NCAA Football Betting Preview
Auburn Tigers (5-2) at No. 9 LSU Tigers (5-1)
Saturday October 24th, 7:30PM Eastern
Betus.com betting line – LSU -7.5, 51 O/U
The No. 9 ranked LSU Tigers got a week off after their tough battle with the Florida Gators that resulted in a 13-3 loss, but they get back to action this week when the host the Auburn Tigers down in Death Valley. Auburn was coming along as one of the big surprises in the SEC a few weeks back with a perfect 5-0 start, but has dropped two straight games since to Arkansas and Kentucky. Auburn now must regain focus and get back on the winning track starting with what would be a big time win against LSU this Saturday night.
The LSU Tigers have not appeared to play well this season struggling in games with Washington and Mississippi State. The problem has been the inability to run the ball behind tailbacks Charles Scott and Keiland Williams that are having a letdown type season. The LSU rushing offense ranks towards the bottom of the nation averaging just 123 yards per game and it has caused some frustration on the offensive side of the ball. However, LSU has still been able to pull out all of the close wins outside of Florida and remain a top 10 ranked team. The question this week is if the high power offense of Auburn starts scoring points then will the LSU offense have an answer?
The LSU defense has played fairly solid this season allowing just 322 yards per game. The same defense has also held opponents to just 14 points per game and has played better with each passing week. The LSU defensive front will get a big test this week when they try to slow down Auburn running back Ben Tate who is averaging 122 yards per game and has nearly 900 yards total on the season. The Bayou Bengals defense must be able to stop Tate in his tracks and not allow any type of big performances. If that happens, LSU should be in good standings if the offense can move the ball.
LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson has played solid all season and perhaps better than expected. Jefferson has held on to the ball well cutting down on the LSU interceptions from one year ago and is completing 62% on the season along with 7 touchdowns. The Auburn secondary was exposed a few weeks ago by Ryan Mallett of Arkansas who racked up just less than 300 passing in route to posting 44 points in the Razorbacks win. If Jefferson can spread the Auburn secondary out and hook up with his big time receivers there is no reason not to expect the same this week. Wide outs Brandon LaFell and Terrance Toliver are big time players and getting the ball in both their hands will be critical for LSU to score points.
On the other side of the field, the Auburn offense must get better production from quarterback Chris Todd. The running game has been sensational riding on the legs of Ben Tate. However, over the last two weeks the passing game has been stone cold averaging just 114 yards per game in both losses. Todd’s completion percentage has dropped from near 60% to 55% in those two games which has caused a lot less scoring for the offense. Todd has not had many mistakes this season with just 2 picks compared to 12 touchdowns, but the numbers have been way down lately. One reason could be wide receiver Darvin Adams who has been shut down in recent weeks. Adams was making big plays earlier in the year averaging right at 75 yards per game, but has been held to just 81 yards in the last two outings. If Todd can get Adams back involved early, hopefully it will open up the door for Terrell Zachery and others to get the offense back on track.
Pick – Auburn +7.5