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Florida Gators vs. LSU Tigers: Picks, Predictions and Takes

AllGators staff picks and predictions for Florida vs. LSU.

One of the most highly-anticipated SEC cross-divisional rivalries of the year, at least usually, the Florida Gators (4-2) are traveling to Baton Rouge this weekend to take on the LSU Tigers (3-3). 

However, as Florida has fallen behind in the chase for the SEC East crown and LSU has plummeted in relevancy since its 2019-20 National Championship run, the matchup isn't as excitable as normal.

Florida is favored over LSU by 11 points, per the Sports Illustrated Sportsbook, and the over/under is set at 59.5. You can find the AllGators staff picks and predictions for the game below.

Zach Goodall (5-1): Florida 31, LSU 17

I'm not sure why the over/under for this game is as high as it is. Florida is capable of putting up points, but LSU has yet to score more than 28 points against an SEC team this year and that came against unranked Mississippi State. Meanwhile, the majority of UF's production comes on the ground, which will erase the necessary time from the play clock to approach a 59.5-point total.

To make matters worse for the Tigers, they'll be without their best offensive player and top scorer (nine touchdowns) in wide receiver Kayshon Boutte, who has been ruled out for the season with an injury. No other Tigers' pass-catcher has more than two touchdowns on the year, and the team's rushing attack ranks next-to-last in the SEC.

This is a game the Gators should win: LSU ranks No. 11 in the SEC in both team offense and defense. On top of Boutte's injury, the Tigers will be without its two best defenders in cornerbacks Derek Stingley Jr. and Eli Ricks, which can open up the passing game for UF quarterback Emory Jones and company. 

Florida is being handed an opportunity to end a two-game losing streak to LSU on a silver platter this Saturday, especially as the game is at noon and isn't expected to match the environment of night games in Death Valley. The only fear I have for the Gators is losing this matchup via self-inflicted wounds - which is a scary thought, as that's exactly how UF lost to the Tigers in 2020. One would hope no shoes are thrown this time around.

Demetrius Harvey (5-1): Florida 31, LSU 20

For the Florida Gators, this week will be a test of their strength within the SEC. The program has already lost two SEC matchups this year (Alabama, Kentucky), but they've looked strong against lesser opponents, including Tennessee and Vanderbilt. Now, the team will face off against a long-time rival in the LSU Tigers. I think they're up for the challenge, especially considering the difference in trajectories of the two programs. While Florida isn't a clear-up-and-up team, they're far more stabilized than the Tigers are, especially this season.

Last year's loss still stings for the majority of the roster, and in a noon kick on Saturday, I think Florida will use that to earn the victory. The team's defense is much improved from a season ago, and LSU will be down both of its top corners. The Gators cannot afford to lose another game this season, and with a bye week prior to their matchup against Georgia upcoming, I think they'll be locked in and focused on winning this one.

Ultimately, Florida sets the bar high, and covers, winning 31-20 against LSU this weekend.

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Brandon Carroll (5-1): Florida 34, LSU 20

The last time the Gators went on the road into a hostile environment, conservativeness and lack of discipline killed their aspirations for the 2021 season.

In Baton Rouge, Mullen doesn't allow his team to play down to its opponent again. Trusting his offense to make plays down the field, the aggressiveness he showed last week against Vanderbilt carries over to LSU. Given the sour taste in Florida's mouth from the last time these two teams faced off, the Gators have reason to go into Death Valley with vengeance on their mind.

Mullen's determination to redeem himself from the Kentucky loss -- and the teams focus on retribution from allowing the game to slip from their fingertips last year -- pays dividends for the Gators as they establish an early rhythm offensively and separate themselves with heightened dominate through the air against a depleted Tigers secondary.

Quarterback Emory Jones continues on his track of improvement as a result, building on a career day last week.

Defensively, the Gators look to dictate the game the way they did in the second half against Vanderbilt last week, leaning a fast-progressing secondary to set the tone. A daunting yet reasonable task for Todd Grantham's unit to accomplish.

I think Florida takes the necessary strides to overcome the road atmosphere this time around and leave Tiger Stadium silenced with an impressive victory on the road. Gators win 34-20.

Ethan Budowsky (5-1): Florida 31, LSU 17

This is not the Florida-LSU matchup we have become used to recently. The Tigers have emerged into a major rivalry for the Gators in the past decade or so, creating some high-profile matchups with national implications.

However, LSU is having another down year and is banged up all over the place. It could very well be the last game we see Ed Oregeron coach in Baton Rouge if the Gators emerge with a big victory. Basically, the Tigers are in trouble.

Or, maybe, the Tigers have the Gators right where they want them. That is at least what happened last year when LSU emerged from The Swamp with a victory in the now-infamous "Shoe Game." One thing for certain in this game is that the shoe will be mentioned at least five times during the broadcast.

The Gators have to come out with a win here. Losing to this LSU team would be a really bad look for Dan Mullen and would continue a pattern of bad losses. However, I just do not see it. Mullen has done very well in revenge games at Florida and he seemed to have found some new energy following the loss to Kentucky. I think the Gators get up - literally, the game is at 11 AM CT - for this one and get a nice victory over the Tigers.

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