Florida vs. Utah prediction, odds, spread and over/under for College Football Week 1

Florida Gators head coach Billy Napier looks on during fall football practice at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL on Saturday, August 5, 2023. [Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun]
Florida Gators head coach Billy Napier looks on during fall football practice at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL on Saturday, August 5, 2023. [Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun] /

Florida football is less than 48 hours away from their season opener on the road against the Utah Utes in Billy Napier’s second season as head coach.

While the Gators haven’t had tons of optimism from the national media over the summer, some people are starting to think that Florida could make a little noise this fall.

The Gators are starting to become a trendy pick against the Utes, even though they’re on the road with a new face under center in Graham Mertz.

Here’s how the sportsbooks are looking at Florida’s matchup against Utah.

Florida football vs. Utah odds, spread, and total

The spread for this game has been all over the place. It opened all the way out at -9 in favor of the Utes. Over the course of the summer, and with the news of Utah’s QB injuries, it made its way all the way down to -4.5.

With the release that Rising might still be able to play, the number had moved back to -6.5 where it stayed for a while, but today it dropped right back down to +4.5.

If you’re really confident in the Gators here, you can get some good juice by taking them on the money line, where they’re +165. Utah is again significantly favored at -205.

The total for this game is currently at 44.5, which is way down from where it opened up at 51.5. It likely dropped with the news of Rising’s health, and the buzz around Florida’s run game controlling the clock.

Florida football vs. Utah betting trends

  • Spread: 41% of bets on Gators +4.5
  • Moneyline: 69% of bets on Gators +165 (opened at +315)
  • Total: 63% on the over 45.5 after opening at 51.5.

Odds and trends are subject to change

Florida football vs. Utah how to watch

Date: Thursday, 8/31
Game Time: 8:00 pm ET
Venue: Rice-Eccles Stadium
How to Watch: ESPN of Fubo TV:


Florida Gators Record: 0-0
Utah Utes Record: 0-0

Florida football vs. Utah key players to watch

With a new season comes new star players, and both teams have a couple of guys who could burst onto the scene this week and make a name for themselves.

Here are some players to watch for both squads.

Florida Gators

Graham Mertz: This one is pretty obvious, as all eyes will be on him in his Gators’ debut. If Mertz can run the offense efficiently and avoid mistakes, they’ll run like a well-oiled machine and control the tempo of the game.

The running backs: Both Montrell Johnson and Trevor Etienne have gotten tons of hype this summer and form one of the best backfields in the country. The one-two punch that these guys pack is going to be a nightmare for defenses all season long.

Princely Umanmielen: Princely is going to be the Gators’ featured pass rusher this season, and is the best guy on UF’s D-line. In Austin Armstrong’s aggressive scheme, he has the chance to shine this fall.

Jordan Castell: Castell was listed as a starting safety on UF’s depth chart a few days ago despite being just a true freshman. It will be exciting to see what he can do in his first game action on such a big stage.

Utah Utes

The wounded: Both Cam Rising and Brant Kuithe are coming off of injuries, and are massive parts of Utah’s offense. We still don’t know if they’ll even play, but if they do, how effective can they be?

Keanu Tanuwasa: Keanu is a redshirt freshman who’s only seen action in four games, and will now be tasked with stopping the Gators’ elite running game. Whether or not he’s up to the task will dictate how the game goes.

JaTravis Broughton: The senior CB with 18 starts over his career will be leading a Utes’ secondary that has to limit a Gator’ WR room with a lot of big play potential in open space. If he can help turn UF one-dimensional, the Gators could struggle to move the ball.

Florida football vs. Utah Prediction and Pick

All summer I’ve been slowly talking myself into how the Gators can go out west and win this game. With all the betting trends, my confidence has only gone up.

While getting the Gators earlier at +6.5 or +7.5 would give you a bigger cushion, I still think that +4.5 is an okay bet, even though the margin for error is a lot less.

It’ll be a low-scoring game, so you have to ask yourself if you trust the Gators to be able to run the ball and control the tempo.

I also like the under, even though it has moved down to 45.5. Even if Florida can’t pull off the upset, a 24-20 Utes win would cash both Florida’s spread and the under, which is an outcome that seems pretty realistic.

Hail Florida Hail’s week one picks:

Florida +4.5.

Under 45.5.

light. Related Story. Three takeaways from Gators depth chart vs Utah