LSU fans had to know their team was not going to be the same in 2020. With the personnel losses they suffered following their national title win, there was bound to be a regression, but after taking their lumps in 2020, the 2021 season was supposed to be better. Six games in with a 3-3 record, however, it is hard to say they are better than they were last season.
A win over Florida would certainly be a step in the right direction, but that win is not going to come easy. If the Tigers catch a break or two, they might be able to record an impressive upset.
Here is a look at the sports betting odds for Saturday’s game at Tiger Stadium.
|Florida Gators vs. LSU Tigers, Saturday, 10/16 @ 12:00 PM ET||Best Florida Odds||Best LSU Odds|
|BetRivers||-10.5 (-110)||Spread||+12.0 (-110)||DraftKings|
|BetRivers||Over 59.0 (-109)||Total||Under 60.0 (-110)||DraftKings|
Dan Mullen has done something impressive with his offense this season. He did not just replace key players on offense and keep the unit humming. No, he replaced key players and reinvented his offense. Last year, Florida was No. 9 in total yards, No. 1 in passing offense, and No. 13 in scoring offense. This year, the Gators are No. 10 in total yards, No. 3 rushing offense, and No. 41 in scoring offense.
But that is not the only difference. Last season, the defense was not that great (No. 74 in scoring). This season, Florida has been one of the stingier defenses in the land (No. 9 in scoring).
However, while the Gators have played well this season, they are 3-2 for a reason. The Gators destroyed the weaker teams they faced (FAU, USF, and Tennessee) but lost to the better teams. Against Alabama, they got off to a sluggish start and let the Crimson Tide get out to a 21-3 lead in the first quarter. Against Kentucky, they made two big mistakes (a field goal block and an interception) that set up the Wildcats for both of their touchdowns.
You could make an argument that the Gators thrive against teams they should beat but struggle when they face someone competitive. If LSU can force an early turnover or two or record a few big plays on offense, it has a shot at an upset, but if Florida plays as well as they can play, LSU fans are going to be in for a long day.
Things have not progressed as quickly as LSU fans had hoped for their team. Sophomore quarterback Max Johnson is not playing poorly, but he is not getting a lot of help. The run game is terrible. As a team, the Tigers are averaging a paltry 2.9 yards a carry. That puts more pressure on their young quarterback to get the offense moving.
Sometimes, he does the job just fine. In LSU’s wins, he completed over 63 percent of his passes, but in the three losses, he completed under 60 percent. The Gators have a solid pass defense (No. 44 in the country), so it will not be easy to throw on them.
Defensively, LSU has taken some significant strides from last season. But, as bad as the defense was in 2020, improvement is not hard to come by. The Tigers have gone from being one of the worst defenses in the nation (124th in total yards per game, 127th in passing yards, and 98th in scoring) to closer to average (74th/ 73rd/ 74th).
The offense will have to play a mistake-free, close to perfect game if LSU is going to upset Florida, but that may be asking too much of Johnson. The offensive line has struggled in protection this season, and he will be without his best receiver, Kayshon Boutte, for the rest of the season.
On the defensive end, the Tigers will need their best game to keep the Florida offense from going off, but that will be a tall order with both starting cornerbacks, Derek Stingley Jr. and Eli Ricks, out.
It is hard to make a case for LSU to win this game or to justify placing a bet on that side.
The Tigers cannot run the ball, and they struggle to slow down running games. With their best receiver sidelined with an injury, it is hard to see the passing game picking up the slack against a good Florida defense. As for Florida, the Gators should have no trouble running all over LSU, and could possibly shut the Tigers offense down.
Take Florida to win and lay the points. The Gators should win this one by multiple touchdowns. As for the total, Florida will score plenty, but it is hard to say whether LSU will chip in enough — so, take the under.