NCAA Football Betting Previews – No.1 LSU Tigers vs. No.2 Alabama Crimson Tide
Point spread: Alabama -4.5
The LSU Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide both put their BCS title hopes on the line this upcoming Saturday night when they square-off in a SEC showdown that has ‘instant classic’ written all over it. The kick-off from Bryant-Denny Stadium is slated for 8 p.m. (ET) and the game will be broadcast nationally on CBS.
All year long, LSU has rolled through its schedule behind a potent rushing attack and a shutdown defense. The closest call it has had in its first eight games was a 19-6 victory over Mississippi State as a 3.5-point road favorite. The Tigers come into this game fresh off a bye with an overall record of 8-0 straight-up (6-2 against the spread) and a 5-0 SU record in the SEC. The total has gone 4-3-1 in its first eight games.
LSU’s running game will get a boost this week with the return of its leading rusher, Spencer Ware, who served a one-game suspension for a failed drug test. Overall, the Tigers are ranked 30th in the nation in rushing with an average of 189 yards a game and their defense is ranked third in points allowed; giving up an average of 11.5 points a game.
Alabama is also coming off a bye with an identical 8-0 SU start (7-1 ATS). It is a perfect 5-0 SU in conference play and the total has been evenly split over its first eight games at 4-4. The only minor threat to a run at a national title so far was a 27-11 victory over Penn State as 10-point road favorites as the Tide have rolled this season with an average margin of victory of 32.5 points.
The offense has been solid behind a bruising running game as well led by Trent Richardson’s 989 yards and 17 touchdowns. Overall, it is ranked 14th in the country with an average of 229.3 rushing yards a game. The real strength of this Alabama team remains on the defensive side of the ball. The Tide lead the nation in points allowed; giving-up an average of just 6.9 points a game.
LSU is 5-2 ATS in its last seven road games and 4-1 ATS in its last five conference games. The total has stayed ‘under’ in 19 of its last 28 games as underdogs on the road.
Alabama is 5-1 ATS in its last six games as a home favorite and 5-0 ATS in their last five games in the SEC. The total has stayed ‘under’ in nine of its last 13 games against a team with a winning record.
Head-to-head, The Tigers are 5-1-1 in their last seven trips to Tuscaloosa. The road team in this series is 11-3-1 ATS in the last 15 meetings and the total has gone ‘over’ in four of the last five games overall. This game is shaping up as a three-point slugfest either way ,so take LSU and the 4.5 points.
The Pick: LSU 23 Alabama 21
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