ESPN’s FPI predicts the winner of LSU football vs UCLA

LSU football's Tiger Stadium Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
LSU football's Tiger Stadium Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /

LSU Football will kick off the 2021 season on Saturday in Los Angeles against the UCLA Bruins.

The Tigers are coming off a 5-5 season that started rough but finished promising.

LSU started the 2020 season 1-2 with losses to two programs that had first-year head SEC head coaches — Mississippi State (Mike Leach) and Missouri (Eliah Drinktwitz).

There were plenty of reasons for the tough start to the season. The COVID-19 pandemic, losing 14 players to the NFL, replacing a defensive coordinator and passing game coordinator, players opting out, starting quarterback getting injured.

That’s a lot for any program to overcome.

But by the end of the season, LSU started to look more like the LSU team that we expected to see in 2020.

The Tigers finished the season with two straight wins — against Florida and Ole Miss — and they found a new stud starting quarterback in Max Johnson.

Getting off to a quick start is imperative for LSU in 2021. A loss to UCLA on Saturday will instantly reignite the Ed Orgeron hot seat talk that has already started circulating.

ESPN FPI predicts winner of LSU Football vs UCLA

ESPN’s Football Power Index predicted the outcome of every college football game this weekend.

And it’s good news for the Tigers.

The ESPN FPI picks LSU to beat the Bruins. They give the Tigers a 53.2 percent chance of beating UCLA in the first-ever meeting between the two programs (via 247Sports).

Now, obviously this doesn’t mean a whole lot. The FPI index giving LSU those slim odds means it views the two programs as being close to the same level.

Essentially, the FPI views this as a toss up game, with the slight edge going to the Tigers.

WynnBet agrees, as they currently have LSU -2.5 and -140 on the moneyline.

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This could end up being one of the best games played on the first weekend of college football.

But hopefully the Tigers leave with a win.