Florida Gators Suspensions Moving the Spread
On Sunday (8/13) afternoon, it was announced that 7 Gators football players were suspended for their Week 1 opener against Michigan, including star junior WR Antonio Callaway. Joining Callaway are junior defensive end Keivonnis Davis, redshirt sophomore defensive end Richerd Desir-Jones, freshman offensive lineman Kadeem Telfort, redshirt freshman defensive lineman Jordan Smith and freshman linebackers Ventrell Miller and James Houston.
Callaway is the key piece though and a big part of their offense (stats via ESPN.com):
The opener is set for Saturday, September 2nd at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. Both teams have a bit of a starting QB battle, with Malik Zaire the frontrunner for Florida and Wilton Speight the favorite for Michigan.
Betting Odds: The game was taken off the board Sunday night into Monday morning, but BetOnline left odds up throughout. They listed Michigan -3 (-125 juice) vs. Florida. The Wolverines originally opened -5 back in June and had moved to -2.5 around the market. However, we figured the suspension announcement would have more of an impact around the market and we were right:
— Sports Insights (@SportsInsights) August 14, 2017
Some of the Nevada market like Westgate and Ceasers have re-opened the line a bit higher at Florida +4. The Gators’ futures remain unchanged which was to be expected. Even if the spread had moved a few points, we likely wouldn’t have seen any changes in terms of NCAA Title odds, SEC Title odds, Win Total OU, etc.
Market Betting %’s: Michigan had been getting 78% of early spread bets, but the line moved 2.5 points away from them before the suspension announcement. This was a great indicator that sharper money was taking the Gators at +5, +4.5 and +4 to bring the line down. Now that the Gators will be missing a key piece among others, they’ve re-opened +3.5/+4. We’d fully expect the majority of tickets to still come in on Michigan, but you can track all of the latest market moves and more from our Free College Football Odds page.
**August 31 Update**: 3 more Florida players have been suspended for Week 1 against Michigan. The line is now at +5. The total has dipped from 47.5 to 43. Here’s a look at the injury report for Florida: