The LSU Tigers take on the Florida Gators. Check out our college football odds series for our LSU Florida prediction and pick.
The LSU Tigers are flawed for reasons beyond their quarterback … but when a quarterback himself is flawed, the focus will naturally shift to that position, which is the center of gravity for an offensive unit on nearly every football team. Jayden Daniels is the transfer quarterback Brian Kelly brought to Baton Rouge this past offseason. The transfer from Arizona State had — and still has — a lot of raw potential. Daniels is an excellent runner with great open-field speed. His athleticism is off the charts, but as we often see in dual-threat quarterbacks, having the natural athletic ability needed to make plays is not the same thing as having the instincts which enable the athletic ability to fully shine through and spill out in full flower. Daniels just doesn’t throw an accurate ball. He doesn’t make great reads. When defenses are able to keep him in the pocket and are able to force him to throw down the field, Daniels does not deliver the goods. This is why LSU’s offense has been so inconsistent to this point in the season. It’s why LSU has absorbed multiple losses on the schedule and was very fortunate to escape Auburn with a win earlier in the campaign. LSU still has to play this game against Florida, followed by games against Alabama, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, and Arkansas. Brian Kelly has to find a way to get the most out of Jayden Daniels. If he doesn’t, a difficult season will become even more burdensome for the Bayou Bengals.
Florida faces a situation which is not that different from LSU’s predicament. Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson is, like Jayden Daniels, a gifted runner. Like Richardson, however, if opposing defenses keep him contained in the pocket and prevent him from running freely in the open field, the Florida offense does not function as well as it could. Richardson dominated Utah with his running ability in Week 1 but has not been able to author a similar game since then. He was solid against Tennessee, but the overall verdict on his first half of the 2022 season is that he has been far too up and down. First-year head coach Billy Napier has to find ways to make Richardson a more consistent player, and more specifically, a more consistent passer. If Florida can develop its offense and arrive at a point in its evolution where it can be more polished and dependable, the Gators are going to win the games they are supposed to win, and they will challenge the teams which are expected to superior (such as Georgia later in the season).
Here are the LSU-Florida NCAA Football Odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
College Football Odds: LSU-Florida Odds
LSU Tigers: +2.5 (-110)
Florida Gators: -2.5 (-110)
Over: 50.5 (-110)
Under: 50.5 (-110)
Why LSU Could Cover the Spread
The Anthony Richardson roller-coaster does not inspire trust. Florida’s defense has also had some struggles on third downs this season. LSU does not have a rock-solid offense which can be thoroughly trusted, but Florida will make defensive mistakes which can keep drives alive for the Tigers. If they get a few early scores, Richardson will force the issue in an attempt to come back. He will commit turnovers, and that’s when LSU can pounce on this game … and the Gators.
Why Florida Could Cover the Spread
LSU’s offense under Jayden Daniels is a sputtering, stuttering group. For all of Florida’s own flaws, LSU manifests them to a greater degree. Add the fact that this game is being played in Gainesville, and you have a recipe for a home-cooked victory in The Swamp.
Final LSU-Florida Prediction & Pick
This is definitely a stay-away game. Betting on either of these quarterbacks is a fool’s errand. If you absolutely insist on making a pick, lean to the home team, which is Florida.
Final LSU-Florida Prediction & Pick: Florida -2.5