Trying to figure out whether to bet early or late in this Covid crazy season has been impossible. In some cases you’re getting in before opt outs, or positive cases, and you steal full touchdowns on the line. But it’s been more luck than finesse or art, especially late in the season, and if you’re sitting there with a Florida -3.5 ticket, well you’re getting cheated out of 10.5 points in the Cotton Bowl.
Yep, that’s me. The House Edge Podcast was recorded last week, and we loved Florida giving only 3.5 to an Oklahoma team that they were clearly better than. Fresh off sticking with Alabama in the SEC Championship, they were slightly favored over the shaky Big 12 Champ Oklahoma team. But apparently, things change.
Projected 1st round picks Kyle Pitts and Kadarius Toney opted out of the meaningless Bowl Game to protect themselves prior to the professional checks cleared. Fellow receiver Trevon Grimes followed suit, not seeing the reward to the risk. And then a 4th starting offensive player in Jacob Copeland tested positive for Coronavirus.
Thus, Heisman finalist quarterback Kyle Trask is stuck in a situation where he’s shaking hands in the huddle prior to the snap, to learn the names of his new targets. Without extra research, and knowing Florida and the recruiting classes the Gators pull in, I’m sure the athletes that will step in are all highly rated and should catch and run just fine. But where this game really looked like a great Florida pick to me, was in the trenches and on defense, where Oklahoma is ill-prepared to bang with one of the elite teams in the SEC.
The wide open Big 12 flash will still put some points on the board behind Spencer Rattler, and a couple really great offensive lineman. But, the speed and physicality of the Florida defense will be like nothing they’ve seen since last College Football Playoff, and now that they’re giving more than a touchdown to Florida, I’m still a big fan of the Gators.
It hasn’t been mentioned like the Florida NFL Draft Opt Outs, but Oklahoma is going to be missing it’s no. 1 most talented receiver as well, and its starting safety. Seems like the line moved really aggressively because of Pitts and Toney grabbing the headlines, but the conflicting styles and SEC edge faded into the background. I’m still liking Florida in this one, although a little less explosive, a whole lot more overall talent, and getting 7 points.
💰 Pick: Florida +7