The Golden Nugget Casino's sportsbook is ritually one of the earliest to announce lines for a given year's college football games, often offering over/unders and a passel of lines on games it dubs "Games of the Year" in late June. (Here are the 2014 and 2015 Game of the Year lines featuring Florida.)
|Team||Vegas regular season win total over/under||Price||S&P+ regular season win projections||S&P+ - Vegas difference|
|Florida State||10||over -120||8.48||-1.52|
|Notre Dame||9||under -125||8.6||-0.4|
|Ohio State||8.5||over -115||8.12||-0.38|
|Oklahoma State||8.5||under -130||7.91||-0.59|
|Michigan State||8||under -135||7.8||-0.2|
|Ole Miss||7.5||under -115||7.84||0.34|
If the handy italics didn't help you, the standout feature of Florida's over/under is the lack of distance from its S&P+ projection, a minuscule 0.02 wins of difference. While it's really very little different from an 0.04 difference for Georgia or Clemson or an 0.06 difference for Baylor, the distance between Florida's projection and the Vegas over/under is the second smallest of the 22 teams with released over/unders, behind the 0.01 sliver between Alabama's line and projection.
This is good for Florida fans who want to bet on college football, because they can save money by staying far away from that line.
If there were a significant difference between the projection and the line, as there is for, say, Florida State or TCU, it would make more sense to take the money and lay it down, because one of the most sophisticated projection systems available to the public is suggesting things are awry. And there is simply a lot more room underneath 10 wins to hit an under bet than there is under eight wins, especially in Florida's specific circumstance.
The Gators' 2016 schedule has three cupcakes; games against Kentucky and Vanderbilt, teams Florida has gone 49-1 against since 1990; and three other SEC home games. It could lose to Tennessee, Georgia, Arkansas, and Florida State away from home and still manage to push eight wins.
So: No, don't bet eight wins. Eight wins is a fair line.
And you're too smart to bet fair lines, right?