There’s almost no chance the LSU-Florida Game won’t be close, especially with both teams out to solid starts. The last Four times these teams have played it’s been a one-possession Game and LSU won 17-16 in Florida last year. On the road again, the Tigers are -2.5 point favorites with an over/under of 43.5 as of Wednesday at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
It was a different situation when these teams met last year as neither of them were ranked and LSU already had a couple losses. That led to a close contest with both teams finding room on the ground, while neither of the quarterbacks threw for more than 125 yards. It probably won’t be the same script this year, but it may not be far off.
The Gators already lost at home to Kentucky, but are coming off a nice 13-6 road win against Mississippi State and there’s at least hope for the team with Feleipe Franks at quarterback. The sophomore still has shaky numbers and didn’t throw a touchdown against Miss St., but he’s completing more passes further down the field (7.63 yards per attempt) to go with 12 touchdowns and only three picks. He’s not going to break the Game open, but if he can move the chains along with the rushing trio of Dameon Pierce, Jordan SCarlett and LAmical Perine, that’s at least a start for the offense. The question is if the Gators can repeat last year’s 194 rushing yards on 5.1 yards per carry. If that’s the case, they should be able to keep it close, though LSU’s defense hasn’t allowed much this year, giving up only 3.0 yards per carry.
On the positive side to that for Florida, LSU has given up at least 16 points to every opponent outside of SELA so it’s not like it’s a completely dominant group. There will be holes for Florida on the ground, but pulling the upset will require the defense to show up. The Gators are allowing 4.0 yards per carry and already gave up 303 rushing yards to Kentucky a few weeks ago, which is something that can’t happen.
The Tigers don’t have as dominant of a rushing attack as usual, but both Nick Brossette and Clyde Edwards-Helaire are at 4.7 ypc and they’re churning out yards every Game. Joe Burrow has been fine at quarterback and most importantly hasn’t thrown an interception yet. His role is the same as Franks in that he just needs to keep the offense moving, converting third downs and not turning the ball over.
This is going to be a battle on both sides of the ball, similar to LSU’s 22-21 win against Auburn earlier in the season. Burrow wasn’t efficient, but he didn’t turn the ball over, while Jarrett Stidham threw two picks. Both teams will attack on the ground as much as possible and there’s a good chance they both have equally successful days like last year’s matchup.
The Tigers have covered in their last Four road Games and are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 overall. The Gators are 4-1 ATS in their last five overall (all with new coach Dan Mullen), but are 2-5 ATS in their last seven in Conference play. The home team is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings between these schools and the under is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings played in Florida.
Our Pick – Florida +2.5