ECU vs. Florida College Football Picks: Gators 'O' to Sink Pirates 'D'

Ross Benjamin

Wednesday, September 9, 2015 12:10 AM GMT

We provide you with an early look on Saturday’s game between East Carolina and Florida. Join us in reading this revealing betting preview article culminated with our free College Football picks for this matchup.

Rematch of 2014 Birmingham Bowl between Pirates and Gators
Florida hosts East Carolina on Saturday at “The Swamp” in Gainesville. The opening kickoff at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium is slated for 7:00 PM ET. This will be a rematch of last season’s Birmingham Bowl. Florida came away with a 28-20 win in that contest and managed to narrowly cover as a 7.0 point favorite.

 

Early Line Move
According to SBR´s College Football betting odds, Florida opened up as a 18.5 point favorite, and since has moved to -20.0 at the majority of major online sportsbooks. It must be noted, two suspended Florida starting players who missed last week’s season opener are expected to return on Saturday. Both safety Marcus Maye and wide receiver Latroy Pittman are listed as probable.

 

Unimpressive Season Opener for Pirates
East Carolina’s performance during their season opening 28-20 win over Towson State was less than inspiring to say the least. They allowed their FCS opponent to rack up 416 yards of total offense, and the Pirates were penalized eight times for 102 yards. On a positive note, running back Chris Hairston ran for 154 yards, averaged a robust 8.6 yards per carry, and scored 4 rushing touchdowns. The Pirates also went a superb 58.8% (10-17) on third down conversions. Quarterback Blake Kemp made his starting debut for East Carolina, and performed very efficiently. He was 29 of 37 (78.4%) passing for 230 yards and didn’t commit any turnovers.

 

Jim McElwain Era begins on a very Successful Note
Jim McElwain’s head coaching debut at Florida couldn’t have been scripted much better. Florida hammered New Mexico State 61-13 and covered easily as a 34.0 point home favorite. The former offensive coordinator at Alabama, and most recent head coach at Colorado State, exhibited why he was such a hot commodity. The Gators offense amassed a whopping 606 yards of total offense against New Mexico State. The Florida defense wasn’t too shabby either, holding the Aggies to a miniscule 200 yards of total offense.

 

Final Analysis
The Florida Gators football program and fan base seems to be invigorated by the arrival of Jim McElwain. After a dynamic offensive performance last week, I don’t see the Gators offense being slowed at all against a very suspect East Carolina defense which struggled versus a FCS opponent a week ago. Although I hate laying this many points, there’s an exception to every rule, and it will be one of my College Football picks this week. The Greek.com is the only major sportsbook that has Florida at -19.5, and all the others are -20.0.

Free College Football Picks: Play on Florida -19.5 over East Carolina at Pinnacle