College Football Betting: New Mexico State at Florida

College Football Betting:  New Mexico State at Florida

The first Saturday of the college football betting season brings a lot of the usual ‘complete mismatch’ non-conference games but this one has a couple of storylines that provide interest. When New Mexico State heads to ‘The Swamp’ at the University of Florida they’ll be the opposition for new head coach Jim McElwain. He’s going to be under plenty of pressure. There may be head coaching jobs that are more demanding in terms of the entire range of job description (eg: Notre Dame) but Florida boosters demand production on the field. They’ll almost certainly get the 2015 season off to a winning start–it would be arguably the biggest upset in the history of college football if they didn’t–but we’re concerned with the pointspread.

This looks like one of the rare instances that a huge chalk number is justified. McElwain definitely wants to win in his Florida coaching debut just as Michigan first year head coach Jim Harbaugh wanted to win in his first game at Utah. That much is obvious. The difference between McElwain’s Gators and Harbaugh’s Wolverines is that Florida has the talent to drop a number on their opening game opponent. They’ve also got the perfect patsy to take the fall–New Mexico State has made the so called ‘paycheck game’ an art form. They know better to even try and compete in these games–just show up, take the beating and collect the check.

Granted, they’re not a good team in nominally evenly matched situations (4-20 SU L3 years) but in this situation they’re pitiful no matter how you slice it. As an underdog, they’re 2-20 SU/7-15 ATS which also means that they’ve been favored only twice in the past three years. On the road, they’re 1-10 SU/2-9 ATS. As a road underdog of +21 more or more they’re 0-6 SU/1-5 ATS. Against the mighty SEC they’re 0-14 SU/2-8 ATS.

Florida doesn’t have much reason to ‘go easy’ on their opponent in this spot. They’ve also got a first year defensive coordinator who is implementing a blitzing scheme known as ‘psycho defense’. The notion of Florida level talent putting pressure on an opponent this far below their competitive level is frightening. Florida romps, also playing the Under as it’ll be a minor miracle if New Mexico musters up as much as a field goal.