Florida vs. LSU: Prediction, pick, odds, spread, football game time, watch live stream, TV channel

By OnlyGators.com Staff
October 15, 2022
Florida vs. LSU: Prediction, pick, odds, spread, football game time, watch live stream, TV channel

Image Credit: Graphic by Michael Nash

There are few experiences in college football that exceed the Florida Gators and LSU Tigers meeting at night whether inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium or Tiger Stadium. With both programs unranked and a pair of first-year head coaches looking for a major rivalry win to conclude the first half of the 2022 season, this showdown on Saturday night in The Swamp takes on even greater significance.

Florida last week won its first SEC game in a calendar year. Now, it seeks to beat an LSU team that has handled it over the last decade despite nearly all the games between the programs being close. Billy Napier of the Gators and Brian Kelly of the Tigers are both looking for a signature win, and Napier has a little extra motivation given in this game given his ties to the state of Louisiana and LSU’s seeming lack of interest in him as a candidate for its open job this past offseason.

What matters most, though, is how the teams will ultimately play on Saturday night, and Florida finds itself in a unique situation given its uneven schedule. This will be the penultimate home game the Gators will play in 2022 with just one contest inside The Swamp over the second half of the season.

It is also the final game before their bye week leading into the Florida-Georgia game. If there was ever a time to pick up a big win over LSU, this is the spot. It could lead to Florida being ranked, and should Tennessee lose to Alabama on Saturday after, the UF-UGA game would suddenly take on even greater importance in two weeks.

What will go down Saturday when the Gators and Tigers square off in The Swamp in primetime? Let’s find out.

Tale of the tape

Florida GatorsLSU Tigers
Head coachBilly NapierBrian Kelly
Record4-2 (1-2)4-2 (2-1)

Injuries and absences

Probable (2): QB Jack Miller III (thumb), RT Michael Tarquin (lower body)
Questionable (2): RG O’Cyrus Torrence (lower body), TE Arlis Boardingham (shoulder)
Out (4): CB Devin Moore (lower body), LB Diwun Black (lower body), LS Marco Ortiz (upper body), TE Nick Elksnis (upper body)

Viewing information

Date: Saturday, Oct. 15 | Time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium — Gainesville, Florida [88,548]

TV: ESPN (Joe Tessitore, Greg McElroy, Katie George)
Live stream: ESPN+ | SiriusXM: 137/190 | Radio: WRUF, TuneIn
Live updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter

Game notes

» Florida is 33-32-3 all-time against LSU with a 16-14-3 mark in Gainesville. The Tigers have defeated the Gators in nine of the last 12 meetings since 2010 and three of the last four in The Swamp.
» UF has scored 24+ points in seven of its last 12 games.
» UF is 4-0 this season when rushing for 150+ yards.
» The Gators are 7-12 against ranked opponents (2-4 vs. top five teams, 5-7 vs. top 10 teams) and 30-8 against unranked opponents since 2018.
» Florida was the only team in the nation to play three top-20 opponents in the first four weeks of the season.
» The Gators are 173-33 in The Swamp since 1990, boasting the second-best home winning percentage (.840) in the nation across that span.
» Florida is one of two FBS teams nationally (Alabama) that has not yet lost to an opponent that finished the season with a losing record since 2004.
» The Gators have scored in 429 consecutive games, an NCAA record.

Prediction and analysis

Spread: Florida -2 | O/U: 50.5

It has once again become impossible to pick Gators games because the team shows up when one least expects and flatlines when they should otherwise roll through opponents. While the offense’s ineffectiveness at times is one of the culprits, Florida’s defense is a far bigger issue as it is one of the worst teams in the nation getting off the field on third down. This is also a buy-low spot for LSU, which just got creamed by Tennessee last week while UF struggled to put away Missouri at home.

This rivalry has been one of the most hotly contested in the SEC this century, but the Gators have been on the wrong end of it far too often over the last decade with a number of games ending in the most absurd ways, especially two notable ones in The Swamp where the Tigers have won three of the last four meetings.

With LSU apparently not seriously considering Napier, then the coach at Louisiana, for its opening this past offseason, there’s an interesting dynamic to this game as the teams he and Kelly put on the field at their respective institutions will be compared likely for the remainder of their time in these jobs.

Florida has made a necessary adjustment to its running game pushing sophomore Montrell Johnson Jr. and freshman Trevor Etienne into its first two spots, meaning the two star ball carriers are likely to get more touches than they have previously. With the bye week upcoming, sophomore quarterback Anthony Richardson will have more time to recover from his various nagging injuries, meaning he can go all out and not hold back as much with his legs in this game. The Gators are not going to fix their third-down issues overnight, but one has to believe it was a significant point of emphasis this week.

With the spread falling below a field goal, Florida is the right play with a significant homefield advantage and the offensive chops to take it to LSU across four quarters. The Gators will not be able to consistently stop the Tigers, however, the score should go over the total. Expect to see UF’s defensive front be the difference in the game.

2022 records: ATS picks 1-5 | O/U picks 3-3

Odds and ends

» Uniforms: Florida will wear blue jerseys, white pants and orange helmets for the sixth straight home game and final time this season. The Gators will wear all-blue in their final home game on Nov. 12.

» Tom Petty Day: With The Swamp sold out for Florida-LSU, the Gators have decided to use the occasion to honor Petty, whose “I Won’t Back Down” is the program’s newest tradition being played every game ahead of the fourth quarter. Florida will honor the Gainesville native all day Saturday, and one can assume more of his songs will be played during the game.

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