LSU vs Florida Odds, Picks and Predictions: Tiger Earn Their Stripes in Week 7

LSU and Florida meet in a near-pick 'em for Week 7. With so little separating these teams, find out where each coach can derive and edge — and how that impacts your best bet — with our college football picks and predictions.

Douglas Farmer - Betting Analyst at Covers
Douglas Farmer • Betting Analyst
Oct 15, 2022 • 07:49 ET • 4 min read
Jayden Daniels LSU Tigers college football picks
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Two first-year head coaches at their current stops with some narrative overlap, Billy Napier and Brian Kelly have never met before. This matchup between the LSU Tigers and the Florida Gators should be the first of many matchups between Napier and Kelly, and could set a long-term tone.

Here are our free college football picks and predictions for LSU vs Florida on October 15, with kickoff set for 7:00 ET.

LSU vs Florida best odds

LSU vs Florida picks and predictions

Let’s embrace transparency: This handicapper had avoided this game all week. The line favoring Florida by a field goal, and now -2.5, felt too close to gauge. Holding tickets for LSU’s season-win total Under 7.0 (-110) and 6.5 (+119) created enough of an interest on its own. No need to try to decipher that spread.

And then the Covers assignment editor maliciously put this spread on the to-do list.

Common analytics suggest this game should be closer to a pick’em, despite home-field advantage favoring the Gators. That fact alone can determine this handicap.

Neither team has done much to inspire trust this season. While Florida beat Utah, 29-26, to open the season, that was a paper-only victory as soon as the clock hit zeros, given how many times the Utes wasted scoring opportunities. Otherwise, the Gators have scuffled through their last five weeks.

LSU, meanwhile, has only one notable win to claim itself, and it is not beating Auburn, 21-17, at the start of the month. Beating Mississippi State 31-16 in mid-September, however, may be enough to inspire the faith needed to pick the Tigers this week.

That win was more convincing than that score indicates. LSU trailed 13-0 late in the second quarter — a 21-point fourth-quarter spurred the Tigers to the impressive win. There was no lopsided turnover tally (plus-one toward LSU), only one gifted short field leading to a touchdown, and one explosive play leading to another score. The Tigers kept up with the Bulldogs long enough to turn the field in their favor.

That may not sound decisive, but now recognize that Mississippi State is better than Florida in just about every way. Looking at SP+ rankings, the Gators defense ranks No. 49 in the country and its offense at No. 28. The Bulldogs come in at No. 22 and No. 20, respectively.

Citing one win from a month ago to justify a prediction may be a reach, but it reflects two things. One, how much can be drawn from LSU beating New Mexico 38-0 or Florida wasting time against South Florida, 31-28? Two, if this game should be a pick’em and the most impressive win belongs to the underdog, then what reason could there be to not take the +120 odds?

The best reason may be Napier. The former Louisiana-Lafayette head coach may hold a grudge that he was never strongly considered for the lead role at Baton Rouge. At least, that is what the public narrative would have you believe. Such a grudge can genuinely lead to a coach trotting out every trick at his disposal, but Napier has never let on the frustration. Nor should he, lest Florida fans think he considers them second fiddle.

He already has worries with the Gators fanbase and its impatience. As Napier readies for the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party on Oct. 29, he has reason to keep his trick plays in his back pocket. Playing Georgia tough, or even upsetting the national-title contenders, is more important than exacting revenge on LSU for a slight that may have never been personally felt.

This ambiguity is intentional. It is why yours truly was going to avoid this game entirely. But now being forced to take a longer look at it, the value of LSU at +120 is too distinct to ignore. Anytime a game should be a pick’em but is instead skewed this widely, there is value to enjoy.

With any luck, the Tigers will then proceed to lose all but one remaining game, most likely against UAB on Nov. 19. Those win totals’ profits would be nice, too.

My best bet: LSU moneyline (+120 at PointsBet)

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LSU vs Florida spread analysis

In years past, a 2.5-point spread may as well have been a juiced money line, but more and more, spreads of 1 and 2 factor into actual results. Chalk that up to both analytics and the new overtime rules. So, do not rashly overlook this spread, despite the ugly hook inside the field goal.

Even in discussing the spread, there is reason to consider LSU. Its offense functions best when running the ball, with the No. 24 expected points added ranking of rushing offense, per Fittingly, Florida’s defense ranks No. 118 against the rush in the same regards.

On the other side of the ball, the Tigers limit opponents in scoring range better than anyone else in the country. Broader analytics often struggle to factor in that kind of defense, critically focusing on the “bend” of “bend but don’t break.” Teams find chances to score aplenty against LSU, putting together quality possessions 55.8% of the time, but they then fail, fail, and fail again. 

The analytics focus on the yardage gained and the effective plays, but are not quite sure how to account for throwing an interception at the plus-27 yard line, as Mississippi State did on its last possession at LSU last month.

Oddly enough, that was the Bulldogs’ only wasted quality possession, more outright beat than some of the other vanquished Tigers’ foes.

If Florida falls short in the red zone just once, that may be enough to tilt this pick’em decidedly toward Brian Kelly & Co.

LSU vs Florida Over/Under analysis

Those possible red-zone struggles for the Gators could also doom this total of 50.5. In LSU’s last two games against SEC foes — since that Mississippi State game and intentionally excluding the 38-0 win against New Mexico for obvious reasons — six of Tennessee and Auburn’s possessions inside the Tigers’ 40-yard line resulted in no points. A total of five others were reduced to field goals. Combined, that is 62 possible points left on the field.

Thus, four straight LSU games have gone Under the total. It is not a fluke. It is a trend.

LSU vs Florida betting trend to know

The underdog is 6-0 ATS in the last six meetings between these two teams. Find more NCAA betting trends for LSU vs. Florida.

LSU vs Florida game info

Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, FL
Date: Saturday, October 15, 2022
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. ET

LSU vs Florida latest injuries

LSU vs Florida weather

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