LSU Tigers vs. No. 22 Florida Gators Pick
No. 5 LSU Tigers (4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS) vs. No. 22 Florida Gators (4-1 SU, 4-1 ATS)
College Football Week 6
Date/Time: Saturday October 6th, 2018. 3:30PM (EST)
Where: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium Gainesville, F.L.
By: Jay Horne, College Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Spread: LSU -3/FLA +3
Last week the LSU Tigers blasted Ole Miss 45-16 down in Death Valley to remain undefeated. I was on the winning side of that game after issuing a prediction that suggested taking the “over” for the total. I expected LSU to gain some confidence against a weak Mississippi defense and that is exactly what happened. This week the Tigers undefeated record will be put on the line again when they travel into The Swamp for a showdown with the 22nd ranked Florida Gators. Unlike last week, this will be a physical game between two extremely talented defenses that could provide a completely different type of game on the scoreboard.
Historic trends suggest low scoring game
LSU and Florida have long been among the powerhouse programs in the SEC and that is why this LSU-Florida rivalry never seems to disappoint. For as long as both schools have stood as pillars in the SEC, they have also held the same identities throughout the ages. Both teams have took pride in having elite physical defenses equipped with the type of talent that breeds NFL Draft attention. Meanwhile, both teams have relied on power rushing attacks mainly throughout the years on offense. Going back to the Les Miles era for LSU and perhaps even the Urban Meyer era at Florida, defense has been the backbone of these great teams.
Over the last decade or more, LSU and Florida has traded wins back and forth. LSU has held the upper hand winning 6 of the last 8 games. However, the majority of these LSU-Florida games unfold in similar fashion with defense at the forefront of both team’s success. In fact in the last 6 meetings, the total has failed to reach 35 on 4 different occasions. Final scores of 14-6, 17-6, 16-10, and 17-16 have been commonplace in this prestigious rivalry. Of course there have been the occasional shootouts like the 35-28 LSU win back in 2015 when running back Leonard Fournette ran wild for 180 yards with 2 touchdowns. However, those offensive sparks have been few and far between.
Florida and LSU offensive struggles continue
If you look back at those few games where the scoring exceeded expectations between Florida-LSU, both teams were possessed with big name talents that performed. This year’s version of the Florida-LSU rivalry does not have those huge talents on the offensive side of the football. Tigers quarterback Joe Burrow has added to the long legacy of under performing quarterbacks in Baton Rouge over the last two decades. Burrow has some athletic talent but he is far from an accurate passer. LSU’s bread and butter remains between the tackles with the running game where Nick Brossette have the opportunity to make things happen against a Gators defense that has surprisingly relinquished 171 yards per game.
On the other side of the football, Florida’s offense has perhaps an even more daunting matchup. Quarterback Feleipe Franks has been decent this year with a 57% completion percentage with 12 touchdowns and 3 picks. However, the passing game has often stalled and this Gators offense still relies heavily on the run. Against this physical LSU defense, the running game does not appear ideal against a unit that currently ranks 15th in the FBS against the run. On paper, LSU ranks 80th against the pass which may look like an opportunity for Florida. However, those numbers are extremely bias based on opponents and game flow in recent weeks. LSU has all the personnel needed to challenge Florida’s passing attack and stand strong. Scoring will be extremely difficult for either offense this week.
TIRED OF YOUR CREDIT CARD NOT WORKING AT SPORTSBOOKS? IT WILL AT BOVADA + GET A 50% BONUS!
LSU vs. Florida Betting Trends
I believe LSU has the most upside in this match-up in terms of the side. Florida has struggled with the run somewhat which should present some further opportunity. The Tigers are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games as one of the best money makers in college football during that stretch. However, the best play remains on this total that I have alluded to throughout this preview. The defenses are set to conquer the stage this Saturday and the trends follow that guideline as well. LSU has gone “under” the total in 7 of their last 8 games on the road. Furthermore, the total has gone “under” the mark in 7 of the last 10 meetings between Florida and LSU.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Take the under 44!