A pair of bitter SEC rivals will meet this week in The Swamp when the LSU Tigers travel to play the Florida Gators. Kickoff is at 3:30 on Saturday, October 7 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida. The game will be televised nationally on CBS.

The Gators are listed as 4-point favorites at home. However, early betting has favored LSU, as the line originally opened with Florida as a 5-point favorite. Click here for a full list of Week 6 betting odds and links to game previews.

LSU vs Florida Vegas Preview & Game Predictions

LSU is in the midst of a rough stretch. In the last three weeks, the Tigers were humiliated in a 37-7 loss to Mississippi State, fortunate to escape with a single-digit win over Syracuse, and embarrassed in a 24-21 loss to Troy last week. 

The Tigers are simply not getting the job done on offense. It didn’t help that running back Derrius Guice missed last week’s game against Troy due to injury. It also hurts that he’s questionable to play against Florida this week. But the absence of Guice isn’t LSU’s only problem. Quarterback Danny Etling is not much of a threat to throw the ball downfield and the Tigers are struggling to win battles at the line of scrimmage.

As for no. 21 Florida, the Gators have been all kinds of fortunate this year. A Hail Mary won the game against Tennessee, they stole a win over Kentucky, and managed to push around an overmatched Vanderbilt team to get to 3-0 in SEC play. But there have been plenty of issues along the way.

Just when Jim McElwain settled on Luke Del Rio at quarterback, Del Rio got hurt, facing the Gators to go back to Feleipe Franks. Of course, the quarterback position isn’t the only question mark for the Gators, who are missing several players due to suspension and will be without leading receiver Tyrie Cleveland this week because of injury.

Recent history in this rivalry favors the Tigers, who have won five of the last seven meetings. But the Gators took last year’s affair in Baton Rouge, so LSU will be looking to return the favor this year.

Vegas Free NCAAF Betting Pick: Florida -4

Under normal circumstances, I’d say that Florida’s luck was about to run out with the way the Gators have won games this season. But not with the way LSU has played recently. At this point, I have no confidence in the Tigers, leading me to lean toward the Gators to cover.

I don’t want to insult Troy by calling them a bad team, but the Trojans beat LSU by the same margin that they beat New Mexico State and Akron. That makes the loss unacceptable from LSU’s perspective, especially when you consider the Tigers turned the ball over four times and at one point trailed 24-7. 

Click on the link for more free NCAA football picks against the spread and total.

Troy had over 200 yards rushing against LSU, getting the better of the Tigers up front. I would expect the Florida offensive line to be equally capable of pushing around the LSU defensive line. The Gators have quietly established a solid ground attack this season, and I expect them to force the Tigers to stop them from running the ball before asking Franks to do much throwing. 

Of course, after a fast start to the season, the luster has come off the Florida defense in recent weeks. That being said, the LSU offense does appear capable of taking advantage of a defense that has given up plenty of yards the last three games. After all, the Tigers were held scoreless for nearly three quarters against Troy.

In this rivalry, it’s tough to rule anything out. But based on recent history, LSU doesn’t look capable of winning a conference game on the road. Also, the Gators will figure out a way to win. Of course, this could very well end up being a field goal game. But I’ll take my chances on Florida covering a 4-point spread.