Healthy LSU, -13.5 On NCAA Odds, Will Be Too Much for Injury-Plagued Florida

LSU Tigers

Doug Upstone

Wednesday, November 16, 2016 6:06 PM GMT

Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016 6:06 PM GMT

Thanks to Hurricane Matthew, Florida and LSU are playing a makeup game in Baton Rouge on Saturday, and the storylines involved outnumber the sheets of wind and rain that caused this contest to be postponed in the first place. The Tigers are -13.5 on college football odds. 

Season NCAA Record: 18-11-1 ATS

This game was to be played at Florida on Oct. 8 and probably could have been the next day, but the SEC decided to take no chances with the hurricane. Then the school's athletic directors could not agree on a makeup date as LSU refused to give up home game (i.e. revenue) on Nov. 19 against South Alabama. Thus Florida became the visitor in return for being the home team in this series the next two years. The SEC is picking up the tab for each team cancelling a scheduled game vs. a cupcake opponent this week.

This brought about a lot of harsh words from both camps, which means ill feelings will not only be on the football field but to the top of each athletic department. The stakes are also high, and we will get into that after surveying the college football odds at A+ rated Bookmaker, where LSU is a 13.5-point favorite.

 

All-In For Florida

The Gators are only averaging 26.2 ppg, 11th in the SEC, and have been forced in a few games to go with backup quarterback Austin Appleby. He will go again here as usual starter Luke Del Rio battles an injured shoulder. Appleby has ample experience, also having been a starter at Purdue, but if he lost his job there how will he handle environment at Tiger Stadium?

At least Appleby is backed by one the stingiest defenses in the country, as his teammates only permit 13.3 ppg. The Gators will be tested by the nation's No.21 rush attack, which is where LSU is perched.

Florida clinches the East Division title a second year in a row and a date with Alabama in the SEC Championship Game with a victory here. A loss all but gives the title to Tennessee, which owns the tiebreaker and will be double-digit favorites over Missouri and Vanderbilt. The Vols would have to win both. 

 Tigers On Prowl For Sugar Bowl

Though Les Miles did a great job as coach of LSU, his time had come to an end, and interim coach Ed Orgeron has added a spark to the team. Outside of the Alabama loss, the Tigers have averaged more than 40 ppg in the other four games since Orgeron took over with a pounding running game and just enough passing to keep opposing teams off balance.

In modifying the blocking schemes and placing more trust in running back Derrius Guice with star RB Leonard Fournette continually battling injuries, LSU has a big-play running offense that averages 6.4 yard per carry. Defensively, the Tigers proved what they are made of in holding Alabama to 10 points and have NFL talent at all three levels.

With everyone but the Crimson Tide sliding in the SEC, if LSU wins this contest and at Texas A&M next week, the Sugar Bowl will gladly invite the Tigers, all but ensuring sellout in the virtual home game for LSU.

 

What To Watch For

The Florida defense has been struck by injuries at linebacker, and while a superlative effort is expected from the Gators D, I'm not sure how that unit will hold up with Florida having limited ways to score against a very good LSU defense. For college football picks, there's too much strength, size and health on LSU's side.

NCAAF Free Pick: LSU -13.5Best Line Offered: BookMaker

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