The Oregon State Beavers might be the hottest Pac-12 team entering bowl season having won three straight and six of their last seven games, including a heart-stopping 38-34 win over rival Oregon in the Civil War finale. The Beavs have also been a college football best bet with six consecutive payouts. OSU can secure its first double-digit win season since 2006 by beating the Florida Gators in the Las Vegas Bowl on Saturday. Injuries and defections have taken a toll on the Gators roster with the Beavers moving to a 10-point favorite on the NCAA football betting line at BetRivers sportsbook.
Florida Gators vs. Oregon State Beavers
Date and Time: Saturday, December 17, 2022, 2:30 p.m. ET
Location: Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, NV
NCAAF Odds: Oregon State -10 / O/U 53.5
Florida vs. Oregon State TV Coverage: ESPN
College Football Odds
The Florida team that takes the field at Allegiant Stadium won’t resemble what we saw during the regular season. The biggest change is at QB where it was announced Jack Miller will make his first collegiate start. The Ohio State transfer sustained a hand injury prior to the season and didn’t take a snap. And with other players opting out or entering the transfer portal the Gators have gone from a 7.5-point college football odds underdog on the opening line to a 10-point dog at the time of this writing. Oregon State has treated backers well not only winning nine games but also being one of the best NCAAF betting odds picks going 10-2 ATS.
Bowl season is a wonderful time to bet on college football, however, another layer has been added to the handicapping process. With free agency opening in early December nearly every team is affected by the transfer rules and I’m not sure any squad has suffered more than Florida. It’s not that the Gators were blowing away opponents during the regular season anyway. They finished on a down note losing their last two games to end 6-6 after a strong start that saw them go 4-2 SU and 3-3 ATS in their first six outings with a victory over Pac-12 champ Utah.
The biggest blow to UF’s hopes is Anthony Richardson opting out after announcing his intention to enter the next NFL Draft. Richardson threw for 2,549 yards with 17 touchdowns and rushed for an additional 654 yards and nine scores helping the Gators average nearly 32 points and over 440 yards of offense. And recently backup Jalen Kitna was released from the team after his arrest. So in steps Miller, who played sparingly behind C.J. Stroud last season completing 7 of 14 passes for 101 yards while running for 22 yards and a TD. He moved up the depth chart and was slotted as Richardson’s backup before a thumb injury that required surgery put a hold on his season before it even started. Justin Shorter and Xzavier Henderson combined for nearly 1,000 receiving yards and four touchdowns are also not expected to play.
Oregon State Beavers
After enduring some difficult times, the Beavers have turned things around under Jonathan Smith, who recently signed a contract extension with his club enjoying one of its finest seasons ever. The topper came in a 38-34 comeback win over arch-rival Oregon in the regular season finale. It was the program’s signature victory after dropping three games to the conference’s elite. OSU’s first loss came in Week 4 to USC, 17-14, when the Trojans scored a late touchdown. The Beavs covered the 5.5-point spread. They also suffered a 3-point setback to Washington covering the 4.5-point college football spread. The other loss was to Pac-12 champ Utah, 42-16, in Week 5.
The setbacks to USC and Utah came in consecutive weeks early in the season with the Beavers picking up steam going 6-1 SU and ATS over the final seven regular season games. The defense allowed seven points or less in four of the contests, but the biggest win was over the Ducks coming back from a 21-point third quarter deficit. With a dominant ground game led by Damien Martinez, the Beavs scored more than 30 points in each of their last three games and averaged 32.4 points for the season cashing the OVER on the college football odds in seven of 12 games.
College Football Best Bets
Oregon State wasn’t hurt as badly with transfers but they did suffer a loss with DB Rejzohn Wright injured. And Chance Nolan entered the portal after losing the starting QB gig to Ben Gulbranson. If the running doesn’t click the Beavs could have problems since passing game averages just 200.4 yards with Gulbranson attempting just 175 passes. Still, a stingy OSU defense against a makeshift Gators offense gives me the confidence to back OSU on the college football betting line at BetRivers sportsbook.
CFB Prediction: Oregon State -10 / UNDER 53.5