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LSU, Florida Are Fighting For Survival In The Middle Of The Season

Posted by Blake Frazier on 2/4/2014 5:58:18 AM

In the SEC, there are some games in which teams can win while playing far less than their best. This meeting between Florida and LSU is not one of those games.

Florida Gators @ LSU Tigers – Saturday, October 12
Sport betting line: LSU -7

Why Florida Will Win

When online betting sites assess this game, they will point to the Gators for a few immediate reasons. First of all, Florida has the one really good defense in the SEC. While most of the teams in the conference have been scoring a lot of points and racking up huge numbers of yards, Florida has remained the team with the old-fashioned formula of a strong defense, powerful running game, and a low-mistake emphasis. The Gators look like an odd team compared to the rest of the SEC’s best teams. Texas A&M, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina – these and other squads have been involved in at least one if not more shootouts so far this season. LSU is another one of those teams. The Tigers have been brilliant on offense this season, but highly suspect on defense. They’re basically Florida’s opposite. In a matchup between a good-offense, no-defense team and a good-defense, no-offense team, the team with the credible defense gets the upper hand as soon as it can demonstrate that it can slow down the hotshot offense. Florida’s defense is so good that it can indeed contain LSU’s playmaking receivers while also rushing the Tigers’ passer, quarterback Zach Mettenberger. If Florida’s defense can force turnovers in the first half and bring a lead into the second half – or at least keep the Gators within three or four points as the fourth quarter begins – Florida can play a punishing kind of game, one that it is (more) suited to play.

Why LSU Will Win

This is an intriguing online sports betting scenario to contemplate. It’s true that LSU’s defense has looked extremely vulnerable at times, but the Tigers’ offense – which was such a problem for coach Les Miles’ team last season – has become the team’s strength, and there’s not even the slightest question about the matter. Zach Mettenberger was a very shaky quarterback in 2012, but in 2013, he’s a different person under center. Mettenberger is displaying all of the confidence and intelligence that were missing a year ago. He’s making the right reads and progressions, processing plays the way he’s expected to. LSU has scored 100 points combined in its last two games. The gap between the Tigers’ offense and Florida’s offense is so substantial that the Gators won’t be able to keep pace. Florida’s defense could play well and still give up 28 points, which Florida’s offense might have trouble matching, simply because new quarterback Tyler Murphy has not played in an environment as intimidating as Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge. Murphy would have a much better chance to win this game if Florida had been playing at home.

Who Will Win?

The Tigers’ defense is certainly cause for concern, but LSU will be tough to beat at home, especially since Murphy is not likely to play his best game in this, his first major moment as Florida’s starting quarterback.

College Football Betting Pick: LSU -7

It takes only one click to get the odds on every college football game. Be informed as week seven of the quickly-moving season arrives on the docket.

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