The Week Zero Experience


Photo by Matt Stamey, The Gainesville Sun

By Jeremy Dennis


Ladies and gentlemen welcome to the first of many (hopefully) articles that will go into the ins and outs of gambling for the 2019 football season. For a typical week, expect roughly three articles. The first, occurring on Tuesday, will be a review of the Blitzalytics predictions and talk about some bad-beats and lucky breaks in a piece called “What Had Happened Last Week Was…” Article Two, which will appear on Thursdays, will give an update on line movement for some relevant games and also have the Thursday and Friday game predictions for college and pro. This will be affectionately known as “Walking the Line”. Finally, we will preview the Blitzalytics picks of the week for college and pro on Friday in a segment named “Degenerate Menace (-411)”.


Because we have only two college games to talk about this week, we are going to mash all three pieces together to cover what we know and what we think we know about both games. One author’s note: since the Degenerate Menace relies on data from previous games with some fancy Excel spreadsheets, for weeks zero and one of the college season and week one of the NFL season, he is just going to shoot from the hip. Let’s do this!


#8 Florida Gators vs Miami Hurricanes (in Orlando)


What had happened over the summer was…..

The Gators got more attention from the police blotter than they did for anything on the field. Florida also apparently started a conga line to the transfer portal as they lost more than a half-dozen players. Oh, and a couple of 2019 incoming freshman decided not to show up. On top of that, there was crap talk with Georgia, which is great and all, but I’m pretty sure Kirby Smart has won more divisions than Mullen has in his career. At least Dan Mullen got a hole-in-one this year.


On the Miami sideline, there was, of‌ ‌course, the change in coach. There have been a lot of positives to say about Manny Diaz compared to Mark Richt, but in the end, you have to win some ball games. Only other bit of news was Miami naming a freshman as a starting quarterback and causing a certain transfer out of Ohio State to be very, very angry.


Walking the Line:


The line has bounced around between -7 and -8 for Florida for the most part. This has been somewhat surprising in the last week with the naming of the Miami quarterback. I would have thought that we might be getting close to a nine-point spread for the Gators.


Degenerate Menace (-411) says:


With the injection of a new coaching staff comes hope. However, the facts remain that they are starting a freshman at quarterback and their offensive line might be down from last year’s output. Florida does have a QB starting his third year and improvement with the run game and the pass game (only question might be the O-Line). From a defensive standpoint, it would be hard to say that Miami is on par with Florida as the Gators might have Top-20 units on the D-Line and defensive backs. I’m thinking Florida (-7.5) should cover this one.


Projected Score: Florida 28 - Miami 17


Arizona Wildcats at Hawaii Warriors


What had happened over the summer was….

Not much of anything. I bet Kevin Sumlin is happy to be in Tucson where he would not be under the microscope all summer after a 5-7 season, unlike the SEC. I saw pictures of the Hawaii team having practice on the beach. Must be nice…


Walking the Line:


Hawaii’s underdog status has bounced between 10 and 12 since the line came out. In the last week, it settled between 11 and 11.5. Since this is not a high profile game, there will probably not be much movement between now and Saturday.


Degenerate Menace (-411) says:


Both teams are making significant improvements on both sides of the ball. Arizona Quarterback Khalil Tate is a senior and has hopefully recovered from a bum ankle that hampered him in 2018. Hawaii’s improvements plus playing at home should make things interesting, but they would be hard-pressed to overcome the depth of a Power Five team. I believe that Arizona can cover the -11 spread. Might want to look at betting the over if you are feeling feisty.


Projected Score: Arizona 48 - Hawaii 30