Ryan Young / SEC Country
The Gators are expected to be underdogs in three of their bigger games this season.

Florida football an underdog in three of its biggest 2017 games

Welcome to another installment of Good Morning, Gators, SEC Country’s daily morning column covering Florida athletics with Florida beat writer Jordan McPherson. Today, we take a look football betting lines, the baseball team’s familiarity with its regional opponents and more.

With less than three months until the college football season begins, initial betting lines for some of the bigger games of the season are starting to come out.

Right now, it’s looking like the Gators — who were projected by Las Vegas sportsbooks to win eight games this season —  will be taking on the role of the underdog role heading into the opening week.

Lines for four of UF’s bigger games this year — Sept. 2 vs. Michigan (in Arlington, Texas), Sept. 16 vs. Tennessee, Oct. 28 vs. Georgia (in Jacksonville) and Nov. 25 vs. Florida State — have been released. UF is favored to win just one of them. Here’s a quick look at those four matchups with those betting lines:

Sept. 2 vs. Michigan (Florida is +3)

The season opener is still a toss up for both teams, as the Gators and Wolverines will each be fielding generally new rosters compared to last season. Michigan does have history on its side, though, with a 3-0 all-time record against Florida. The most recent of those Michigan wins came with its 41-7 win in the 2017 Citrus Bowl in Jim McElwain’s inaugural season with the Gators.

Sept. 16 vs. Tennessee (Florida is -5)

Florida has won 11 of its past 12 against Tennessee and its last six straight in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The Gators, however, are coming off a come-from-behind 38-28 loss to the Volunteers in which Florida’s saw a 21-0 lead slip away when the defense gave up 5 touchdowns in a span of six Tennessee drives.

Oct. 28 vs. Georgia (Florida is +3)

Florida has won three straight against Georgia in the annual neutral-site matchup, most recently a 24-10 victory last season. The Bulldogs are getting a lot of preseason traction this offseason, with most pundits expecting them to be the frontrunners to win the SEC East this season.

Nov. 25 vs. Florida State (Florida is +5)

This is probably the least shocking of the three. Florida State is projected to once again be a top-10 team, and the Gators have lost four straight to the Seminoles. The Gators have also not scored an offensive touchdown against Florida State in 10 quarters of game action dating back to the 2014 season.

Baseball with familiar faces and a new one in Regional

The Gators baseball team found out Monday afternoon that it earned the No. 3 national seed in the NCAA Tournament and will host the Regional round this weekend and (if they advance) Super Regionals next week. This weekend, Florida is hosting No. 2 seed South Florida, No. 3 seed Bethune-Cookman and No. 4 seed Marist at McKethan Stadium for the initial double-elimination portion of the bracket. Here’s a quick glimpse at Florida’s familiarity with each team:

University of South Florida

Florida is 59-25 all-time against USF and dropped the lone meeting during the regular-season 15-10 on May 9. This is the second time in the last three years that the University of South Florida is traveling to Gainesville to open NCAA Tournament play.

Bethune-Cookman

Florida is a perfect 31-0 all-time against Bethune-Cookman and are hosting the Wildcats for Regionals for the fifth time in nine years. Last season, the Gators opened Regional play with a 9-3 win over the Wildcats.

Marist

Friday’s Regional opener will be the first-ever matchup between Florida and Marist, which advanced to the NCAA Tournament for just the seventh time in program history and first time since 2009.

Belinda Woolcock finishes second in NCAA Singles Championship

Belinda Woolcock came close to winning an individual tennis championship to go along with the team title the Florida Gators won last week.

Unfortunately for the senior, she just ran out of gas.

Woolcock, ranked No. 6 nationally in the latest ITA rankings, dropped a 6-3, 6-3 decision to Michigan’s Brienne Minor on Monday in the championship match. It ended a run of 11 straight days in which Woolcock had competed dating back to the Round of 16 matchup in the NCAA team championship. She was the first Gators women’s tennis student-athlete to reach the individual singles championships since 2002.

Woolcock ends her collegiate career with a 113-39 singles record and was named the Most Valuable Player of the NCAA Team Championships.

What they’re saying on Twitter

Football coach Jim McElwain

Basketball forward Keith Stone

Former softball catcher and current student assistant coach Aubree Munro

ICYMI

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