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How and what to watch for LSU vs. No. 6 Florida

Less than a year removed from winning the national championship, the LSU Tigers near the end of their title defense with a road matchup against the No. 6 Florida Gators.

Florida Gators tight end Kyle Pitts during the first half against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium.  Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Less than a year removed from winning the national championship, the LSU Tigers near the end of their title defense with a road matchup against the No. 6 Florida Gators.

Earlier this week, LSU self-imposed a bowl ban as part of an NCAA investigation into rules violations at the program. The ban will only cover the upcoming postseason, which means little to the Tigers in the aftermath of last year’s championship run. Given the current state of the program — the 3-5 record and blowout losses in three of their last four games — LSU’s absence from bowl season will likely come as relief to many of the players and coaches involved.

But while LSU has endured the season from hell, Florida has a chance to push its way into the College Football Playoff over its final two games. Next week’s matchup with the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide will ultimately decide the Gators’ fate, but a loss to LSU this Saturday would further complicate matters in the eyes of the playoff committee.

The game could also serve as another national spotlight for Heisman hopeful Kyle Trask. The redshirt senior has transformed from a backup afterthought to one of the nation’s most dominant passers, completing 230-of-322 for 3,243 yards, 38 touchdowns, and just three interceptions. Trask has not thrown a pick in over a month, and the matchup with LSU’s talented but flawed defense (No. 61 in Football Outsiders’ F+ metric) should lead to more monster production.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch this game Saturday, Dec. 12 at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN, or you can stream it via the ESPN app with a cable or streaming login.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: Florida (-23.5)
Point Total: 68.5
Money line: LSU (+800), Florida (-1667)

  • Since 2015, LSU has a road record of 40-32-1 against the spread (5-3-0 as the road underdog).
  • Also during that period, the Tigers have an over record of 12-15-0 (2-6-0 as the road underdog)
  • Since 2015, Florida has a home record of 19-14-2 against the spread (14-12-2 as the home favorite).
  • During that same stretch, the Gators have an over record of 15-20-0 at home (12-16-0 as the home favorite).

The Best Bet

LSU has not provided any reason to suggest the quarterback play will improve as the season draws to a close and the team chemistry remains in shambles. Florida has every reason to throw itself into this game as it attempts to keep its playoff case as strong as possible.

Pick: Florida -23.5

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