College Football Free Picks - LSU vs. Florida In Tight Defensive Matchup

LSU Florida

Willie Bee

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 9:20 PM UTC

Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016 9:20 PM UTC

Coming off a rout last week at home, the LSU Tigers go on the SEC highway as small favorites on the NCAA football odds against the Florida Gators.

Ed Orgeron has been here before, both in the position of coaching an SEC team and assuming the often tenuous title of interim head coach. Having native ties to the state of Louisiana, there are many who feel his present 'interim' tag with the LSU Tigers will be erased and he'll soon be Les Miles' permanent replacement in Baton Rouge.

Orgeron knows better than to assume that, however, having been up and down the college coaching hierarchy for more than 30 years. He could have his foot in the door to eventually take over at Louisiana State, but his job right now is to continue getting the Tigers turned around. They'll go for a 2nd-straight win under Orgeron at high noon (ET) Saturday in Gainesville against the Florida Gators.

ESPN will beam the pictures to living rooms and sports bars across the country, and LSU is favored by a field goal after initially opening -1 at A+ Rated BetOnline. Saturday's total is 41, the lowest scoreboard barrier on the Week 6 card.


Last Two Matchups Have Been 'Over' Winners

It's Florida with the 31-28-3 advantage in the rivalry, but LSU has slowly been chipping into the Gators' lead by winning the last three meetings and five of the last six. All five of the wins for the Tigers in the recent stretch were also spread victories vs. the NCAA football odds.

Last year's clash in Baton Rouge was a matchup of top 10 teams, LSU using a TD  early in the fourth quarter to register a 35-28 triumph as 6 point home chalk. The Tigers used a strong running game led by Leonard Fournette's 180 rushing yards to beat the Gators, holding Florida to only 55 yards on the ground.

The last meeting at Ben Hill Griffith Stadium in Gainesville was a 30-27 LSU victory, the final margin coming on Colby Delahoussaye's 50-yard field goal in the final seconds. Louisiana State was a light 1½ point road favorite in that one which went 'over' a 44 point total as the meeting a year ago also went past a 43½ point mark. All five Tigers games this season have failed to reach the total while Florida checks in 2-3 O/U.


Both Teams Enter Game With Key Injuries

Fournette was missing in last week's LSU win, and he's doubtful again with a sore ankle. Darius Guice filled in for Fournette and had a huge day with 163 yards on 17 carries, three of those totes crossing the goal line. LSU is also expected to be without two starting offensive linemen, Toby Weathersby (ankle) and William Clapp (shoulder) this week.

Florida could have starting quarterback Luke Del Rio back for this one after the sophomore missed the last two games with a bad knee. Head coach Jim McElwain is expected to make a decision after the team practices Wednesday, and that decision should affect the spread once it comes out. Wide receiver Brandon Powell (ankle) is probable to face LSU while starting left tackle David Sharpe (shoulder) is questionable.

The Gators are still  banged up on the defensive line where all four 1st-teamers are nursing injuries. End Bryan Cox, Jr. (leg) is questionable, as is tackle Caleb Brantley (hand). Neither end Jordan Sherit (knee) nor tackle Joey Ivie (thumb) are expected to play.

The injuries to Del Rio and on Florida's defensive line make this a tough call. Still, even if none of the Gators front 4 play, LSU shouldn't find it as easy to run as a week ago against Missouri when the Tigers rambled for more than 400 yards. Nor should Florida be able to move the ball easily even if Del Rio's in the game. It's a tough number to get 'under,' but that's where I'm going with my free college football pick.

Remember to drop by SBR's list of the best-ranked bonuses, and find out which of the top sportsbooks is offering the top rated sportsbooks.

Season: 11-14-1 (-3.70)


Free College Football Pick: Under 41 
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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