USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Guz Malzahn and Ed Orgeron
LSU at Auburn Betting Odds
- Odds: Auburn -10
- Over/Under: 44.5
- Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: CBS
>> All odds as of 6 a.m. ET on Friday. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and track your bets.
Please refrain from any and all “the Tigers will cover” jokes — even though it will be the case when the Auburn and LSU Tigers meet on the Plains Saturday.
The home team has won five straight meetings in this SEC West rivalry, thanks to an epic Auburn meltdown from up 20-0 last year in Baton Rouge. LSU made that comeback with the assistance of a punt return for a TD, and Auburn went into a shell on offense.
Market Moves for LSU-Auburn
Only 33% of bettors have taken the home favorite Auburn, but their bets account for 53% of dollars wagered on this game, indicating more balanced overall action. That has kept this line from moving much at all, as it’s been bouncing back and forth from 9.5 to 10 throughout the week.
The over/under has had almost the opposite story, with 91% of dollars on the under. That imbalance has brought this number down from 47 to 44.5.
Key Injuries for LSU-Auburn
Against Miami, LSU lost star linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson to a torn ACL and offensive lineman Adrian Magee for a few weeks. But it will get left tackle Saahdiq Charles back Saturday, which is much needed against a ferocious Auburn front seven.
Auburn will get some depth at receiver back this week. Darius Slayton sat against Washington, and Will Hastings and Eli Stove made surprise returns last week after suffering major knee injuries in the spring. All three made at least 25 catches last season and will play in some capacity on Saturday.
Auburn did lose right tackle Jack Driscoll and right guard Mike Horton in the first half last week, but both are expected to play Saturday.
Trends to Know
By John Ewing
In matchups of ranked SEC teams, the favorite is 111-76-4 (59%) ATS since 2005. Home favorites, like Auburn, are 63-38-2 (62%) ATS.
By Evan Abrams
SEC in-conference favorites have earned bettors just over 30 full units since 2005, by far the most profitable conference in the country in that spot. All other conferences combined are profiting bettors just 6.1 units in a sample size of almost 400 plays.
In conference matchups, road dogs of at least a touchdown tend to perform especially well ATS if the over/under opens at 45 or less. When points are at a premium, it’s hard for teams to cover big lines.
Dogs in this spot have gone 190-112-9 (63%) against the spread since 2005.
Special Teams Edge
All eyes will be on special teams again this year. Auburn has a better offense and a better front seven, but special teams and field position could help equalize this matchup.
LSU finished in the top 20 in net field position last year, while Auburn finished 71st. Auburn also lost uber-reliable kicker Daniel Carlson (his freshman brother is now the kicker), while LSU looks like it found a diamond in the rough in Division II transfer Cole Tracy, who has been automatic this year at 5 for 5 (he even tied the school record with a 54-yarder).
Everybody remembers LSU blowing out Miami, but the Tigers were outgained in that game and finished only 3 of 16 on third down. I still have serious questions about this offense, which ranks 119th out of 130 teams in third-down conversions (7-27, .259).
That spells trouble against an Auburn team that is tied for 15th nationally in third-down conversion defense (7-29 .241). That’s not surprising for a Tigers team that finished in the top 10 last year with 4.7 yards per play allowed and brought back a lot of production from a dominant front seven.
Joe Burrow received loads of credit from his teammates and the media for his poise against Miami, basically because he audibled on fourth down to help continue an eventual scoring drive.
But through two games, Burrow has completed just 47.7% of his passes for a lowly 5.8 yards per attempt.
Last season, LSU’s offense was bottom 10 among FBS teams in sack rate on passing downs. That means when you could force the Tigers into obvious passing situations, it was easy to get to the quarterback. They were bottom third of all FBS teams in sack rate on all downs, as well.
Things haven’t gotten better this year. LSU is 90th in overall sack rate and will face an Auburn defense that had five sacks and nine tackles for loss against Washington.
Auburn WR Sal Cannella vs. LSU’s inexperienced corners
You saw the impact slot receiver Sal Cannella had in the season opener against Washington, which has one of the best secondaries in the nation.
Well, LSU has one of the best corners in the SEC in Greedy Williams, but lost two starting corners from last year who are now in the NFL — Donte Jackson (Panthers) and Kevin Toliver (Bears).
Look for the complexity and variety of the Gus Malzahn spread offense to confuse the inexperienced LSU corners (outside of Greedy), especially with Cannella.
Bet to Watch
By Ken Barkley
“Revenge game” is a term that’s so overused, it’s lost almost all meaning in college football. With the amount of turnover in both players and on coaching staffs, a lot of the time when you’re talking about “revenge,” more than half the players had nothing to do with the game last year.
That being said, Auburn’s entire staff, as well as its quarterback and defensive leaders, were on the field for what happened last year — blowing a 20-point lead in Baton Rouge to a far worse team.
With a chance to play much better, this time at home, there is no lookahead, and you’ll get whatever maximum effort looks like for Auburn. It may not be worth as much as you think, but we can definitively say there won’t be an issue of motivation.
But what I care much more about is the difference between the LSU everyone saw against Miami and the LSU you are likely to see Saturday afternoon.
The concerning thing for me would be Joe Burrow’s atrocious performance against Southeastern Louisiana, when no one was tweeting about his pocket presence or decision-making at the line like they were in primetime against the Hurricanes.
Burrow finished 10 of 20 while facing minimal pressure from an FCS school, and his yardage stats were significantly inflated by an end-of-half Hail Mary. This was as bad a QB performance as you can have in this spot, and were it not for so many other luck-based factors, this could have actually been a competitive game in the second half instead of a 31-0 final.
The other thing to keep in mind with LSU is that one of its best defensive players against Miami, K’Lavon Chiasson, is now out for the season, and they’re down another offensive lineman in Adrian Magee from the five who started against the Hurricanes. Miami couldn’t take advantage of the reshuffling line, but Auburn should prove much more capable with its elite front.
There are still 9.5s available in the market, and I like Auburn in this game at anything under 10.