College Football Betting Odds & Picks: Alabama vs. LSU (Saturday, Dec. 5)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: LSU Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide football teams.
- One year after their game went a long way in deciding the national champion, Alabama is nearly a 30-point favorite against LSU.
- The Crimson Tide offense is firing on all cylinders with Heisman candidate Mac Jones under center.
- Collin Wilson lays out how he’s betting on the Tide and against the Tigers.
Alabama vs. LSU Odds
|Alabama Odds||-29.5 [BET NOW]|
|LSU Odds||+29.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-4000 / +1260 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||67.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
Alabama Crimson Tide
Even in the absence of head coach Nick Saban, Alabama prevented a late Auburn scramble from covering the spread in the Iron Bowl. Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian did not miss a beat as the acting head coach, as the offense gained 59% of available yards and posted a 62% Success Rate on standard downs. Quarterback Mac Jones was Heisman-like in the pocket, throwing for over 300 yards with five touchdowns.
This is basically a perfect throw from Mac Jones. pic.twitter.com/dFwTItyzZq
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) November 28, 2020
Saban was estimated to be worth two points to the spread, but most gamblers feel that his roots as a defensive coach were most beneficial to coordinator Pete Golding. The Crimson Tide defense turned up the heat on Bo Nix by forcing two interceptions and recording eight tackles for loss. Alabama is top-30 in defensive Havoc with a pass coverage rank of eighth, per Pro Football Focus.
The Tigers started the week with the news of their best wide receiver opting out of the season. Terrace Marshall was the highest-graded receiver on the team despite dropping seven passes on the season. The timing of the announcement was peculiar considering his locker room status as a team leader, specifically pulling the team together before its win over Arkansas.
Sloppy conditions against Texas A&M and constant poorly thrown passes may have helped Marshall in the decision to move on. Both TJ Finley and Max Johnson saw action at quarterback against the Aggies, as head coach Ed Orgeron cited poor conditions for the use of Johnson. With clear conditions against Alabama, Finley is expected to receive the start.
No matter who gets the call, the Tigers’ offense is a shade of the national championship team led by Joe Burrow and passing game coordinator Joe Brady. LSU ranks 115th in passing expected points and a staggering 85th in Offensive Finishing Drives.
Betting Analysis & Pick
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The LSU defense saw major improvements against Texas A&M. After allowing nine passes for 20 yards or more against Arkansas and Auburn, LSU allowed didn’t allow an explosive pass against the Aggies. Missed tackles plagued the Tigers all season, but the effort against Texas A&M saw just five the entire game. Of course, the previous teams were not Alabama, and the field conditions will not be a factor come Saturday.
During the LSU press conference on Monday, Orgeron repeated that the play-action pass was the go-to play for Sarkisian. The Tigers may scheme to keep defenders out of the box and prevent the explosive pass, but that could lead to a monster day from Tide running back Najee Harris.
LSU ranks 64th in Line Yards and 78th in tackling, but if the safeties begin to creep, Alabama will take advantage. Jones is the best play-action passer in all of FBS football with a completion percentage of 76% and an NFL rating that falls just below BYU’s Zach Wilson.
Alabama is going to be able to name its score while attempting to pitch a shutout defensively. Considering the ACC is shortening Notre Dame and Clemson’s regular season, the SEC may do the same for Alabama in preparation for the SEC Championship.
Pick: Alabama -17 1H or better | LSU Team Total Under 17