Florida State vs. LSU Week 1 College Football Picks: Power 5 Programs in Sunday Spotlight

Brian Kelly speaks after being introduced as head football coach of the LSU Tigers during a press conference at Tiger Stadium on December 1, 2021. Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images via AFP

Week 1 of the college football season will extend beyond Saturday with isolated games on Sunday and Monday nights. Sunday’s game will be a measuring contest for the two participating schools as the Florida State Seminoles collide with the LSU Tigers. Here are our Florida State-LSU picks.

Mike Norvell is about to enter his third year in charge of Florida State and the Seminoles have yet to reach a bowl game under him, but 16 starters are back in 2022. FSU kicked off its season on the weekend -end last as part of Week 0 with a tune-up win over FCS-level Duquesne.

Meanwhile, Sunday night will mark the start of the Brian Kelly era at LSU. Just three years away from winning the national title, the Tigers are looking for a fresh start. Kelly was quick to pick up a Southern accent after taking the job from LSU. Will he get his first victory so quickly?

Here are our college football betting picks for the Week 1 game between Florida State and LSU (odds via BetRivers, BetMGM, FanDuel Sportsbook; pick confidence based on a 1-5 star scale).

Date hour : Sunday, September 4, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Caesars Superdome, New Orleans, LA

Thanks to a lack of clarity as to who will start at quarterback for LSU, this game was actually one of the last Week 1 games to be available on the college football betting market. The spread and total have remained relatively stable since publication.

Bettors have established LSU as a three-point favorite in this pseudo-home game. Currently, there are a number of sportsbooks that have veered off at a point spread that favors the Tigers by 3.5. Others continue to hold at the opening number.

The total also remained within a single point of the opening line of 50. According to the bookmaker, punters can find the Over/Under as high as 51 and as low as 49.5 at the time of writing.

Based on the current ticket count at DraftKings Sportsbook, it’s clear that LSU is the public side. The Tigers drew an overwhelming majority of total ATS bets (89%) as well as handle bets (92%).

Check out SBR’s latest and most trusted comprehensive sports betting reviews.

Florida State +3.5 (-115) ★★

It should be noted that last week’s season opener against Duquesne wasn’t exactly Florida State’s finest performance. However, the fact that FSU has already secured significant game reps could loom large in Sunday’s contest. That sentiment only rings stronger when you consider some of the turnover on the LSU roster.

After sixth-year senior Myles Brennan left the program in mid-August, the Tigers’ quarterback competition became a two-horse race. By all accounts, this will be Arizona State’s Jayden Daniels transfer starting Sunday for LSU. Despite being a talented dual-threat QB, Daniels has been prone to making costly mistakes in the past.

Even if the Seminoles fail to win this game, they have more than enough talent on both sides of the ball to keep things competitive. The ability of FSU’s experienced defense to get the better of a revamped Tigers offensive line will be critical.

In a game that could very well be decided by field placement regardless of who wins, having three points plus the hook in the pocket is the smartest play to make.

Less than 50.5 (-115) ★★

Despite a ticket count of nearly 3-1 in favor of Over, the betting market is steadily moving in the opposite direction relative to the total. With BetMGM’s line of 50.5 offering a full point of value compared to most of the competition, jumping on the underside seems like the decision to make.

Whichever team has the football, the defenses have the upper hand on paper.

Florida State’s offensive line reports more than 100 experience starts. However, injuries have plagued this unit in recent years. As a result, Norvell’s offense hasn’t really taken off in Tallahassee so far.

Over the past four seasons, FSU has allowed 149 sacks. Based on the ferocity of LSU’s defensive front in the spring, Seminoles QB Jordan Travis could very well find himself running for his life Sunday night.

Meanwhile, LSU has just 41 career starts among 10 different offensive linemen coming in 2022. The ‘Noles return a pair of NFL-caliber defensive tackles in Fabien Lovett and Robert Cooper. The Tigers front will have their work cut out for them trying to win at the line of scrimmage.

Jordan Travis Over 205.5 passing yards (-114) ★★★★

LSU had one of the best defensive secondaries in the SEC last year. The Tigers have allowed just 237 passing yards per game on the season, which is saying a lot considering the conference and division they play in. Unfortunately, the offseason has seen this unit depleted significantly. No start has been bigger than NFL first-round pick Derek Stingley Jr.

Although LSU has managed to add a few transfers with prior starting experience, it’s entirely possible this unit will struggle to get out of the gates in 2022. It certainly won’t be easy going up against an experienced receiving corps and deep in the state of Florida.

Travis posted modest numbers last season as he shared quarterback duties for the most part and was also stuck playing behind a poor offensive line. Considering the strength of LSU’s defense is made up of the top seven, it’s reasonable to expect Travis to air it often on Sunday night.

As a final point in this handicap, bettors should be aware that the 205.5 yard passing prop at FanDuel is 15 yards below the current line at DraftKings. The market value is simply too great to ignore.

Where to Bet on Florida State vs. LSU

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Florida State-LSU picks made 9/3/2022 2:40 PM ET