Alabama hasn’t been challenged in its first eight Games, winning them all by at least 22 points. However, this is the first time the Tide face a team of relevance with LSU only slightly behind in the rankings, up to No. 4 in the AP Poll. The Crimson Tide still opened as heavy -14 point road favorites at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
This spread is interesting for a number of reasons, first because Alabama hasn’t played a legit team yet and second because the last Four meetings have been decided by 14 points or less. Given how dominant Alabama has been, not winning this matchup by more than 14 points in recent seasons is surprising and something a lot of bettors will look at.
Of course, the other part to that is the Tide actually have a good offense now with Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback. He still doesn’t have an interception, while throwing for a ridiculous 25 touchdowns on 13.59 yards per attempt. He’s yet to be stopped, but LSU is ranked this high for a reason, allowing just 15.1 points per contest. And while the passing Game has been on fire, the rushing attack is slightly worse than previous versions with neither Najee nor Damien Harris at more than 500 yards. They are averaging 5.2 yards per carry, but similar to last year’s matchup, will face some resistance against this front line.
Speaking of last year, neither team moved the ball well in a 24-10 win for Alabama and that could be the case again. However, playing in Baton Rouge and under the lights, the only way Alabama can cover this Game is if Tagovailoa lives up to his early numbers and has another huge outing. The Tide will run the ball plenty, but against this defense, will likely struggle to move it at a consistent rate on the ground.
The other end is the cause for concern with LSU as it’s scored 10 points total in the last two matchups and no more than 17 in the last eight. While the Tigers have some nice wins, they also haven’t scored much outside of the big 36-16 win against Georgia. since Joe Burrow isn’t a Game breaker at quarterback, it’s likely LSU will struggle to surpass 17 points again. He’s completing just 53.8% of his passes for six touchdowns and three interceptions. LSU beat Georgia by running the ball between Nick Brossette and Clyde Edwards-Helaire and that’s likely the only way it has a chance to upset Bama in this Game. The Tide are allowing 3.5 yards per carry, but haven’t seen a rushing offense like LSU’s this season. Even in last year’s loss, the Tigers ran for 151 yards on 3.6 yards per carry (54-yard run included) and playing at home, will be aiming to control the clock via that route.
Given recent history between these teams and Alabama’s lack of a legit win, the 14 points feel large. Then again, it’s rarely a good idea to bet against Alabama and it will be tough to back Burrow.
The Crimson Tide are 15-7 ATS in their last 22 road Games and the Tigers are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 at home. The under has hit in the last Four meetings between these schools, the favorite is 4-1 ATS in the last five and the road team is 16-6-1 ATS in the last 23.
Our Pick – When we make a play, we do so because we think we’ll win that play roughly 55% of the time. We sent out LSU as a Key Release last night at +14.5 as we felt the 14’s would disappear. This morning, the Game is at 13.5. Maybe the 14’s come back. Maybe not.
Alabama may very will win in blowout fashion. It’s possible. However, Our numbers suggest otherwise. In fact, we have this Game as a field goal Game decided late in the 4th quarter.
Our readers know we love the yards per point stat as a team barometer. Alabama’s ypp numbers are 10.4 on offense and 19.5 on defense. That offensive number is good for 2nd in the nation and means they Scorea point every 10.4 yards they travel. LSU’s numbers are 12.9 and 19.7. Not bad offensively, good for 30th in the nation, but note the defensive number of 19.7 which is a tad better then even the mighty CrImson Tide.
When you use a stat like yards per point, you have to be aware of Schedule strength and have to take that into consideration. What’s notable in this case is that LSU has played a Schedule thus far that has been at least a TD more difficult than Alabama’s which really validates their numbers.
From a motivational standpoint, you couldn’t ask for more in favor of LSU. A Saturday night home Game under the lights before a National TV audience against the #1 team in the land. If you’re a kid playing college ball, if that’s not enough for you to get excited about, you might be dead.
You can also throw in a little revenge and multiply that times 7 as the last time LSU beat the tide was in 2011!
This is just another play. As mentioned above, maybe Alabama is just THAT good this year. But Our numbers suggest otherwise. So, we play.
We put this out at LSU +14.5. However, honestly, according to Our numbers, this play would be worth a look all the way down to +7. No harm in waiting a bit at this point to see if the 14s come back as Alabama attracts a lot of money each week. Alabama +14 or better but still good at +13