LSU Football - Tigers 2023 Season Preview, Predictions & Best Bets

Nov 26, 2022; College Station, Texas, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) passes against the Texas A&M Aggies during the first quarter at Kyle Field.
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Sam Avellone


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Long-time suffering Browns fan born and raised in the greater Cleveland, Ohio area who now resides in SEC country. University of South Carolina alum. Sports handicapper for close to 10 years with a primary focus on NCAAB while enjoying NFL, PGA, NCAAF, NBA, and Soccer. For Sam Avellone media enquiries, please email
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In head Brian Kelly’s first season in Baton Rouge, the Tigers represented the SEC West in the conference championship game for the first time since 2019. Now in his second season, Kelly is 1 of just 15 Power 5 coaches to retain both of his coordinators as well as his starting quarterback — unlike the top 2 favorites in the conference in Georgia and Alabama. 

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LSU Tigers 2023 College Football Season Odds

Odds provided by FanDuel Sportsbook

LSU National Championship Odds

At 12/1, the Tigers are 1 of just 5 teams with odds less than 15/1 to win the national title.

LSU Tigers SEC Championship Odds

The Tigers have the 3rd lowest odds to win the SEC at +460. They trail only Georgia and Alabama. 

LSU Tigers SEC West Odds

In the final season of SEC divisions as we know them, oddsmakers give LSU the second-best chance to win the West at +185.

LSU Tigers Odds to Reach the College Football Playoff

The Tigers’ odds to be 1 of the 4 playoff teams are currently +380.

LSU Tigers 2022 Season Recap

LSU won 10 games and exceeded expectations offensively in 2022, scoring more than 32 points and accumulating more than 445 yards per game against FBS opponents. In Jayden Daniels’ first season as LSU’s starting quarterback, he completed 68.6% of his passes for 2,913 yards and 17 touchdowns while throwing just 3 interceptions and rushing for 885 yards and 11 touchdowns. He played behind an offensive line that finished as a top 10 unit in average line yards, pass down line yards, opportunity rate and stuff rate and utilized an array of talented playmakers both on the ground and through the air. Running backs Josh Williams, Noah Cain, and John Emery Jr. each played at least 11 games and combined for more than 1,600 total yards and 24 total touchdowns, while Armoni Goodwin added 267 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns in 7 games. Wide receiver Malik Nabers led the team with 72 receptions and 1,017 yards and Kayshon Boutte added 538 yards on 48 receptions, but the duo combined for just 5 touchdowns. Jaray Jenkins and Brian Thomas Jr. picked up the slack in that department, combining for 11 receiving touchdowns on just 58 receptions, while true freshman tight end Mason Taylor added 414 yards and 3 touchdowns on 38 catches. 

The Tigers improved defensively in Kelly’s first season and finished inside the top 25 in scoring for the first time in 5 years. They allowed 5.4 less poins per game to FBS opponents than they did in 2021 and jumped from 44th to 16th in opponent-adjusted efficiency. Harold Perkins had an instant impact and was arguably LSU’s best defensive player with 72 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, 1 interception and 2 passes defended as a true freshman, while Micah Baskerville and Greg Penn III combined for 167 tackles and 10.5 tackles playing next to him in the middle of the defense. Production across the defensive line was solid, as well, but the secondary left a lot to be desired and ranked outside the top 75 in EPA per pass. 

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LSU Tigers 2023 College Football Season Outlook

Based on last season’s success, Daniels is currently the second-favorite to win the Heisman Trophy in 2023. He will play behind an offensive line that returns 4 key pieces and will be accompanied in the backfield by a talented and experienced running back group returning its top 4 rushers and adding Notre Dame transfer Logan Diggs to the mix. Daniels’ favorite target in Nabers returns after being the only wide receiver in the SEC to collect 100 targets and 1,000 yards and he figures to be a target monster again this year. Outside of him, Thomas will be back after catching the second-most touchdowns on the team and Taylor is expected to build on his promising freshman season at tight end. Kelly brought in a handful of four-star wide receivers in Jalen Brown, Kyle Parker, Khai Prean and Shelton Sampson Jr. to add to the pass-catching group. I would not be surprised to see at least 1 of them contribute regularly this fall. All things considered, the Tigers should have a top 25 offense again despite the lack of proven depth at wide receiver. 

The defensive unit loses 7 of its top 11 tacklers, including leaders at the edge and in the secondary, but 11 of Kelly’s 14 incoming transfers are defensive players – so the Tigers might be able to fill the gaps temporarily while he continues to hit the recruiting trail. Interior defensive lineman Mekhi Wingo, defensive end Sai’vion Jones, linebackers Perkins and Penn III, and safeties Major Burns and Greg Brooks Jr. are the only returning starters that played significant snaps last season, but Maason Smith is expected back after tearing his ACL in Week 1 and should contribute to the defensive line right away. Texas transfer Ovie Oghoufo, who spent time at Notre Dame under Kelly before playing in Austin, figures to start at the JACK position, and Oregon State transfer Oma Speights should step in right away at weakside linebacker after accumulating more than 300 tackles in Corvallis. Meanwhile, the Tigers will have new faces at the cornerback position, as well. There might be some growing pains with this group early in the season — especially in the secondary — but I expect LSU’s defense to improve as the new pieces become acclimated. 

The Tigers open the season with a neutral site rematch against Florida State in Week 1 before hosting FCS Grambling State in Week 2. Their first true road game is in Week 3 at Mississippi State followed by their first conference home game against Arkansas in Week 4. LSU then faces consecutive road games at Ole Miss and Missouri before they host Auburn and Army in back-to-back weeks. Following their week off during Halloween, the Tigers travel to Tuscaloosa for their rivalry game against Alabama and finish the season with 3 straight home games against Florida, Georgia State and Texas A&M.

Best Best: LSU Tigers over 5.5 conference wins (-200)

Odds available at Caesar’s Sportsbook at the time of publishing.

Aside from their road game at Alabama, LSU should be favored in every conference game. The Tigers’ road game at Ole Miss and their season finale at home against Texas A&M will likely determine the outcome of this bet, but they will be in a good position to win both — as the Rebels will be coming off a game in Tuscaloosa the week prior and the Aggies figure to struggle to match the offensive output of the Tigers. That leaves Alabama, who LSU has beaten 2 of the last 4 seasons. The Tigers currently have an edge at quarterback over the Crimson Tide, and it would not surprise me to see the Tigers win in Tuscaloosa because of it. I do not expect the Tigers to slip up against Mississippi State, Arkansas, Missouri, Auburn, or Florida due to roster and coaching advantages, and I am confident that they will not lose all 3 games against Ole Miss, Alabama, and Texas A&M. As such, this bet appeals to me the most despite the juicy odds. 

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