LSU at Missouri Betting Odds & Pick: Battle for the Tiger Crown in Columbia (Saturday, Oct. 10)

LSU at Missouri Betting Odds & Pick: Battle for the Tiger Crown in Columbia (Saturday, Oct. 10) article feature image
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David Eulitt/Getty Images. Pictured: Larry Rountree III (34).

  • With Hurricane Delta on the horizon, LSU will now travel to Columbia to take on Missouri in an SEC matchup.
  • LSU's odds have dropped significantly since the venue change, but there may still be value on the total.
  • Reed Wallach breaks down the game and shares a betting pick with updated odds below.

LSU at Missouri Odds

LSU Odds -14.5 [BET NOW]
Missouri Odds +14.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline -670/+460 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 54 [BET NOW]
Time Saturday, noon ET
TV SEC Network

 


Despite a venue change, we are still going to get LSU vs. Missouri on Saturday. This game will not be taking place in the Bayou due to Hurricane Delta, but will instead be played at Faurot Field in Columbia, Missouri.

The change in home teams has flipped the betting lines substantially as LSU went from 19-point favorites to -14. The game total has remained near the opener: 54.5 as of this writing after touching 55 early in the week.

LSU still seems to be recovering from a National Title hangover — and facing unexpected travel arrangements, Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron and company may opt for a conservative game plan. Those situational circumstances lead me towards the under, but is there any value at 54.5?

LSU Tigers

There are some issues under the hood for this Tigers squad. For one, the offense has lost some of its potent efficiency with Myles Brennan starting at quarterback and replacing Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow. Brennan has thrown three interceptions in two games and has absorbed much of the burden of public scrutiny for the Tigers’ poor start to the 2020 season. However, given additional reps, Brennan’s form should improve. LSU’s offensive line has largely provided him a clean pocket and clear avenue to his receivers.

Arguably the Tigers’ greatest strength comes via generating havoc on defense and limiting havoc allowed on offense. LSU ranks inside the top 15 in havoc on both sides of the ball this season. That combination should enable LSU to control the pace of play, but the offense has not held up its end of the bargain.

The team is converting just 31% of its third downs, leading to quick drives for opposing defenses. The Tigers have been able to hit explosive plays on offense and generate a ton of havoc on the defensive end, but they have not consistently sustained long drives to impose their will. LSU’s disappointing rushing attack could be the culprit: The offense averages a pedestrian 3.4 yards per carry and an explosive run rate of 6%, which is well below the national average around 10%.

Orgeron has his team playing at a rather fast tempo, but the offense has stalled out on drives. Given the game’s change of venue on short notice, it’s conceivable that LSU may attempt to reestablish its running game to ease into the contest. Due to the threat of Hurricane Delta, this matchup shifted from a home game under the lights in Death Valley to a noon kickoff on the road in Columbia — so there’s plenty of reason to expect a vanilla start from Orgeron and company.



Missouri Tigers

Missouri ranks towards the bottom of the country in terms of havoc, but the Tigers have also lined up against two of the best offensive lines in the SEC: Alabama and Tennessee. So, I do think that there is going to be some regression in this category. That said, LSU’s offensive line has been solid so far preventing havoc, so the matchup in the trenches should be a big factor in the game outcome.

Similarly, Missouri’s red-zone defense will almost certainly improve: The Tigers have allowed 83% of drives inside their 20-yard line to result in touchdowns. That touchdown rate is not sustainable, nor is it reflective of Mizzou’s defensive skill.

Missouri’s defense has a good opportunity to rebound against Myles Brennan and LSU. Brennan has been prone to mistakes through his first few games under center, and the Tigers offense has stalled out of drives. That bodes well for a reversal in Missouri’s defensive touchdown rate inside the 20-yard line mentioned above.

On the offensive end, the newly appointed home team has been trotting out dual quarterbacks with Conner Bazelak and former TCU transfer Shawn Robinson. Reportedly, the Tigers will be sticking with the redshirt freshman Bazelak, who got most of the reps in the loss to Tennessee last Saturday.

Bazelak has shown that he is capable of getting the ball downfield, averaging more than 10 yards per attempt last Saturday. However, he now must contend against a stingy LSU secondary that has already defended 14 passes and has 15 tackles for loss in two games.

Missouri’s coaching staff may insulate its freshman QB against that daunting matchup by leaning more heavily on the running game with Larry Rountree III and Tyler Badie. It’s also not a bad idea to get the senior Rountree going early in the contest, since he’s been fairly subdued in the first two games due to Missouri’s early deficits.

Betting Analysis & Pick

The spread fell five points from open due to the venue change, yet the total hardly budged. There are other factors besides location change for moving a total; but in the context of this game, the change has me siding with the under.

LSU may be a bit deflated that they do not get a home game under the lights and instead must leave on short notice to take on an underwhelming Missouri squad.

Missouri is due for some positive bounces on the defensive end while the LSU offense has padded its stats against two porous defenses. Mizzou should get up for this one at home in Columbia and facing a high-profile SEC opponent. Meanwhile, LSU may be asleep early and stuck in a rock fight.

Pick: Under 55. Only play down to 54.

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