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Betting Preview: Florida Gators vs LSU Tigers

Two College Football Playoff contenders square off under the lights in Baton Rouge on Saturday night when the LSU Tigers welcome the Florida Gators. LSU has relied on the nation’s highest-scoring attack to win its first five games by an average of 34.8 points, but Florida’s fifth-ranked defense has keyed a 6-0 start for the Gators.

  • Florida Gators vs LSU Tigers (Matchup Report)
  • Date/Time: October 12, 8 p.m. ET
  • TV Coverage: ESPN
  • Opening Odds: LSU -14 | O/U 55.5 (Line History)

Opening Odds Analysis

Florida has won 10 straight games dating back to last season, but that didn’t stop the oddsmakers from installing the Gators as 14-point underdogs — the third time in Florida’s last five visits to LSU that the Gators have been catching two touchdowns. The number dipped down to 13.5 by Sunday night.

Florida News & Notes

The Gators are coming off their biggest win in nearly a decade, holding previously unbeaten Auburn scoreless in the second half of a 24-13 victory in Gainesville. That dominant defensive effort (which included three interceptions) helped Florida overcome four lost fumbles and the brief loss of QB Kyle Trask, who left the game with an apparent knee injury before returning in the second half. After struggling to run the ball most of the contest, Florida broke the game open with an 88-yard TD run by Lamical Perine, giving the Gators an 11-point lead with nine minutes to go.

But if the Gators seem primed for a letdown, at least their coach is saying the right things. “Winning a big-time game like this means you have to show up tomorrow and get ready to win an even bigger one next week,” said Dan Mullen, who is now 16-3 as Florida’s coach. “That’s what it’s like in the SEC.”

Florida brings the nation’s fifth-best scoring defense into Baton Rouge, although it’s worth noting that the Gators allowed 21 points in their only “true” road game this season, a Week 3 visit to Kentucky.

LSU News & Notes

The Joe Burrow Heisman train continued to roll last week in the Tigers’ 42-6 win over Utah State. The LSU quarterback threw for 344 yards and five touchdowns, improving his season touchdown-to-interception ratio to an eye-popping 22-3. LSU has now scored at least 42 points in all five of its outings this season, leading the nation with an average of 54.6 points per game.

Head coach Ed Orgeron already knew he had a special offense. So the most encouraging part of last week’s win was the LSU defense, which turned in arguably its best performance of the year. The Tigers held a powerful Aggies attack to nearly one-quarter of its season average for total yards, intercepted three passes and missed only four tackles — a dramatic improvement over 18 missed tackles two weeks earlier against Vanderbilt. “We looked like an LSU defense today,” Orgeron told reporters. “If our defense is going to play like that, we can do anything we want.”

Betting Pick: Florida ATS

The Tigers have had their way with opposing defenses so far this year, but this is by far the best stop unit they’ve faced in 2019. I expect a conservative game plan from Florida on both sides of the ball, and for the outcome to be in doubt into the fourth quarter.

Shark Bites
  • Florida is 10-0 SU in its last 10 games.
  • LSU is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games.
  • The total has gone OVER in 7 of LSU’s last 8 games.