LSU vs Alabama Odds, Pick, Prediction: How to Bet Top-15 SEC Showdown

LSU vs Alabama Odds, Pick, Prediction: How to Bet Top-15 SEC Showdown article feature image

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Alabama head coach Nick Saban.

It's time to dive into the LSU vs. Alabama odds and make a pick and prediction.

LSU Tigers vs Alabama Crimson Tide Odds

November 4
7:45 p.m. ET
LSU Odds
Point SpreadTotalML
-110o / -110u
Alabama Odds
Point SpreadTotalML
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

Is there another rivalry in college football that delivers more to the college football consumer than LSU and Alabama?

Brian Kelly took over head-coaching duties in Baton Rouge a season ago, rebuilding the Tigers through the portal. The former Notre Dame coach delivered, beating Alabama in overtime to represent the West Division in the SEC Championship.

Heading to overtime is par for the course in this series. Dating back to 2005, five of the 18 iterations of this game in November have gone to overtime.

Alabama will be seeking revenge, as this game serves as a knockout for the SEC Championship and College Football Playoff.

The Crimson Tide are undefeated in the conference standings, suffering a loss in nonconference bout against Texas. LSU, meanwhile, previously lost to Ole Miss in conference play, so a victory for the Tigers would create a three-way tie at the top of the SEC West.

If College Football Playoff and Heisman markets are seeking chaos, an LSU victory would be the first domino.

Check out our NCAAF Betting Hub for more college football previews, predictions, news and analysis.

LSU Tigers

The worst offensive performance for LSU was the first game out of the gate, when it scored 24 points against Florida State. The Tigers rank second in the country in points per game, averaging 43.9 with an offense led by quarterback Jayden Daniels.

The Arizona State transfer spent the offseason bulking up for the inside zone run game LSU would put on film this season. The Tigers are the No. 1 offense in several categories, starting with Rushing Success Rate and Quality Drives.

Along with Notre Dame transfer Logan Diggs, the inside zone rushing attack from Daniels is one of the biggest issues for Alabama to resolve.

While the rushing attack leads the nation, LSU has been one of the most explosive teams in passing the ball.

Daniels leads an offense that's the best overall in Passing Downs Success Rate and ranks 25th in pass explosives.

Wide receiver Malik Nabers has one of the highest yards per route run in the nation at 3.7, splitting positions on the field between slot to wideout.

#LSU WR Malik Nabers has an innate ability to find soft spots in zone coverage and exploit it with his explosiveness after the catch. Turns it into another gear in an instant.

Sinks smoothly in and out of his routes (Jayden Daniels is playing at a high level too). Fun prospect.

— Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson) October 26, 2023

The LSU offense has needed to score over 40 points a game based on necessity, as the defense has struggled to rank inside the top 100 in the most important categories.

Defensive coordinator Matt House has no answers for a unit that has not been able to stop the rush or keep opposing offenses off the scoreboard.

The hybrid 3-4 and 3-3-5 scheme ranks outside the top 100 in Defensive Pass and Rush Expected Points.

More importantly, LSU ranks 117th in Defensive Finishing Drives, a number that dips even further to 130th in red-zone efficiency.

Alabama Crimson Tide

Similar to the Tigers, Alabama suffered an early nonconference loss that has players and staffers scrambling for an identity.

The Crimson Tide traveled to USF in Week 3 with starting quarterback Jalen Milroe benched for Ty Simpson and Tyler Buchner.

Milroe was named the permanent starter after the game and has logged nearly every pass attempt since Week 4. The third-year quarterback has been on-point since the benching, creating a 10:4 ratio of big-time throws to turnover-worthy plays.

The deep ball from Milroe has been most impressive, generating 17 big-time throws, 10 touchdowns and zero interceptions.

Alabama is the top team in the country in creating explosives in passing downs. Milroe has an arsenal of weapons averaging more than two yards per route run in Isaiah Bond, Jermaine Burton and Kobe Prentice.

When Alabama isn't hitting targets downfield, Milroe has run inside zone with an average Success Rate. The offensive line has stepped up after early-season mishaps, grading out as the eighth-best unit in run blocking, per PFF.

While the offense has worked to create an identity all season, defensive coordinator Kevin Steele has coached a defense that's one of the best in the nation against the run and pass.

Alabama boasts the top-ranked secondary in coverage grading and also supplies a top-10 pass rush in the front seven.

No matter what package the Crimson Tide put on the field, nothing but success and negative plays for the opponent have come in attempted pass plays.

LSU vs Alabama

Matchup Analysis

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

LSU Offense vs Alabama Defense
Rush Success110
Line Yards271
Pass Success625
Finishing Drives356
Quality Drives121
Alabama Offense vs LSU Defense
Rush Success89103
Line Yards4887
Pass Success6094
Finishing Drives46117
Quality Drives8594
Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling467
PFF Coverage911
Special Teams SP+7510
Middle 876
Seconds per Play27.0 (69)29.1 (104)
Rush Rate53.9% (55)63.3% (21)

LSU vs Alabama

Pick, Prediction

The handicap in Alabama-LSU may come down to the defense that's best suited to stop inside zone.

Both Milroe and Daniels have been excellent in the run package and have found a way to hit hot-read slants in the passing game if the rush lanes aren't available.

Starting with Alabama, the Tide have seen inside zone more than any other run concept from opponents.

Alabama rotates between six to eight players in the box to defend inside zone, generating a 59% Success Rate against the run scheme. The Crimson Tide are 10th nationally in defending rush explosives, allowing a negative expected points value to opponents that attempt inside zone.

Like Alabama, the LSU defense has seen inside zone the most of any run concept this season. However, the Tigers' Success Rate and explosiveness numbers differ from the Tide against this run scheme.

There's a stark contrast in Success Rate for each defense against inside zone, with Alabama posting a 59% Success Rate to LSU at 44%.

The Crimson Tide have a large advantage in stopping Daniels and Diggs with inside zone rushing attempts, but LSU's ability to get the ball to Nabers on the hot read is critical. The third-year target has spent 138 snaps in the slot compared to 139 out wide.

Coverage inside the hash marks within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage will be paramount for Alabama, as Nabers has caught 17-of-22 balls with 130 yards after the catch in that area.

Alabama slot cornerback Terrion Arnold has cleared concussion protocol and resumed practices after the Tennessee game. Arnold is one of the highest-graded slot cornerbacks in the nation, allowing just over half of his 38 targets to end in a completion while recording seven forced incompletions.

Safety Malachi Moore is also one of the highest-graded defensive backs in the nation, lining up in the slot in 316 of his 469 snaps this season. Alabama will need every bit of its high coverage marks to keep LSU's passing offense from scoring.

LSU's defense is poor in stopping inside zone rushing attempts, but will the Tigers be able to defend Milroe's deep ball? The Tigers' secondary ranks 91st in coverage grading while producing a mark 107th rank in Passing Downs Success Rate, which does not bode well for them.

Of the top 200 graded cornerbacks and safeties in PFF's database, LSU does not list a single player.

Action Network sets this game at Alabama -7 with a total of 60. While the total in the market is spot on with the projection, there's a signal that side wagers should fall on the Crimson Tide.

Alabama has the better defense defending inside zone and can cover Nabers' feasting area between the hash marks.

Look for an Alabama victory and cover, as the Tide start to look forward to Atlanta and the SEC Championship.

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