In a weekend full of big-time matchups, this may be the biggest with LSU and Florida both undefeated and in the top 10. Of course, oddsmakers don’t really care about that because the Tigers opened as -13 point home favorites with an over/under of 54.5.
There are a couple issues for Florida with the first one being that backup quarterback Kyle Trask is questionable to play because of a knee injury suffered last week.
If he can’t go, redshirt freshman Emory Jones is next in line and while he was fine against Auburn, playing in this road environment is a bit different. The other issue is that Florida put everything into beating Auburn last weekend, while LSU destroyed Utah State in a covering 42-6 win.
This spread is interesting because none of the last seven matchups have been decided by more than 11 points with most of them being close throughout. That’s how it went last year as Florida took away LSU’s perfect season in a 27-19 win.
Both offenses relied heavily on their ground games in that matchup, which may not be the case this year. Joe Burrow, who didn’t throw a touchdown and had two interceptions in that last meeting, is in the Heisman conversation.
The senior transfer has been on a level no one expected, completing 78.4% of his passes on 11.5 yards per attempt for 22 touchdowns and three interceptions. For context, he completed 20% fewer of his passes, almost four yards less per attempt and had 16 touchdowns on 217 more pass attempts in 2018.
His current numbers will drop at some point, but there’s no denying this LSU offense is completely different than previous versions. Burrow has a nice trio of receivers to work with in Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase and Terrace Marshall, while running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire is averaging 5.5 yards per carry.
This offense has been unstoppable, but LSU also hasn’t played any relevant defenses. Florida has been stout on all levels, allowing less than 10 points per game and just held Auburn to 13 points last weekend. That side of the ball could easily decide the game because if LSU’s offense keeps rolling, it could be a rare blowout in this meeting.
That’s because it’s hard to see Florida’s offense keeping up. While the Gators scored 24 points against Auburn, most of those came from a 64-yard pass and late 88-yard run.
Take those away and Florida may have scored 10 points against an Auburn defense which is probably at the same level as LSU’s. While LSU has given up large chunks of points, those both came on the road. The competition has been worse at home, but the Tigers have allowed 23 points in three home games.
If Trask suits up, it’s unknown how healthy he will be and if he’ll be able to escape pressure. He’s been solid in place of Feleipe Franks, but playing at LSU is another test.
If Jones starts, the Gators will likely lean on running backs Lamical Perine, Dameon Pierce (left last game with concussion) and Malik Davis as much possible. There’s a chance that works, similar to last year’s matchup, but LSU is allowing just 81 rushing yards per contest this year.
The over is 4-0-1 in Florida’s last five road games, while LSU doesn’t have any relevant trends. The Gators have covered the last three meetings between these teams, but the home team is 6-2 ATS in the last eight.
Our Pick Florida +13.5