Florida and Miami Meet in Season Opener; Can Either of Them Play in National Title…

Tyler Vaysman

As the 150th anniversary of college football approaches, longtime rivals Miami and Florida face off in a matchup on Saturday. The respective coaches, Manny Diaz and Dan Mullen, look to one-up each other as the two have a history of working side by side at Mississippi State.

The Coaches

Mullen definitely has the advantage with experience as he enters his 11th season as head coach. Diaz was named the head coach of Temple last year but never ended up coaching a game. He left to take the job with Miami once the spot opened up. This isn’t Diaz’s first time in Miami, as he was the defensive coordinator in 2016.

The Matchup

Miami has won seven of the past eight meetings between the two teams, so it’s likely to be a tough matchup for the Gators. Although Miami had less than a stellar season last year, finishing outside of the Top 25 with a 7-6 record, while the Gators finished 10-3.

The Gators played in the Peach Bowl against Michigan last season and ended up crushing them 41-15. The Gators look to start the season off on the right foot and continue their success from last year.

Redshirt freshman QB Jarren Williams will start for Miami as they look to have a fresh face get them back on the right track. For the Gators, they will have junior Feleipe Franks under center. Expect the Gators to have the advantage at quarterback, but with Williams being a freshman, it’s tough to know the impact that he will have.

National Championship Chances

Florida comes in ranked No. 8 in the country. This ranking tells you that the team has a fair chance to produce a well-rounded season, with the potential to play in the title game. Miami, on the other hand, remains out of the Top 25, which gives them little-to-no chance of playing in the championship game come January.

With teams like Clemson and Alabama still sitting at the top, it’s hard to see either team being able to surpass them. Clemson, which went 15-0 last season, beat Alabama in the championship game 44-16. Clemson is looking to build on this triumphant season and return to the title game once again.

Gators vs. Hurricanes Odds

The spread for the game on Saturday currently has Florida at -7. This spread is listed at -112, while Miami, which is being given seven points, stands at -109 odds. With the way that the two teams played last season, seven points don’t seem like a lot for the Gators to win by. This wager presents itself with a lot of value, especially from a Miami team that doesn’t have many expectations.

When it comes to the moneyline, the Gators are listed at -295, while Miami is listed at +235. Compared to the spread, you’re going to find a lot less value taking the moneyline in this game. Unless you expect Miami to pull off a big upset, stay clear of taking either team straight up.

Where To Watch

The game will be played at 7 pm ET on Saturday night, with ESPN broadcasting the game. This is the very first matchup of the 2019 college football season so expect tensions to be very high. It ought to be an exciting opener, regardless of the result.

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