On Sunday, Florida opened as a 1 to 1.5-point favorite over Tennessee for the two teams' clash in a checkerboarded Neyland Stadium.
Florida opens as a 1-point favorite over Tennessee.— Richard Johnson (@RagjUF) September 28, 2014
But the money started moving even then, and a full field goal swing in Tennessee's favor has occurred.
From @OddsShark: Florida opened as a 1.5-point favorite over Tennessee. It's now a 1.5-point underdog http://t.co/OF00bWtgdw— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) September 29, 2014
What does this mean? Likely, that bettors want to bet on Tennessee more than they want to bet on Florida. Getting the Vols as underdogs instead of slight favorites would have been tantalizing on Sunday, especially if bettors they'll win the game straight up, because it's rather unlikely to be decided by a single point — though Florida's 2006 win over Tennessee came by one point, and its last loss to the Vols, in 2004, was by just two points, seven of the nine wins in Florida's current streak of success have been by double digits, and an eight was decided by nine points.
But even a 1.5-point line favoring Tennessee at home against a down Florida team suggests that the Gators are still seen by Vegas as slightly better than the Vols. Home-field advantage is generally worth at least a field goal, meaning that oddsmakers thought Florida was at least 4.5 points better than Tennessee at a neutral site when they installed the Gators as favorites. The public weighing in has changed their opinion, clearly.
It's probably not fair to say that no one believes in the Gators. But it's definitely not wrong to say that the ranks of those who do are thinning.