Dogs Ready to Bite the Books: LSU at Alabama

I have been focusing on SEC football the past few weeks for my underdog pick of the week with mixed results. After cashing in big on Kentucky as a home underdog two weeks ago, I came up just short on Florida as a 6.5-point home underdog in a seven-point loss to Georgia.

I was going to move in a different direction this week, but I decided to turn my attention to possibly the biggest game of the college football regular season.

In another SEC clash, the No. 1 LSU Tigers go on the road as 6.5-point underdogs against the No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide. The total line for this 3:30 p.m. start on CBS has been set at 65 points. You can see a full preview with prediction by clicking right here when it is posted (approx. Thursday).

Each of these national powers have won their first eight games straight-up. Alabama is 5-0 SU in the SEC West Division standings with the Tigers winning their first four conference games. With the next best teams posting at least two losses so far, this showdown should decide the West Division title.

LSU has outscored its first eight opponents by a combined score of 374-160 as one of the most complete teams in the nation on both sides of the ball. The Crimson Tide have been equally impressive by winning their first eight games by a combined 267 points.

Top Underdog Bet- Take the Tigers (+6.5) against Alabama

These teams are closely matched in a number of different categories but the primary comparison between the two is at the quarterback position. The LSU Tigers’ Joe Burrow has the edge when it comes to winning this year’s Heisman Trophy as the most outstanding college player of the year as a -110 favorite in the current betting odds.

The Tide’s Tua Tagovailoa is third on the list at +375 at top online sportbooks. Ironically enough, former Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts is second at +250 in the midst of a stellar season for the Oklahoma Sooners.

 


See what Alabama Coach Saban says about their matchup versus LSU


 

Burrow has thrown for 2,805 yards and 30 touchdowns against just four interceptions. He is completing 78.8 percent of his passing attempts. The top target in the passing game has been Justin Jefferson with 55 receptions for 819 yards and nine scores, but Burrow has seven other players with at least 100 receiving yards on the year. The Tigers have added 1,266 yards and 17 scores running the ball on 279 rushing attempts.

The stats for Tagovailoa are highlighted by 27 touchdown passes against just two interceptions. He has thrown for 2,166 yards in just five starts. An ankle injury has kept him out of the lineup the past three games and he will be a game-time decision for Saturday’s contest.


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Even if Tagovailoa can go, I would still give the edge at this position to LSU. Burrow is a big-play quarterback and you get the feeling a few big pass plays on offense could be the difference in this game.

LSU has been the more profitable betting team with a 5-2-1 record against the spread. Heading into last week’s bye, it did fail to cover in a tight three-point win against Auburn as an 11.5-point home favorite. The Tigers are 3-0 ATS in three previous road games.

Related Link: No. 2 Alabama opens as TD favorite over No. 1 LSU

Alabama is an even 4-4 ATS coming off a bye as well. The Tide have closed as high double-digit favorites in all eight games. They haven’t been a bettor’s favorite at an even 3-3 ATS in six home games this year.

Head-to-head in this West Division showdown, Alabama has won four of its last five home games against LSU SU. The Tide also have a 4-1-1 edge ATS in the last six meetings overall. The total has stayed UNDER in four of the last five games between the two.