CFB Betting: We are finally set to kickoff the 2019 College Football season with two games getting us started on Saturday night. Although it isn’t a full slate and technically we are treating it as “Week 0.” We still have two games to breakdown from both a betting and DFS perspective. This article is going to focus on the games themselves, including college football odds and a CFB DFS breakdown.
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Miami vs Florida 7 PM EST ESPN : Florida -7 (ML -300) , O/U 47
This game is at a neutral site, being played at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, so both teams should have plenty of supporters in the stands. This is a rivalry game that doesn’t hold the same meaning as it has in years past, as both Florida and Miami aren’t the perennial national title contenders that they were in the past. We still have a key game non-conference game for both teams and a lot to look into before we get underway.
Manny Diaz takes over and will look to build on the 7-6 record Miami had last year. They have six starters back on both sides of the ball, but the big questions for the Hurricanes is who would be under center when the season begins. Tate Martell came over from Ohio State and was expected to the win job, but redshirt freshman Jarren Williams got the nod and he is who we will see when these two teams get going Saturday night. He is going to need this Miami offensive line to hold up against a Florida team who should be able to generate plenty of pressure on opposing QB’s this season.
Defensively things are a little brighter for Miami who will have a linebacking unit led by Shaquille Quarterman that is considered to be one of the top in the entire country. The secondary has some holes in it after losing three players who got selected in last year’s NFL Draft, but this Florida team isn’t a high powered offense so we may not see them be exposed through the air in this opener unless they really are struggling.
Florida was 10-3 in Dan Mullens first year as head coach and with their quarterback returning and eight starters on defense back they are expected to have a shot at pushing Georgia in the SEC East. Feleipe Franks is the man under center and last year he threw for 24 TD’s through the air while chipping in 350 yards and 7 TD’s on the ground so he does provide a little dual threat ability. Another bonus for Franks is that the receiving core returns basically intact so Van Jefferson and Josh Hammond will get a shot at this inexperienced Miami secondary.
On defense things are really looking up as this secondary is among the best in the country led by Junior cornerback CJ Henderson who could get All-American honors this season. The entire secondary returns from the 2018 version so attacking the Gators through the air is going to be challenging for Miami. The D-Line also has talent and experience, while the Linebackers are the weak link even though they do return their leading tackler in David Reese II. Overall this should be the strength of the Florida team this year so it will be on the offense to do their part and at least put up some points against opponents that Florida’s D limits.
Arizona at Hawaii 10:30 PM EST CBSSN : Arizona -11 (ML -425) , O/U 73.5
The second game of the doubleheader takes place off the mainland as the Arizona Wildcats travel to Hawaii to take on the Rainbow Warriors. As you can see by the line we have Arizona favorite to leave town with a victory, and expect points on both sides as the total is 73.5 which is huge. On the DFS side we will certainly be breaking down this game in full as on a two game slate the 73.5 total really is hard to ignore.
Kevin Sumlin enters his second season as Arizona’s HC and prior to that he was at Texas A&M where his teams usually were explosive on the offensive side. He shouldn’t have any trouble replicating that with the QB he has as senior Khalil Tate is one of the most dynamic players in the entire country. He is a true dual threat who will top the 2000 yard career rushing mark this season and is coming off a season where he was severely limited with a bad nagging ankle injury. In 2017 Arizona averaged 41.3 PPG , but that number fell to 31.3 last year so you can see how important it is to have Tate healthy and ready to go. This year seven starters are back and a healthy take should have them back in the neighborhood of the 2017 numbers.
Arizona also have eight starters back on defense and will look to drop the 32.6 PPG allowed in 2018. Expect Hawaii to test Arizona’s secondary this week. Arizona returns plenty of experience back there so they will try to limit the Hawaii passing attack. If Arizona’s D-line can generate pressure on McDonald that will go a long way into forcing turnovers or stealing a possession or two which is huge when you have an O/U north of 70.
Hawaii likes to throw early and often and that isn’t going to be changing this year. Cole McDonald is back under center and will be looking to top last years 36 touchdowns through the air in this potent offensive attack. He losses his top WR from 2018 , but the rest of the unit returns and it should be another year of big numbers for this Hawaii offense. The big questions is can they stop anyone or are they going to have put up 40+ points every week just to have a chance for a W?
With nine starters back it is a good start for Hawaii on defense, even if its debatable how good some of these units will be even with more experience. Last year they allowed 35.1 PPG and that needs to shrink is this team has any chance to make noise in the Mountain West. They should be better across the board and the defensive line is aggressive and can generate pressure on opposing QB’s which is always a recipe for success. With the lack of running game and quick strike offense this unit needs depth to avoid wearing down late in games and the return of most of the big names at least gives them a chance to improve from the 2018 numbers.
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College Football Betting Picks & Analysis
Arizona/Hawaii Over 73.5
As we just talked about both of these teams sport high powered offenses and they are led by Quarterbacks who have experience and plenty of weapons around them. Hawaii’s Cole McDonald is primed for another huge year in this offense and with Khalil Tate healthy he should carve up Hawaii on the ground and through the air. Arizona is the better team and should be able to hang on for a win, but I think to do so they will need to put up a bunch of points on the board as Hawaii will move the ball. I wouldn’t be shocked to see one of these offenses cross the 50 point mark meaning if the game stays even somewhat close this should get over 73.5.
Not a strong take here, but if I had to back a side it would be the favorite with Florida as I think the QB situation in Miami is concerning. Add in the fact that Florida’s defense has a real chance to be one of the top in the SEC and the country and it’s not the easiest start for a Miami team with a lot of questions. The O/U dictates that both teams may grind it out and don’t be surprised if Florida slowly wears down this Hurricane team. Franks and the offense should do enough and unless Miami can establish a consistent running game they are going to have trouble putting up many points in this one and will have an uphill climb after starting 0-1.
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Good Luck everyone!