Florida Has 2nd-Easiest Schedule in SEC and a Top-10 Heisman Favorite at QB; Are Gators Playoff Bound?

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Kyle Trask winds up to throw

Can Kyle Trask lead the Gators to the CFP this season? Photo by GamecockCentral (Wiki Commons)

  • SBD’s calculations indicate Florida has the second-easiest schedule in the SEC in 2020
  • Florida is +350 to make the CFP, while their win total is 9.5 (-220o/+180u)
  • What is the best bets to make on Dan Mullen’s Gators this coming season?

Is 2020 the year Florida makes a run? The Gators are coming off an 11-2 season and are returning a wealth of talent on both sides of the ball. Our strength-of-schedule rankings also show that Florida has the second-easiest schedule in the SEC this season.

Florida’s win total opened at 10, but is now down to 9.5 with heavy juice on the over. They are listed at +350 in the 2021 College Football Playoff qualification odds.

Are the Gators good value to make the CFP or go over their win total?

2020 SEC Conference Win Totals

Team 2020 Win Total & Odds
Alabama 10.5 (-160o/+140u)
Georgia 10.5 (+175o/-210u)
Florida 9.5 (-220o/-180u)
LSU 9.5 (+155o/-175u)
Texas A&M 9.5 (+140o/-160u)
Auburn 8.5 (-210o/-175u)
Tennessee 7.5 (-110o/-110u)
Kentucky 6.5 (-200o/+170u)
Mississippi State 6.5 (+150o/-170u)
Missouri 5.5 (-110o/+110u)
Ole Miss 5.5 (-145o/+125u)
South Carolina 5.5 (-145o/+125u)
Arkansas 3.5 (-110o/-110u)
Vanderbilt 3.5 (+140o/-170u)

Odds taken June 11th

Kyle Trask Headlines Elite Returning Group

The Gators are one of the few teams in the conference who are returning their starting quarterback in 2020.

Kyle Trask is primed for a big senior season after throwing for 2,941 yards and 25 touchdowns with just seven interceptions in 2019 after taking over for Feleipe Franks.

Trask is receiving some major preseason hype and entered the top 10 in the Heisman odds on June 9th, passing Clemson’s Travis Etienne.

Trask returning this season should give bettors plenty of confidence heading into 2020. Although Florida lucks out with a softer schedule this season, he has proven he can handle the grind of an SEC slate. The same can’t be said for the new quarterbacks coming in at LSU, Alabama and Georgia.

Aside from Trask, the Gators are getting back arguably the country’s top TE in Kyle Pitts, as well as speedsters Trevon Grimes and Kadarius Toney at receiver. They also return four senior starters on the offensive line.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Gators are returning five starters from their elite unit that ranked ninth in the country last season including second-leading tackler Ventrell Miller at linebacker. Marco Wilson and Kaiir Elam could also breakout in the secondary.

2020 Heisman Trophy Odds Tracker

Hard to Pick out Losses

While upsets are always possible, it’s likely Florida will be favored in all but one game in 2020 (Georgia). LSU will present a challenge in Week 6, but the Tigers have lost three of their top players from the squad that beat Florida 42-28 in Baton Rouge last year. The 2020 rematch will be played in the Swamp, where the Gators went undefeated in 2019.

What’s great about Florida’s schedule is they get three home games against right off the bat to ease into things. Alabama heads to USC in Week 1, while Georgia and the Tide will clash in Tuscaloosa in Week 3.

The “over” may seem like heavy juice to lay here, but it’s actually solid value when you consider Florida’s likelihood of another 11-win season. With their win total dropping from 10 to 9.5 in the 2020 NCAAF win totals, it’s also good to know that even if a Kentucky or Tennessee were to pull out an upset victory, the bet would still cash.

Pick: Florida Over 9.5 Wins (-220)

2020 College Football Playoff Odds

Team Odds To Make CFP
Clemson -200
Ohio State -150
Alabama -125
Oklahoma +125
Georgia +150
LSU +200
Notre Dame +275
Florida +350
Texas +400
Texas A&M +400
Auburn +500
Oregon +500
Penn State +600
Michigan +650
Washington +1000

Can Gators Unseat UGA in SEC East?

One of the most intriguing stories to follow in college football this season will be the battle between Georgia and Florida for the SEC East division crown.

The Bulldogs are coming off a 12-2 season that saw them lose to LSU in the SEC title game. Georgia returns eight starters from their elite defensive unit that allowed the fewest amount of points per game in league play last season.

I’d like Florida’s +350 odds to make the CFP more if it weren’t for Bulldogs also being on the cusp of contention. Georgia went into the transfer portal to land two very talented quarterbacks in Jamie Newman and JT Daniels (who will need to seek a waiver to be eligible), while RB Zamir White and WR George Pickens are poised for big seasons.

The SEC East could come down to the big clash between these two teams on Halloween. The Bulldogs have won the last three meetings in this series and have shutdown the Gators offense. UGA has a tougher schedule in 2020, but Florida’s CFP hopes could be dashed if they can’t end this losing streak.

I don’t think Florida is a bad bet for the CFP, but the safe play is betting the “over” on their win total. I’d rather take Georgia at plus-odds to make the CFP and just trust Florida to take care of business and turn in a third consecutive double-digit win season.

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Brady Trettenero

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