LSU vs. Florida NCAAF Week 7 Picks and Prediction

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It’s a pair of once-ranked teams now unranked facing off from the SEC on Saturday as LSU visits Florida.

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LSU Tigers vs. Florida Gators 

Saturday, October 15, 2022 – 07:00 PM EDT at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium 

LSU Tigers vs. Florida Gators Analysis

ESPN has this prime-time matchup. Neither team is going to sniff the SEC title game in their head coach’s first season: Brian Kelly at LSU and Billy Napier at Florida. 

These two are crossover opponents, so they play every year (at least for now until the SEC makes some scheduling changes when Oklahoma and Texas join the league in a few years).

LSU Tigers

Last year, the Gators were 12.5-point favorites on the NCAAF odds in Baton Rouge but lost 49-42.

Tyrion Davis-Price, now in the NFL with the 49ers, rushed for an LSU-record 287 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Max Johnson, now at Texas A&M, passed for 133 yards and 3 touchdowns, all to Jaray Jenkins. The last one came on fourth and goal with 3:30 left.  

Florida Gators

UF quarterback Anthony Richardson, still the starter, threw for 167 yards with three TDs and two picks. He also rushed for a score.

Justin Shorter, also still at UF, caught six passes for 113 yards and two scores. 

Florida leads the all-time series 33-32-3 and 16-14-3 in Gainesville. The underdog is 6-0 in the past six meetings

LSU Has Been Starting Slow 

LSU (4-2) comes off easily its worst effort of the season, getting routed 40-13 at home on Saturday by then-No. 8 Tennessee. The Tigers had won four straight games since a one-point season-opening loss to Florida State.

They couldn’t stop the Vols, allowing 502 total yards. LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels, an Arizona State transfer, went 32-of-45 for 300 yards, a touchdown and an interception. His streak of having no interceptions throughout his first five LSU games came to an end.

Daniels threw 7 touchdowns before throwing an interception, tying Max Johnson for third all-time in LSU history for touchdown passes without an interception thrown. His lone TD pass was to preseason All-American Kayshon Boutte, his first TD catch of the year.  

LSU ruled out starting left tackle Will Campbell before the game and starting guard Garrett Dellinger, who was playing with a fractured hand, left the game with a knee injury. No word on their status for this game yet.  

LSU's Areas to Improve

One issue so far for LSU is getting off to slow starts in all four of their Power Five games. They haven’t scored a touchdown in the first quarter and they haven’t led at halftime yet. 

The Tigers have had 23 drives in the first half of Power Five games. A total of 13 ended in punts, three ended in turnovers on downs, one ended in the blocked field goal and one ended in a fumble.

Brian Kelly

LSU also had a drive end when time ran out at the half. LSU has been outscored 60-31 in the first half.  “We got off to a slow start again,” Coach Brian Kelly said after the Tennessee loss, his wors-ever home loss at the Football Bowl Subdivision level."

“We'll keep talking about how important it is, but that's execution more than being lethargic and disinterested. That group was ready to play, but you still have to execute.” 

The Tigers are 1-6 ATS on the NCAAF picks in their past seven October games and 1-4 ATS in their past five on the road. LSU’s lone true road game this year was a 21-17 win at Auburn on Oct. 1. 

Gators Can Pound The Rock 

Florida (4-2) really has about no chance of winning the SEC East at this point having already lost twice in the conference. Georgia isn’t losing twice.  

The Gators come off the first SEC win of the Billy Napier era, 24-17 at home over Missouri on Saturday. Jayden Hill intercepted two passes, including one he returned 49 yards for a touchdown as UF snapped a six-game overall SEC skid. 

The Gators stopped a fourth-and-2 play with 1:17 remaining to put the Tigers away. To no surprise, Hill was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week. It was only his second game back off major injury.  

Anthony Richardson

Napier’s team rushed for 231 yards so dual-threat QB Anthony Richardson wasn’t asked to do much through the air, completing 8-for-14 for 68 yards with a TD and pick. It was his fifth straight game with at least one turnover. The Tigers out-gained the Gators 370 to 297.

The 66 first-half yards for the Gators marked the team's fewest in a half since gaining just 61 against Missouri in 2014 at the "Swamp." Missouri also was 9-for-17 on third down last Saturday. UF's third-down defense (52.2 percent conversion rate) ranks last in the SEC and 125th nationally

UF’s running game against LSU’s rush defense will certainly be key Saturday. Florida is averaging 6.4 yards per carry and has three players in the Top 7 in the SEC in yards per carry in Richardson and running backs Montrell Johnson Jr. and Trevor Etienne.

Napier's Thoughts

LSU is allowing 3.9 yards per carry (58th in FBS). UF has rushed for at least 200 yards in four of six games so far. It has rushed for at least 100 yards in six straight vs. LSU.  

"Certainly, when you play LSU, you know they're going to be unique mismatch players on the field, and they've got lots of them," Napier said. 

In an interesting twice, Florida announced it will honor rock icon and Gainesville native Tom Petty with its inaugural "Tom Petty Day" on Saturday. UF also announced it will award Petty an honorary doctorate in May 2023. 

UF is just 2-7 ATS in its past nine at home, but I think the Gators can manage to win close (why taking the moneyline and not -2.5) with their strong running game and a raucous crowd. LSU simply is nothing special.  

Score prediction: Florida 26, LSU 23 

NCAAF Pick: Under 51 Points (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Under 51 Points (-110)
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NCAAF Pick: Florida ML (-135) at BetOnline

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