College Football Pick
As of this writing, the Game between BYU and LSU still didn’t have a determined site to be played at with Houston under water. Either way, the Game will be played at a neutral site with LSU likely in closer proximity. The Tigers will be favorites no matter the location and are -14 at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
After how BYU looked in the opener, that spread may be a bit small. The Cougars hosted Portland State last weekend and only won 20-6. If that offense can only muster 20 points against an FCS school, then it’ll be hard for them to Scoreon LSU.
Tanner Mangum has plenty of experience as BYU’s quarterback having been the starter for most of 2015. But after only 33 pass attempts last year, Mangum was a bit rusty in the opener completing 16-of-27 passes for 194 yards. The running Game was fine led by Squally Canada (98 yards), but again, they were playing an FCS school. With Four returning starters along the line, that’s where the Cougars will have to attack LSU, even if it won’t be easy.
The Tigers return five starters from a defense that allowed 15.8 points per Game and welcome back end Christian LACouture, who was injured before last season. In his first full season in charge, Ed Orgeron expects his team to be attack heavy under coordinator Dave Aranda. That worked for the most part last season, namely in the Citrus Bowl win against Louisville in which it held the Cardinals to just nine points. The secondary returns three starters so that doesn’t help matters for Mangum.
But while LSU will be solid on defense again, the offense is what’s held the team back in recent seasons. The Tigers improved somewhat once Orgeron took over, but it still wasn’t a group to bet on. Danny Etling returns as the starting quarterback after completing less than 60% of his passes for 11 TDs and 5 INTs. Improvement is expected with D.J. Chark his top receiver, but this will still be a run-first offense. Derrius Guice (1,387 yards, 15 TDs) could easily top last year’s numbers as he’ll be the top back with Leonard Fournette gone. With three returning linemen, that should be enough to keep the offense moving along.
BYU’s strength is on the defensive side, and that will make it interesting to see how these teams stack up. The Cougars stayed close in every Game last year because they held their opponents in range. To cover this Game, that’ll have to be the case because it’s hard to see Mangum and BYU scoring much more than 10 points.
LSU turned things up at the end of last season with big wins over Arkansas, Texas A&M and Louisville and if it can bring that level right off the bat to start the new campaign, BYU will be in trouble. If the Cougars offense plays at all like they did in the opener, it could be a long day. Still, betting on BYU’s defense isn’t a bad thing, especially with the questions surrounding LSU’s offense.
Our Pick – LSU/BYU UNDER 47