Alabama vs LSU Odds & Predictions: Crimson Tide to Shut Down Tigers

Alabama vs LSU Odds & Predictions: Crimson Tide to Shut Down Tigers article feature image

Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images. Pictured: LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels.

Alabama vs LSU Odds

Saturday, Nov. 5
7 p.m. ET
Alabama Odds
-110o / -110u
LSU Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

While the SEC East semifinal is played in the afternoon, the SEC West will hinge on the nightcap in Baton Rouge.

This edition of Alabama vs. LSU comes after both teams were ranked in the top 10 of the initial College Football Playoff rankings. Each team has the chance to win the SEC and compete for the national title by winning out.

LSU fans might not have expected a ranking this high so early in the Brian Kelly era. The opening loss to Florida State showed that the Tigers were a work in progress after bringing in the most transfers from the portal.

Fast forward to November, and Kelly has an offense that ranks top-20 in Success Rate and a defense that sits top-20 in limiting opponent scoring opportunities.

Nick Saban comes off of a bye with an Alabama team outside the national picture after a devastating loss to Tennessee. The Crimson Tide responded against Mississippi State, allowing the Bulldogs to score only one offensive touchdown on the final play of regulation.

Saban and his coordinators now focus on improving the secondary and locating explosive options in the passing game.

After dealing with an injury to reigning Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young, the Crimson Tide had plenty of questions heading into Knoxville.

Young played through a sprained shoulder with just seven attempts over 20 yards against the Volunteers.

Despite the issues with the shoulder, Young remains one of the most elusive quarterbacks in the country. Opponents have recorded just eight sacks on 76 pressures, a rate well below Alabama's pressure-to-sack ratio of 15.5% in 2021.

Just when I think I couldn’t get higher on Bryce Young as a prospect he does things like this. He played one of the best games of his career against Tennessee in a hostile environment and hurt. Gamer.

— Kevin (@Daboys_22) October 17, 2022

The search continues for an explosive option downfield, as Kobe Prentice and Ja'Corey Brooks are the only multi-targeted options averaging more than two yards per route run.

Alabama has been fantastic in passing attempts, ranking top-20 in Success Rate with the fourth-best grade in pass blocking.

The issue of explosiveness may be resolved with Tyler Harrell at full strength. The Louisville transfer has dealt with an injury since the preseason but did enter the Mississippi State game, where he received two targets.

As a member of the Cardinals last year, Harrell averaged 2.9 yards per route run on 36 targets, a number that would make him the most explosive Alabama player by far.

In terms of limiting explosiveness, the Crimson Tide defense has been the class of college football this season.

Cornerback Eli Ricks returned to action for Alabama, starting his first game of the season and playing 90 snaps against the Bulldogs. The LSU transfer was targeted nine times by Mississippi State, and the junior allowed just one catch while recording four pass breakups.

Eli Ricks had arguably his best game for Alabama so far, last week against Mississippi State 🔒

🐘 4 PBUs
🐘 1 reception allowed
🐘 19 yards allowed

His first full outing for the Tide and he lived up to his original hype 🔥

— Redshirt Heisman (@TasteOfSport) October 26, 2022

Defensive coordinator Pete Golding inherits a shutdown cornerback at full strength in Ricks — one capable of allowing Alabama to run man coverage.

The Crimson Tide may be the best defense in the country when defending passing downs. Alabama ranks sixth in third-down defense, and top-10 rankings in Success Rate and explosiveness in passing downs forces plenty of punts from opponents.

The ability to get offenses off the field when they fall behind schedule is complemented by a highly-ranked pass rush.

No player on defense is apt to generate Havoc more than Will Anderson, who owns a top-20 ranking nationally in pass rush productivity, per PFF.

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LSU Tigers

Quarterback Jayden Daniels has reached the level of consistency Kelly has preached all season.

The Arizona State transfer has recorded six passing touchdowns and just a single turnover-worthy play over the last three games against Tennessee, Florida and Ole Miss.

A season-long issue with drops has come to an end, as the team has combined for just two drops in the past two games. Wide receiver Kayshon Boutte had his first drop-free FBS game in a victory over Ole Miss on Oct. 22.

Brian Kelly on Kayshon Boutte's leadership role.

"I couldn't find you the first week, now you're running the show"

We'll have more from #LSU's win over Ole Miss tonight on @WWLTV during 4th Down on 4 and have analysis from

— Brooke Kirchhofer (@brookechesney) October 23, 2022

Outside of the passing game, Daniels has been electric on the ground with nearly 200 yards and six touchdowns. The quarterback had created 17 missed tackles through the first half of the schedule, trumping that with 14 missed tackles created in the past two games.

LSU's offensive line has been fantastic in the trench, ranking top -hree nationally in Stuff Rate and Line Yards.

Alabama vs LSU Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Alabama and LSU match up statistically:

Alabama Offense vs. LSU Defense
Rush Success6074
Line Yards5346
Pass Success1824
Pass Blocking**421
Finishing Drives1319
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

LSU Offense vs. Alabama Defense
Rush Success531
Line Yards325
Pass Success1713
Pass Blocking**7414
Finishing Drives2821
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling267
PFF Coverage2191
SP+ Special Teams4697
Seconds per Play26.2 (61)26.1 (58)
Rush Rate50.6% (80)52.7% (69)
Data via (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Alabama vs LSU Betting Pick

With Ricks at full strength, the ability to cover Boutte in one-on-one man coverage is a large plus for Alabama.

This frees up extra defenders to assist edge positions in outside zone-read attempts from Daniels and the running back combination of Armoni Goodwin and Josh Williams. After missing a month with an injury, Goodwin returned for the Ole Miss game and recorded eight carries.

The offensive line's ability to give Daniels time to throw is critical. The youth movement in the trench is gaining more experience, but left tackle Will Campbell had two of his worst-graded games in the past two contests against Florida and Ole Miss.

Meanwhile, right tackle Emery Jones has allowed pressure in every game since Week 4. The LSU offensive line is improving at a more rapid pace in the ground game, but defending a stiff pass rush is still a work in progress.

The biggest issue with the Alabama offense has been a lack of explosiveness and penalties.

While props on Harrell are suggested, the penalty issues seem to be improving after recording just three against Mississippi State. For a Crimson Tide team that ranks 120th in penalties, the low number of fouls against the Bulldogs is a large positive.

The Tigers have struggled in coverage this year, ranking 91st, per PFF. LSU sits 120th in Defensive Passing Expected Points, allowing 29 passes over 20 yards this season.

Young will have plenty of success throwing against this secondary, especially with large discrepancies in efficiency during passing downs when the Alabama offense takes on the LSU defense.

Action Network projects Alabama as 11-point favorites as the number floats in a dead zone.

There's reason to believe the Crimson Tide defense can ultimately limit scoring attempts from LSU if Ricks puts Boutte on an island. Considering the poor grading on the Tigers' offensive line in recent games, passing downs may be a struggle for LSU.

On the opposite side, Young will continue to evade any pass rush as Alabama's pressure-to-sack ratio continues to decrease.

LSU's back seven has been poor in coverage, giving Alabama the green light to attack with a dozen different targets in search of explosive plays.

Pick: Alabama -13.5 or BetterLSU Team Total Under 20.5

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