NCAA Football Betting - LSU vs. Florida

LSU (#4) will travel to Florida (#10) this week for one of a number of games happening this weekend featuring top ranked opponents. These teams happen to be sharing first place in the SEC-East and SEC-West (three way tie in both the East and West). Both teams are undefeated; LSU at 5-0 and Florida at 4-0. Game time is 3:30 pm ET time on CBS.

Both teams are fielding a strong defense this year. LSU’s defense is ranked 9th overall, averaging 12.6 points allowed per game. Florida is right behind LSU with a 10th overall ranking and an average of 12.8 points allowed per game. LSU’s defensive line is highly touted as tough on the inside run and dangerous on the pass rush. That unit is fired up and ready to take on Florida’s much promoted offensive line which has already earned a reputation for establishing a hard hitting run game.

Both teams also have strong run games. Florida is ranked 20th with an average of 224.5 yards per game while LSU is ranked 18th with 229.6 yards per game. Kenny Hillard is LSU’s top RB with 366 yards on 53 attempts. LSU also has another good RB in Alfred Blue who has run for 270 yards on 40 carries. The top Florida RB is Mike Gillislee who has 402 yards on 69 carries and Gillislee is supported by QB Jeff Driskel who has run for 270 yards on 40 carries. Many teams who have an effective running back and a running quarterback are successful in tight games where one or more offensive weapons are being eliminated by an opposing defense.

What might be a concern for Florida is their passing game. Ranked only 110th in the nation with an average of 183 passing yards per game, Florida will have trouble keeping LSU’s defense off the scent of their run game without much of a passing threat. But LSU is not much better at the pass with a 95th place pass ranking with 203.2 yards per game. Perhaps the passing advantage will be in Florida’s favor being the home team in the notoriously loud Gainesville, FL stadium know as “the Swamp.”

Florida has been 2-0 at home this season and 3-0 against conference opponents. Many would probably argue that Florida has had a more difficult schedule playing Texas A&M, Tennessee (then #23) and Kentucky in the past three games (all SEC opponents). Florida will be LSU’s first ranked opponent.

LSU is favored to win this game with a spread of 2.5 points and an over/under of 44 points. No doubt this will be a close game. As discussed, these two teams have been comparable in rankings and productivity. The only major difference is that LSU has averaged more points scored per game, 39 points to Florida’s 30.5 points. The odds makers are clearly thinking this should be a close game, you should too. As for the over/under, a under bet might make sense given how each team’s defense matches up. If Florida really is a top ten team then this game should stay below 44 points. LSU has been slipping in the rankings and might be about to be put in their place by Florida.

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