A different and off-beat angle on some UF storylines that you guys won't read anywhere else...
GAINESVILLE -- Working hard today for you guys. I was in Orlando early Wednesday morning to cover Sen. Barack Obama's speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. You can find that story on MiamiHerald.com, if you like. I missed UF's Wednesday practice, obviously, but I still have some interesting notes to pass along.
In between listening to and analyzing Obama's speech, I conducted an interview of sorts with an online gambling house, BoDogLife.com. The boys at BoDogLife.com, an offshore sports book, have set a collection of gambling lines and odds for various college football statistical measures, including the Heisman Trophy and BCS national championship. You can beat on pretty much everything, if that's your sort of thing.
One of the numbers that caught my eye was the website's over/under on UF receiver Percy Harvin's combined rushing and receiving yards. The line is set at 1,500 yards. Last season, Harvin combined for 1,622 yards receiving and rushing. I asked the betting house if they "knew something I didn't" regarding Percy's injury.
"[Harvin] was running full speed in earlier practices this week," said Jimmy Shapiro, a publicist for BoDogLife.com "I think they are just being more cautious than anything at this point. I'm OK with the number."
It should be noted that Harvin must play in the first game of the season for the wager to have action. Read into that however you like.
Still, 1,500 yards seems like an interesting number, considering Harvin had over 1,600 combined receiving and rushing yards last season and missed two games.
ODDS FAVOR UF TO WIN SEC
Another interesting number that sticks out is BoDogLife.com's odds for UF to win an SEC championship. UF has better odds than Georgia. In the BCS odds, Georgia is slightly ahead of Florida. UGA has 5-1 odds to win the BCS title. Florida is 11/2 (5.5/1).
Keep in mind that these numbers only mean that this online sports book thinks people will jump at these odds. Nothing else.
In addition to the sports book's publicist, I also spoke with Richard Gardner, BoDog sports book manager, about the numbers and odds placed on UF quarterback Tim Tebow.
“The Florida Gators should score a lot of points this season, something they have been doing ever since Tim Tebow took over the reigns," Gardner said. "This season, Tebow should put up similar numbers through the air but his Ground numbers should be smaller due to the influx of talent In the Florida backfield. USC transfer Emmanuel Moody and freshmen Chris Rainey should take away some carries that would normally be reserved for Florida’s do-all quarterback.
"Tebow’s passing numbers should improve in terms of yardage, however, don’t expect a big increase in his touchdowns through the air. Expect the Gators to pound the ball in with their new and improved running game and Tebow’s touchdown numbers should decrease slightly from last season as a result."
Gardner, online sports bookie, on the early numbers for BCS champion betting trends. And also a few betting tips:
"This should be a very interesting year in the BCS. With heavyweights Ohio State and USC playing early in the season, the race for the No.1 spot in the BCS will be heated early in the season. We have seen a substantial amount of money come in on Ohio State in the past week and currently have them No.2 behind USC in terms of shortest odds.
"The No.1 ranked team, Georgia, comes in third, but injury concerns and suspensions have made the bettors shy away from them so far. The rest of the top six come in with Missouri, Florida and Oklahoma as all short-odd favorites to take home the BCS championship. A team to watch out for is Texas Tech. They have been bettors' favorites for most of this offseason, and at 30/1 may be the best value on the board.”
More UF-related wagers at BoDogLife.com. In blue font, I added last year's numbers:
Odds to win the 2008 BCS National Championship
2008 Regular Season Wins - Florida
Over 10 (-130)
Under 10 (EVEN)
Odds to win the SEC Conference
South Carolina 15/1
Mississippi State 45/1
Odds to win the SEC East Division
South Carolina 8/1
How many Passing Yards will Tim Tebow (FLA) have in the 2008 Season?
Over/Under 3,550 3,286
How many Passing TD’s will Tim Tebow (FLA) have in the 2008 Season?
Over/Under 32 32
How many Rushing Yards will Tim Tebow (FLA) have in the 2008 Season?
Over/Under 725 895
How many Rushing TD’s will Tim Tebow (FLA) have in the 2008 Season?
Over/Under 18 .5 23
How many Combined Receiving and Rushing Yards will Percy Harvin (FLA) have in the 2008 Regular Season?
Over/Under 1,500 1,622
How many combined Receiving and Rushing TD’s will Percy Harvin (FLA) have in the 2008 Regular Season?
Over/Under 12 10
Odds to win 2009 BCS National Championship
Ohio State 4/1
West Virginia 15/1
Virginia Tech 30/1
Texas Tech 40/1
Florida State 50/1
Penn State 50/1
Notre Dame 65/1
South Florida 75/1
Odds to win the 2008 Heisman Trophy
Tim Tebow (FL) 7/2
Chris Wells (Ohio St.) 6/1
Chase Daniel (Missouri) 6/1
Knowshon Moreno (UGA) 8/1
Michael Crabtree (TTech) 10/1
Pat White (WVU) 10/1
Sam Bradford (Okl) 14/1
DeMarco Murray (Okla) 15/1
Matthew Stafford (UGA) 15/1
Graham Harrell (TTech) 16/1
Percy Harvin (FL) 20/1