This is yet another top-10 SEC matchup between teams looking to not only upend Alabama, but also make it to the College Football Playoff. LSU has the better offense and is playing at home and was an early -10.5 point favorite with an over/under of 58.5.
Similar to LSU’s previous games, it’s hard to put much into last year’s matchup. LSU won 22-21 on the road, but mostly because its defense had two interceptions.
This year, it’s been all about the offense which is averaging 50 points per game behind Joe Burrow. Auburn’s defense is good, but maybe not elite, giving up at least 20 points in three straight games including the loss at Florida.
That could be a problem against Burrow, who is now a favorite to win the Heisman. The quarterback has been lights out, completing 79.4% of his passes for 11.4 yards per attempt, 29 touchdowns and just three interceptions.
In addition to his top targets in Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase, he may also get back Terrace Marshall from a foot injury. Burrow’s passing numbers have meant less of a focus on the rushing attack and that’s why Clyde Edwards-Helaire has 547 yards, though at 6.1 yards per carry, he’s still having success.
Unfortunately for Auburn, LSU’s offense fits well against this defense because the strong suit for Auburn is its line. But if it can put pressure on Burrow, that’d be huge and could at least slow LSU down from putting 40 points on the board.
There are similar questions on the other end because while LSU’s offense has been awesome, the defense has taken its foot off the pedal as it hasn’t been needed as much. That’s been a problem for bettors against the likes of Florida and Vandy as LSU allowed a combined 66 points in those games.
The good news for LSU is that Auburn’s offense isn’t explosive. It’s had some big games, but against better competition, couldn’t do anything against Florida and managed 28 points at Texas A&M despite getting out gained by almost 100 yards.
The problems start with quarterback Bo Nix who has a long way to go, completing 56.2% of his passes for 11 touchdowns and five interceptions. He’s been fine, but it’s hard to see him being enough to win against better competition.
The Tigers will try and lean on their ground game between Nix and Kam Martin, who has to take over for injured running back JaTarvious Whitlow.
That side of the ball also points to an LSU cover because it’s allowing less than 100 rushing yards per game.
But while that’s the case, LSU’s defense has had trouble locking down all kinds of opponents and it wouldn’t be surprising if this score ended up being closer than the game actually plays out. Plus, the last three matchups between these teams have been decided by five points or less.
Auburn is 7-1 ATS in its last eight games overall, while most of LSU’s trends point to the over due to Burrow. The over has hit in the last four meetings between these schools played at LSU and the home team is 8-2 ATS in the last 10.
Our Pick – LSU +11