LSU 2019 Betting Guide: Can New Spread Offense Makes Tigers a National Title Threat?
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Joe Burrow
LSU 2019 Betting Odds
- National Title: 25-1
- To Win SEC: 10-1
- To Make The Playoff: 6-1
- Win Total: 9
LSU Schedule, Projected Spreads
What to Like about LSU
Fielding one of the best defenses in the nation is a yearly staple at LSU. This season should be no different, but what will turn LSU from SEC West heavyweight to national title contender is an explosive offense.
There was a butterfly like metamorphosis with the LSU offense last year, starting with a 33-17 victory over Miami. That version of LSU feasted on a typical formula of defensive touchdowns, just 24 passing attempts and more than 30 efficient rushing attempts.
Joe Burrow, who had plenty of comebacks through the season but no magnificent statistical efforts, threw for 394 yards on 34 attempts with four passing touchdowns all on explosive plays.
The writing was on the wall for head coach Ed Orgeron — if LSU wants to beat Alabama and compete for a national title, the passing game would need to be more intimidating and explosive.
The Tigers have lost the past three games against the Crimson Tide by a combined 63-10.
LSU hired Joe Brady as the passing game coordinator from the New Orleans Saints. Brady began his career as a grad assistant under Joe Moorhead at Penn State.
Coach O was quick to point out that LSU was now a spread team, a scheme which Burrow (formerly at Ohio State) was comfortable with.
— The Action Network Podcast (@ActionNetPod) August 12, 2019
LSU is 15th overall in returning production, losing just running back Nick Brossette on offense.
The defense is loaded once again with blue chip talent to replace two starters that moved on to the NFL in cornerback Greedy Williams and linebacker Devin White.
What Could Cause Problems
The offensive line returns seven players with 56 combined starts from last season, but the unit had issues in advanced statistics. The horses up front for the Tigers had a stuff rate of 91st and a sack rate of 101st. This line was not successful in short yard rush attempts or keeping Burrow clean in passing situations.
There have been a few banged up offensive lineman the past three weeks, as Damien Lewis and Chasen Hines have sat with injuries through camp. Last week saw the ankle injury of Kardell Thomas, which will sideline the freshman for two months.
The special teams unit ranked No. 3 in S&P+ last season, but takes a huge hit with the loss of Cole Tracy. The place kicker made every PAT and drilled 29 field goals on 33 attempts. including 9 of 12 from at least 40 yards.
Freshman kicker Cade York has all the accolades to take the job, but may be a huge factor in an early season trip to Texas in what should be a close game.
All eyes are on a schedule that includes Texas in non-conference play. As of this writing, the point spread can be found anywhere from LSU -1 at Westgate in Las Vegas to LSU -4 in New Jersey-based FanDuel.
Texas has one of the lowest returning production ranks and little depth. Expect LSU to attack a Longhorns defense that was 67th in opponent passing efficiency.
While most of the SEC’s best teams come to Baton Rouge, LSU will travel to Tuscaloosa to face the Crimson Tide.
Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda will look to solve an Alabama offense that threw up 576 total yards in Baton Rouge last season.
Bets to Watch
No play can be suggested on the total, as the Action Network projection sits at 8.7. But the LSU power rating is going to be one that moves dramatically through September.
If the spread offense designed by Joe Brady is highly success against Texas, then the Tigers will be power-rated higher as a national contender. If the offensive line has too many issues between depth and efficiency, LSU may fall in my ratings with a loss in Austin.
Is there value in a 10-1 prop for the SEC? LSU will more than likely need to win consecutive games against Mississippi State, Auburn and Alabama. A running parlay of those games project to pay 14-1, and that number does not include a potential SEC Championship game against Georgia or Florida. So that’s a pass.
The only bet which can be recommended is a play on the under and Georgia Southern spread in Week 1. As mentioned on the SEC West Action Network podcast, LSU will show nothing against Georgia Southern in preparation for Texas.
Expect plenty of handoffs, a minimum amount of RPO play calling for Joe Burrow in the spread and plenty of clock burn against the Eagles triple-option offense.