LSU vs Florida State Preview & Free Pick [9/3/2023]

LSU (0-0) vs Florida State (0-0)
When: Sunday, September 3rd, 2023
Where: Camping World Stadium,
Orlando, FL

Time: 7:30 ET | TV: ABC
Opening Odds: LSU -2/56.5

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We have a huge marquee matchup in the first full weekend of College Football when the 5th-ranked LSU Tigers play the 8th-ranked Florida State Seminoles in a ‘neutral’ site game on Sunday. The game will be played in Orlando, Fla., just a few hours drive from Florida State’s home in Tallahassee.

Both schools have great chances to make this year’s College Football Playoff, especially with a win here on Sunday. LSU will have a tougher road this year playing in the SEC, while the Seminoles will probably be favored in the rest of their games except at Clemson later in September.

Florida State is 8-2 all-time against LSU, including a 24-23 win almost a year ago to the day in New Orleans. LSU scored a touchdown as time expired but the extra-point was blocked. The Tigers opened up as a 2-point favorite over the summer and have been bet up to 2.5. 77 percent of the bets are on LSU as of Wednesday afternoon, while 72 percent of the public is on the Under 56.5.

Recent Trends
Over is 13-5-1 in LSU’s last 19 non-conference games.
Over is 8-3 in Florida State’s last 11 neutral site games.
Over is 21-8 in Florida State’s last 29 non-conference games.
Under is 20-9 in Florida State’s last 29 vs. SEC.

Head coach Brian Kelly enters his second season at LSU and expectations are high after he exceeded them in 2022. The Tigers surprisingly won the tough SEC West thanks to a stunning upset of Alabama, but were blown out in the SEC title game to eventual national champion Georgia. LSU regrouped and trounced Purdue in the Citrus Bowl to end the season 10-4.

The offense is loaded with an experienced quarterback in Jayden Daniels, who has 43 career starts to rank third among active FBS quarterbacks. Leading receiver Malik Nabers returns with a season of 72 catches, 1,017 yards and three touchdowns. The defense lost pass rushers BJ Ojulari and Ali Gaye, while starting defensive tackle Maason Smith is suspended for Week 1.

Florida State also exceeded expectations last year, taking head coach Mike Norvell off the hot seat. The Seminoles went 10-3 and capped it off with a 35-32 win over Oklahoma in the Cheez-It Bowl. FSU has plenty of talent and momentum from last season’s success, as well as playing in a weak conference. Their No. 8 ranking is the program’s highest in the preseason since 2017.

The Seminoles bring back 77 players from last season including QB and Heisman Trophy contender Jordan Travis and one of the nation’s best pass-rushers in Jared Verse. Florida State is playing in a Top-10 season opener for the fourth time in program history and first time since 2017 when it lost to No. 1 Alabama.

Florida State is loaded and the offense should score some points in this one. The ‘Noles will also have the majority of the crowd behind them in Orlando. They are 10-0-2 all-time when playing in that city. I’ll take the points.

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Pick: Florida State +2.5