LSU vs. Alabama Betting Odds, Predictions: Our Top Pick for Saturday’s Marquee College Football Game

LSU vs. Alabama Betting Odds, Predictions: Our Top Pick for Saturday’s Marquee College Football Game article feature image

James Gilbert/Getty Images. Pictured: Trey Sanders.

LSU vs. Alabama Odds

Saturday, Nov. 6
7 p.m. ET
LSU Odds
-105o / -115u
Alabama Odds
-105o / -115u
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The announcement that LSU head coach Ed Orgeron would be relieved of his duties after this season came at a point in the season when the Tigers were at a crossroads.

A few more victories, and the Tigers would be bowling. A few more losses, and they'd be at the bottom of the SEC.

Athletic director Scott Woodward might have made up his mind long before the Ole Miss game after a number of events from sexual assault charges against players to a crack with the team over racial justice issues and a few coordinator hires that didn't pan out.

This didn't stop LSU players from showing up against Ole Miss in Week 9, though. The Tigers were above the national average in every Success Rate split, along with posting more explosive drives against one of the most high-powered offenses in the Rebels.

Turnovers and vanilla play in scoring opportunities led to the loss, as Max Johnson continued insufficient play at quarterback.

A bye week has left plenty of questions on the table heading into the rivalry game with Alabama. Will LSU be focused, or have the players already started to think about personal plans in the offseason?

#LSU quarterback Myles Brennan is planning to enter the transfer portal, a source confirms to @TheAthletic.

Brennan waited three years at LSU, got injured three games into his first year starting in 2020, then broke his arm before 2021 camp. @samspiegs had it first.

— Brody Miller (@BrodyAMiller) November 1, 2021

On the other side, Nick Saban might have a few axes of his own to grind when Saturday rolls around. The College Football Playoff ranking didn't have the Crimson Tide at the top, leaving room for the coach to insist his players have plenty of unfinished business for the committee to grade.

Also, the 2019 loss to an LSU team that featured Joe Burrow is still fresh on the mind of the winningest coach in history. Saban and Orgeron have a professional relationship, but this isn't one where the respect level equals sitting on the ball in the second half.

Alabama will be going for the jugular early and often against its rival.

LSU Tigers

Monday press conferences are a chance for the head coach and coordinators to review events of the prior week and provide updates. LSU is coming off a bye week, allowing Orgeron to free flow about what is wrong with the current state of LSU football.

His critical description included everything from predictability on first down to formations and defense.

That leads to one of two conclusions against the Crimson Tide. Either LSU is running plays never executed on first down and running a new defensive scheme, or Alabama will predict the play pre-snap. Neither option is a good outlook for the Tigers.

The numbers speak for themselves as far as disguising plays, as a quarterback has been under center on 88% of plays. A shotgun look or no motion has indicated a pass on at least 65% of snaps. More importantly, LSU ran just four different third-down formations in recent games against Ole Miss and Florida.

The defense has been just as predictable, running a 4-2-5 scheme calling blitz at one of the lowest rates in FBS.

The best part of the defense has been the pass rush, with BJ Ojulari leading in pressures since the season-ending injury to defensive end Ali Gaye.

What a play by BJ Ojulari

— Matthew Brune (@MatthewBrune_) October 16, 2021

While the defense struggles to stop opponents' rushing attempts, the offense might give a look to a freshman quarterback. Garrett Nussmeier took praise in training camp for having a cannon of an arm, but a tendency to do too much and generate turnovers kept him on the sidelines.

Nussmeier received a chance against Ole Miss and produced three big-time throws and no turnover-worthy plays.

If LSU wants to keep Nussmeier from hitting the transfer portal, the freshman might see even more snaps against the Crimson Tide.

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Alabama Crimson Tide

The Crimson Tide ranked second in the first set of College Football Playoff rankings.

Gary Barta, the chairman of the selection committee, indicated that after Alabama and Georgia, there was heavy debate among the remaining teams. Alabama has no room to leave any doubt in the eyes of the committee after already suffering a loss to Texas A&M.

Will the Crimson Tide be the first-ever two-loss team to make the playoff? Saban would prefer to win the SEC and avoid the question.

The biggest notes from the weekly presser came in comments about quarterback Bryce Young's lack of deep passing. Saban expressed that deep balls from his freshman quarterback are improving, as drops and overthrows have been mixed in past results.

The head coach is spot-on when citing drops as an issue. On 34 attempts over 20 yards, Young has an on-target pass drop percentage of 28%.

When Young does complete a pass downfield, targets like Jameson Williams have the ability to take it to the house.

Jameson Williams…the speed, & versatile playmaking is such a treat to watch. Not sure if he declares but if so…🔥

— Damian Parson 🏈 (@DP_NFL) October 28, 2021

The Crimson Tide have a versatile offense, electing to go heavy run against Ole Miss and heavy pass against Florida. If Alabama is going to make an effort at getting vertical with passes more than 20 yards, then the total is certainly worth a watch.

As for the defense, Alabama has had moments of exposure throughout the season.

Texas A&M posted a 58% Success Rate in passing plays and standard downs to beat of the Crimson Tide. The Alabama defense is 70th in Passing Success Rate and 99th in Finishing Drives, leading to a higher score from opponents.

When opponents get into scoring position, defensive coordinator Pete Golding has had issues calling the correct scheme to prevent points. The Crimson Tide are outside the top 100 in red-zone defense, a statistic worth watching against an LSU offense that ranks 14th in the nation in that area.

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 Success10736
Line Yards985
Pass Success2770
Pass Blocking**2669
Big Play2528
Finishing Drives1499
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Alabama Offense vs. LSU Defense
Rush Success5083
Line Yards4368
Pass Success990
Pass Blocking**6021
Big Play2073
Finishing Drives4105
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling4115
Middle 8836
SP+ Special Teams1822
Plays per Minute5094
Rush Rate46.5% (116)52.7% (83)

Data via College Football Data, FootballOutsiders, SP+, PFF and SportSource Analytics.

LSU vs. Alabama Betting Pick

The Action Network projection makes Alabama a 23-point favorite, indicating there's value on this LSU team. Oddsmakers have adjusted this line, with knowledge investors likely to fade a coach that will be unemployed by the end of the month.

That additional tax in raising the spread to 28.5 has us looking elsewhere. LSU did show up and beat Florida, but that same energy was not present when the team traveled to Ole Miss just before the bye week.

The Tigers might have the longest inactive list in all of FBS, including plenty of recognizable names on the defense. Cornerbacks Eli Ricks and Derek Stingley are out indefinitely, plus Major Burns continues to miss games with an undisclosed injury.

If Alabama wanted to pick a week out to test the deep pass, LSU ranks 106th defensively in passing downs success rate. Saban knows every style point will matter if the Crimson Tide lose the SEC Championship game.

Expect Alabama to run LSU up and down the catwalk in front of the College Football Playoff committee through the first half to secure that second spot for another week.

Pick: 1H Over 34.5 or Better

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