Two of the most intriguing teams in college football meet on Sunday in Orlando in the marquee match-up of Week 1, as AP No. 5 LSU takes on No. 8 Florida State at Camping World Stadium.
These teams met in Week 1 last year in a memorable 24-23 win by the Seminoles at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Noles went on to go 10-3 and finish No. 11, while Brian Kelly and the Tigers went 10-4 – with a win over Alabama and an SEC Championship Game appearance — and finished No. 16.
Let’s break down the LSU vs. Florida State odds and a prediction ahead of Sunday’s must-see SEC vs. ACC battle.
LSU vs. Florida State Odds: Point Spread, Moneyline, Total
LSU are the slight favorites at -2.5 at most sportsbooks, including Caesars, FanDuel, and BetMGM. Florida State backers should head to BetRivers, where the Seminoles are +3 on the spread and +120 on the moneyline.
Here are betting lines from the top sports betting apps.
No. 5 LSU Tigers (10-4 SU, 8-6 ATS in ’22)
The Tigers bring back a ton of talent from last year’s team, which dramatically outperformed expectations despite dealing with inexperience on the offensive line and poor special teams play.
Kelly’s offense will be led by fifth-year senior quarterback Jayden Daniels, who avoided turnovers last year (he threw 17 touchdowns and only three interceptions) while completing 69 percent of his passes. Daniels also led his team in rushing with 885 yards and 11 touchdowns on 186 carries. If the LSU offensive line, which started two freshmen at the tackle positions last year, can take a step forward, the Tigers’ offense should improve dramatically, especially from a consistency standpoint.
Daniels, tight end Mason Taylor, and star wide receiver Malik Nabers should have no trouble moving the ball downfield as long as LSU gets its running game in gear – the Tigers will need someone besides Daniels to prove themselves in the backfield.
Defensively, LSU will be led this season by star linebacker Harold Perkins, who broke out as a freshman and enters his sophomore season with sky-high expectations. The Tigers have another star in defensive tackle Maason Smith, but he’ll miss the FSU game due to a suspension he’s serving for participating in an autograph signing just before NIL was legalized.
LSU’s weakness entering the season appears to be in the secondary, where they’ll need a group of transfers and inexperienced players to exceed expectations, starting in Week 1 against Florida State’s explosive passing game.
The Tigers were picked to finish second behind Alabama in the SEC West in the conference’s preseason media poll, with voters nearly split between the Crimson Tide and reigning division champ LSU.
No. 8 Florida State Seminoles (10-3 SU, 8-5 ATS in ’22)
Florida State was among the winners of the offseason after finishing 2022 with six straight wins, including a 35-32 victory against Oklahoma in the Cheez-It Bowl. The Seminoles offense was dominant in that stretch, scoring more than 40 points in four of those games, with at least 35 in all of them.
Mike Norvell’s team returns Jordan Travis at quarterback, star wide receiver Johnny Wilson, and running back Trey Benson. Both Wilson and Benson were preseason first-team All-ACC selections, and the Noles added several impressive players in the transfer portal, including receiver Keon Coleman from Michigan State and tight end Jaheim Bell from South Carolina.
Florida State will be led on defense by veteran pass rusher Jared Verse, a likely first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, and preseason all-conference cornerback Fentrell Cypress II. FSU struggled at times to stop the run last year, including in the season finale against Florida (46 carries for 262 yards and two touchdowns) and the bowl game vs. Oklahoma (60 carries for 253 yards and three touchdowns).
LSU vs. Florida State Prediction
Hot take: I expect both teams to move up and down the field, and this feels like another LSU-Florida State game that will go down to the wire. In a game this evenly matched on paper, I’d recommend taking the Over instead of either team.
Our Pick: Over