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For the 2nd straight season, No. 5 LSU Tigers from the SEC squares off with the No. 8 Florida State Seminoles from the ACC in Week 1. LSU-Florida State meets Sunday in Orlando at Camping World Stadium for a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff.
Last year, the Seminoles eked past the Tigers 24-23 after FSU blocked LSU’s PAT on a would-be tying TD at the end of regulation. That game was played in LSU’s home state at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans.
The Tigers were 10-4 straight up (SU) and 8-6 against the spread (ATS) in 2022. They went to the SEC championship in coach Brian Kelly’s 1st season at LSU. Georgia schooled LSU in a 50-30 win for the SEC title. The Tigers crushed Purdue 63-7 in the Citrus Bowl.
Florida State was 10-3 SU and 8-5 ATS last season. The Seminoles lost to Clemson 38-24 in a pivotal October meeting that cost them a chance at an ACC championship game berth. Florida State eked past Oklahoma 35-32 in the 2022 Cheez-It Bowl.
Both teams enter 2023 with high expectations and the betting market projects each to win around 10 games. LSU’s +450 odds to the SEC title is only behind Georgia and Alabama. Florida State has the 2nd-best odds to win the ACC behind Clemson at +155.
LSU at Florida State Week 1 odds
- Moneyline: LSU (-130) | Florida State (+110)
- ATS: LSU -2 (-110) | Florida State +2 (-110)
- Total, 56.5: Over (-110) | Under (-110)
When you dig deeper into Florida State’s Week 1 win upset of LSU last year, you’ll see the Seminoles were lucky to win. Tigers PK Damian Ramos was 55-57 on PATs last year, which is a 96.5% conversion rate. I.e. LSU should’ve hit that FG and at least given itself a chance to win in OT.
Plus, Florida State beat LSU in expected points added (EPA) for field position per drive 1.42-0.89, per CollegeFootballData.com. Field position is mostly a random stat in football that can regress game to game.
LSU on the other hand had better offensive efficiency — 0.521 EPA vs. FSU’s 0.416 EPA — while averaging 1.3 more line yards per rush. In fact, the Tigers had a 55% post-game win expectancy vs. the Seminoles. Another reason Florida State upset LSU last year was the Seminoles had a 2-1 turnover margin.
Let’s add more context to that loss though. That was Kelly’s 1st game with LSU and Florida State’s 2nd game in 2022. The Seminoles were 1-0 entering their meeting with the Tigers after whooping Duquesne in Week 0 last year.
According to ESPN college football analyst Bill Connelly, Florida State has the most returning production in the country. Heck, the Seminoles have a 6th-year senior QB under center in Jordan Travis.
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But, I’m much higher than the market on Kelly. Non-LSU college football fans hate Kelly. Yet he got the most out of Notre Dame in his 12 seasons in South Bend. Kelly’s only chance at winning national title would be to take the open LSU gig.
Granted, Kelly didn’t leave Notre Dame gracefully. However, what college football coach does? I’m on an island with this but I expect Kelly to have LSU competing for SEC championships ASAP.
Also, the Tigers are stacked with talent. On3.com ranks LSU 8th in recruiting for 2024 and 5th this season. LSU ranks 8th in the 2023 transfer portal, per On3.com as well.
Furthermore, the Tigers have the most “All-Conference Points” in the SEC this season, according to college football expert Phil Steele’s 2023 preview.
This is a proprietary stat that awards and deducts various points from teams for leaving or returning All-Americans and 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-team All-Conference players.
Returning to LSU this year are QB, and leading rusher from last year, Jayden Daniels, and WR Malik Nabers and four offensive line starters. Nabers led the SEC in catches (72) last season and was 2nd for receiving yards at 1,017.
Between the SEC’s edge over the ACC and Kelly being a better coach than Florida State head coach Mike Norvell, the Tigers are the right side in this matchup.
BET: 1.3 units on LSU (-130) moneyline over Florida State
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