Welcome back to LazyBets NCAAF picks and parlays! This article features our SEC game of the week: LSU vs. Florida. The LSU Tigers already have two top-ten wins under their belt this season. Louisiana State is now into the top-five and into the College Football Playoff conversation. The Tigers travel to the swamp this week in a game that will define their season vs Florida Gators. The Tigers are 2-point favorites against Florida at BetOnline. Thee total set at 43.5. Let’s dive right into our NCAAF predictions.
LSU’s offense hasn’t been overly impressive this season. They find themselves barely within the top-50 in the country in points per game at 33.8 points per contest. On the surface, the difference between this LSU team and those of previous years is quality quarterback play. This season the Tigers have had some quality quarterback play from Joe Burrow, a luxury they didn't get in previous years. The stats, however, tell a different story.
Burrow is only averaging 204 yards per game through the air for LSU. While his passing yardage stats are unimpressive, he is doing just enough to keep the offense on schedule. His game management and low turnover rate have allowed the team’s running game to wear down their opponents and ultimately win games. Game managers can win a lot of games and have very long careers. See Alex Smith.
When compared to the abysmal quarterbacks that the team has had in recent years like Danny Etling, there isn’t a huge difference in terms of production but there is a difference in turnover ratio. Burrow has done enough to keep LSU from a self destruction they've been prone to and they are now ranked top 5 in the country.
Burrow's 53.4% completion percentage is a concern. When compared to Etling's time in Baton Rouge Burrow's percentage is staggeringly lower. Winning, especially lucky winning, can make a team and its betting supporters drunk.
Just like the aftermath of many nights in New Orleans, there is a battle of perception here. Do we have winning goggles on that are making this QB look like a 10? Are we going to wake up after a loss and realize the reality that he's a 5...or worse?
The run game brings the LSU offense and their overall "naked eye" score go up. LSU is averaging 192 yards per game on the ground to make up for some of what they lack through the air. Nick Brossette is a huge reason for LSU's early success.
Brossette is averaging 4.7 yards per carry on just over 100 carries for the season. He has made a consistant impact for the Tigers when he has touched the ball out of the backfield this season. His production for the Tigers in this game remains vital for LSU's hopes of an undefeated season.
Defense is where LSU is a bonafide 10. LSU is giving up just 15 points per game. That's good for 12th in college football through five games. They’ve managed to hold the potent passing attack of Auburn and the relentless running game of Miami to three touchdowns or less already this season. They will look to take a bite out of the Gators.
Working in LSU’s favor here is the fact that they have already played two difficult games away from home this season. Their win over Miami took place in Dallas where Miami fans were a majority of the crowd. They turned in one of the best road wins by a Power Five team so far this season when they beat Auburn in a true road game.
LSU won’t be scared of going to Florida, even knowing that Florida is the state known for alligators and bath salts.
Florida Gators Week 6 Analysis
Florida, like LSU, is an elite defensive team. The Gators are giving up just 14 points per game this season. Like LSU, the Gators have played a very difficult schedule to day. They have now faced the top-15 Kentucky Wildcats and the dynamic Mississippi State Bulldogs and hope to continue an impressive streak here. Both of the offenses the Gators have faced pack more of a punch than LSU’s. That could bode well for Florida here.
Florida's downfall is in the run game. The Gators are ranked 70th or worse in the country in both rushing yards and passing yards per game. This has to be a huge concern as they get into the meat of their schedule.
The Gators have scored an average of 14.5 points per game in two contests against Kentucky and Mississippi State. That's not a ton of production. They will need to improve on if they are going to have a chance against the fifth-ranked Tigers.
Quarterback Feleipe Franks is averaging under 200 yards per game passing. He is as average as Burrow's is. Franks is barely completing 57% of his passes. Franks gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “alligator arm.”
There will come a time in this game where Franks will need to make a play through the air. It will be interesting to see if he has what it takes to do that.
Florida has already lost at home this season. Their lone loss of the season looked terrible until we all were shocked by the fact that Kentucky has a viable football team.
If the Gators are going to have even the faintest chances of getting into a New Year’s Six bowl game, they will need to make sure that they don’t suffer a second home loss this week. Both the home crowd in the swamp and the team on the field should come into this game with a major sense of urgency. This is a season-defining contest for the University of Florida.
LSU vs Florida Trends
Both of these teams come in red hot against the spread. LSU is 8-0 against the spread in their last eight conference games. Florida is sitting at 4-1 against the spread on the season. Our eyes are on the total in this game. LSU has tendency to play games that go under the total on the road.
LSU vs. Florida is going to be an old-school defensive struggle. Both teams lack the quarterback play required to beat the types of defenses that both of these teams featured. It's going to be low scoring, but someone has to win this game.
LSU's excellent defense and their ability to do just enough offensively and win will impact the flow of this game. The Tigers play a lot more conservatively away from home than they do at home. Their ball control offense doesn't gamble a ton to begin with.
Look for LSU to attempt to establish the run early and often with Nick Brossette. In old school SEC fashion, they'll look to keep themselves moving forward with 3 yards and a cloud of dust. They wont want their inexperienced quarterback trying to do much.
Both teams are essentially playing for their season lives. Every game matters with the college football playoffs in play. LSU knows it can’t afford to have any stumbles before they play Alabama. Florida knows it can’t afford a second loss.
We expect those situations to lead to a conservative mentality out of each team. Both will be "playing not to lose" on offense. We expect a significant under as a result.