Expert College Football Picks: LSU Tigers at Florida Gators Odds and Predictions
LSU Tigers at Florida Gators, Saturday Oct. 6, 3:30 p.m. ET
This is the best version of a Florida team we have seen in several years - so far, anyway - so it sets up a strong game between these two bitter rivals. Not that we have had anything to complain about the last couple of years. Despite having plenty of issues on the field, Florida has been very tough in these games. Last year they lost by a single point to cover the spread, and the year before they won outright as two touchdown underdogs - in Baton Rouge, no less. And Dan Mullen brings his own string of success to this game as well - he is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings of his Mississippi State teams against LSU. This one promises to be a good ole SEC barnburner.
LSU at Florida Betting Storylines
If it's an SEC game then you know it is probably going to feature stout defense, and that is indeed the case. Florida's defense has been outstanding to date, ranking ninth nationally in points allowed and second in passing yards allowed. When you watch them, what stands out is the creativity - they never show the same look out of the same formation twice, which makes them an absolute nightmare to play against. That defensive strength doesn't strike me as very good news for LSU QB Joe Burrow. He is coming off a strong game last week, but that was against a mess of an Ole Miss team. Other than that, the Ohio State transfer has not been particularly impressive. He hasn't thrown an interception yet, but he is still far from efficient. Against by far the best opponent to date, Auburn, he completed just 44 percent of his passes. Against Miami in the opener it was just 46 - and Miami was completely rattled and unprepared in that game. I just don't have a spot on the Burrow bandwagon and feel like he has a really tough job ahead of him here. And it certainly doesn't help that the offensive line remains an issue for LSU. Injuries have forced them to start five different units in their five games, and changes are likely again here. Against a defense like this you need to be at your best up front, and I'm not convinced that LSU will be.
To be fair, it's not like Florida's offense is potent. But it is certainly better than it has been. Feleipe Franks has 12 touchdown passes already, which is more he had all of last year. And last week he completed 71 percent of his passes in a surprisingly hideous battle with Mississippi State. It felt like offense has been a liability for this team for years now, but now you can generously say that it is far from awful. And that's progress. And while LSU's defense is sound, it has shown some real vulnerability through the air. When Florida is playing at the level they are on defense then the job of the offense isn't to win games but to not lose them. On that front I feel solid about where Franks and company are at.
LSU at Florida Odds and Betting Trends
This game opened with LSU favored by 2.5, climbed up to LSU favored by as much as four, and has now fallen to as low as a single point . A pretty good middling opportunity was available here for people who jumped on it. About two-thirds or bets have been on LSU, so the line movement suggests some sharp love for the Gators. The total opened at an already low 44 and has fallen slightly to 43.5.
The Tigers have covered the spread in their last eight conference games, last four road games, and in nine of their last 12 overall. The Gators are 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall but just 2-5 ATS in their last seven conference games and 1-4 ATS in their last five at home against teams with winning road records.
LSU at Florida Predictions and Picks
I'm all in on this Florida defense in this one. I don't trust Burrow at the best of times and especially don't against this dynamic and unpredictable defense. Florida always plays LSU tough, and they are playing with a particular confidence here. It's not likely to be a high-scoring game, and in close contests it is easy to like a home dog - even a narrow one like this one. And I give a solid coaching edge to the home team here as well - which I haven't been able to say for a while when it comes to the Gators. Florida is the play.
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