach Urban Meyer has consistently hauled in top 5 recruiting classes and no talent drop-off is expected the 6th year coach is uneasy heading into the opener.
“”I’m hitting the panic button a little bit,” said Meyer. “We’ve got to get better faster than what we are right now.”
Meyer has seen injuries plague both the offensive and defensive lines and some of those top shelf freshman recruits cut and run from camp and out of the program. With 70 freshman and sophomores Meyer has had the major challenge of trying to solidify the lineup.
“I like our chemistry, where we’re at,” said Meyer. “But I can’t say I love it right now. I was hoping we’d be a little more advanced. I don’t feel the urgency. I feel it among the coaches, because they know what’s coming. Twenty-five young players that dominated like they did in high school have no idea what’s about to hit them.”
Florida has beaten the college football odds in 13 out of their last 18 games as a home favorite and has gone 26-11 against the spread in non conference action since 2001.
Although Miami had a college football betting mark of 1-11 last year 19 starters are back and 2nd year head coach Mike Haywood expects improvement.