Florida vs. LSU College Football Week 7 Odds & Picks: Can the Tigers Keep Things Close?

Florida vs. LSU College Football Week 7 Odds & Picks: Can the Tigers Keep Things Close? article feature image

Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images. Pictured: Max Johnson.

Florida vs. LSU Odds

Florida Odds-11.5 (-115)
LSU Odds+11.5 (-105)
Moneyline-490 / +360
Time12 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

If you read my Friday write up on the Clemson-Syracuse game, then this game guide's theme is going to be roughly the same.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Two years ago, we witnessed one of the greatest college football seasons in the history of the sport. The Joe Burrow led LSU Tigers steamrolled everyone en route to their championship.

Since then? Nothing but pain and disappointment.

Florida, on the other hand, has been formidable for years but has never been able to get to that championship level. The Gators have made it to the SEC Championship game in three of the past 10 seasons, but lost in all three appearances.

This year is no different as they blew their best chance by narrowly losing to Alabama.

With Florida still clawing its way back to the top and LSU faltering, this shapes up to a very interesting matchup.

Florida vs. LSU Betting Preview

Saturday, Oct. 16
12 p.m. ET

Florida Gators

Florida Offense

Death. Taxes. Florida running the football.

While their Rush Rate is near average, the Gators run the ball very efficiently. They rank seventh in Rush Success and 10th in Line Yards, so they will look to continue to pound the ball on the ground.

What's even more interesting is that it isn't the running backs who do the bulk of the damage. Florida's top two rushers are its quarterbacks.

Starting quarterback Emory Jones has 75 rush attempts for 479 yards and two touchdowns, while backup sensation Anthony Richardson has 311 yards and two touchdowns.

Another metric that Florida is above average in the nation is at Finishing Drives.

Other than its clunker against Kentucky, Florida has been a scoring machine. When the Gators get inside the 40, you can expect points to be scored.

Florida Defense

While Florida is great at scoring past the 40-yard-line, it is also one of the best in stopping opponents from scoring.

This is in large part due to their ability to get to the quarterback. Ranking seventh in Def Pass Rush, quarterbacks have been having nightmares after experiencing the Gators' defensive line. So far, they have totaled 20 sacks in six games.

One cause for concern for the Gators' defense is defending the pass.

In this matchup, if they are unable to get to the quarterback, the secondary may get torched. This may be a cause for concern as LSU is an efficient passing team.

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LSU Tigers

LSU Offense

As mentioned in the intro, LSU once had one of the most historic offenses we have ever witnessed in college football.

Now? It's pretty hard to watch.

For starters, LSU can't run the ball. It's almost worth celebrating if LSU gains even one yard on the ground, as it ranks 126th in Rush Success and 121st in Line Yards,

The Tigers' leading rusher, running back Tyrion Davis-Price, has 287 yards on 67 attempts for a total of two touchdowns.

Not all hope is lost for their offense, though. While the unit is really bad in most metrics, it's actually pretty respectable in the passing game.

Quarterback Max Johnson is picking apart opposing secondaries to the tune of 1,730 yards and 17 touchdowns.

LSU will need to find a way to score once it gets past the 40. It's something it's more than capable of doing, ranking 17th in Finishing Drives, but Florida is also top-20 in the nation at defending past the 40.

LSU Defense

As if this season couldn't get any worse for LSU, its local hospital has been busy as of late.

The Tigers' defense has been taking serious blows. They lost star cornerback Dereck Stingley Jr. a little over a week ago and now, Eli Ricks is out due to injury.

They were already having problems defending the pass, as they currently rank 56th in Def. Pass Success.

The main focus for the LSU defense should be shutting down the run game. They will need to spy the Gators' quarterbacks at all times as they tend to run and run often.

The Tigers' defense is horrible at defending the run as they have a ranking of 91st in Def. Rush Success. Not ideal against a run-heavy offense.

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Florida vs. LSU Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Florida and LSU match up statistically:

Florida Offense vs. LSU Defense
Rush Success791
Line Yards1072
Pass Success4956
Pass Blocking**4722
Big Play7885
Finishing Drives4197
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

LSU Offense vs. Florida Defense
Rush Success12683
Line Yards12145
Pass Success1729
Pass Blocking**227
Big Play5328
Finishing Drives1713
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling10859
Middle 82830
SP+ Special Teams6110
Plays per Minute7943
Rush Rate58.3% (43)42.5% (122)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.

LSU's offensive line against the Florida defensive line is what sticks out to me right away. If LSU wants to stay within the number and potentially get the upset, it will need to rely on its passing success.

Johnson has been spectacular in the pocket, one of the few shining moments for the Tigers so far. Florida is also at the top of the nation in getting to the quarterback.

Florida vs. LSU Betting Pick

Sometimes as a bettor you just need to plug your nose and pray for the best, That's the case with this one, as the LSU number has some good value.

With a projection of +5.5, we have this well below the listed +12. This is an auto bet for me.

While LSU has some serious issues that it needs to figure out, I still believe it can stay within the number and that is all that matters to the bettor. Its passing game is surprisingly efficient, a big weakness for the Gators' defense.

The Florida defense is also very poor at tackling, ranking 108th in PFF Tackling, a metric that will only greatly help LSU's offense as it drives down the field.

Florida will look to continue to pound the ball on the ground, bleeding the clock. This only benefits a larger spread as there will be fewer opportunities for both squads to put up points as the clock keeps ticking.

Give me LSU and the points. Let's hope the Tigers can figure out whatever is plaguing them as they have talent all over the field.

Pick: LSU +12 (Play to +10)

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