LSU vs. Oklahoma Odds, Picks, Spread: Prediction, Betting Line for 2019 College Football Playoff Semifinal
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Joe Burrow
- LSU is a 12-point betting favorite over Oklahoma in the 2019 College Football Playoff semifinals.
- LSU and Oklahoma both boast elite offenses, but get things done in different ways. The Sooners have the most efficient rushing attack in the country, while LSU has a dynamic passing attack.
- See our experts' LSU vs. Oklahoma picks for the College Football Playoff below.
LSU vs. Oklahoma Odds, Picks for College Football Playoff
- Odds: LSU -13
- Over/Under: 76
- Time: 4 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
- Location: Atlanta, Ga.
The most fun games to bet on? High totals and moderately high spreads. There’s room for so much gambling action and sometimes, heartbreak.
That’s what we’ve got Saturday between LSU and Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff semifinals.
The Tigers boast a dynamic passing offense behind Heisman winner Joe Burrow, while Oklahoma’s offense was as efficient as ever behind quarterback Jalen Hurts.
Can the Sooners get enough stops to keep pace with LSU? Let’s dive in.
Odds as of Friday night and via DraftKings, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
College Football Playoff Line Movement
This line opened in single digits offshore, but an avalanche of money drove the Tigers to double digits. Circa Sports opened -11 before the line settled at -13.5 across the betting market.
Oklahoma suspension news came down a week before Christmas, but the line had already moved on speculation, so there wasn’t a material change.
LSU is getting 65% of bets and 67% of money as of Friday night. The line is trending toward +14, but has been bet down to +13.5 nearly ever time it’s reached two touchdowns. — Steve Petrella
Latest Peach Bowl Injury & Suspension News
Oklahoma will be without defensive end Ronnie Perkins, running back Rhamondre Stevenson and wide receiver Trejan Bridges due to suspensions as a result of a failed drug test.
Stevenson averaged 8.0 yards per carry with 515 yards and six touchdowns as a backup running back. Perkins may be the biggest loss though, as the sophomore was seventh in tackles but had a team-high six sacks.
Oklahoma ranks 10th in defensive havoc, with a healthy portion of the contributions coming from tackles for loss. Perkins and his 13.5 TFL will be sorely missed.
For LSU, the big injury question mark is running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (hamstring).
He’s balled out in the biggest games this year, rushing for more than 1,200 yards and 16 touchdowns, and has turned into an excellent receiving back. He’s averaging 6.2 receptions and 55 receiving yards per game over his last five contests.
Backup RBs Tyrion Davis-Price and John Emery Jr. have caught just four passes out of the backfield since the beginning of November. — Collin Wilson
Oklahoma Defense Is Improved, But How Much?
The Oklahoma defense is much better under defensive coordinator Alex Grinch, ranking top 45 in both passing and rushing success rate. But the “Speed D” still gives up tons of big plays.
A top 10 rank in stuff rate may prevent the LSU ground game from getting going, especially if Edwards-Helaire sits due to a hamstring injury.
But no matter if the Sooners defense brings heat or disguises downfield coverage, LSU wide receivers Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase will dominate an Oklahoma back seven that is 87th against passing explosiveness. — Collin Wilson
Pay Attention to Pace
College football’s spread and tempo revolution has made us associate elite offenses with fast tempos. Sure, it feels like Oklahoma is moving down the field with pace because the Sooners are gaining 12 yards at a time. But they’ve actually been playing pretty slow this season.
Oklahoma ranks 94th nationally in plays per second and 80th in plays per game.
I don’t think Oklahoma wants to get in a track meet with LSU. They’re going to run the ball with efficiency like always, and if the Sooners can move the ball, they’ll keep LSU’s offense off the field.
If Oklahoma trails early or at half, I want nothing to do with a live under. If it’s a tight game and the Sooners are moving the ball, I’ll definitely be looking at a live under because possessions should be more limited. — Steve Petrella
Is This Number Right?
The Action Network projection is LSU -8, but Oklahoma needs a clean boxscore from a turnover perspective to live up to that number.
Jalen Hurts has just not been careful with the ball — the Sooners’ rank outside the top 100 in actual turnover margin and expected turnover margin. So their misfortunes against Baylor and TCU, for example, have not been a product of bad luck.
Oklahoma needs a few things to fall its way.
- Edwards-Helaire’s limitations due to injury may remove Joe Burrow’s primary source of check downs. This may lead to an LSU decrease in third down conversions.
- The Sooners can cover with a clean game. While LSU is top 15 in defensive havoc, that number is completely derived from tackles for loss and passes defensed. The Tigers are the best in the nation at pass breakups and passes defensed, with a top 10 rank in interceptions. The one area LSU lacks in havoc is forced fumbles.
- It’s possible that Hurts has a big game on the ground. Oklahoma is top 10 in line yards and that should lead to success on the ground.
Ultimately, LSU will take advantage of havoc-less Sooners defense that ranks 83rd in finishing drives to win the game.
But my money will be on Oklahoma becoming only the second underdog in College Football Playoff history to cover the spread but not win the game (the Sooners did it last year). The offense will do just enough to cover +14. — Collin Wilson
Collin’s Pick: Oklahoma +14 or better
Since I make this right around LSU -10, I’d certainly jump at the opportunity to bet Oklahoma at a flat +14 or better.
I’m not sure if any defense can slow down Joe Burrow and the Tigers, and the Sooners almost certainly won’t, but I do think Lincoln Riley, Jalen Hurts and that extremely efficient Oklahoma offense can move the ball against LSU.
Catching two touchdowns would be too good to pass up — even if I think LSU will eventually win it all. — Stuckey
Stuckey’s Pick: Oklahoma +14 or better
Miller: Why I Like the Over
Do I think Oklahoma has a very good chance of winning this game? No. Are there still some really interesting betting angles that we can profit from? Of course. I think the spread is too inflated, and I think the over is worth a look as well even though it’s sitting the ghastly number of 76.
Hurts is going to have to play the best game of his career if Oklahoma is going to win. But he’ll need to play very well just to make sure his Sooners have a chance to pull off the upset.
We know all about Oklahoma’s offense.
- First in yards per play,
- First and second in rushing and passing success rate
- First in explosive plays
- Second in overall efficiency
The only soft spot on the offense is Hurts’ propensity to turn the ball over.
The Sooners haven’t seen a defense like LSU’s, but that doesn’t mean the Tigers are a force that can’t be overcame. Oklahoma plays in the Big 12, so the toughest defense they’ve had to matchup with is Baylor.
The Bears clearly gave OU some trouble, but they present a different type of defense than LSU. While they are 20th and 15th in rushing and passing success rate respectively, the Tigers tend to give up explosive plays, particularly in the air.
Open field tackling has also been a huge problem for LSU, and Oklahoma certainly has the athletes to make you miss in space.
Oklahoma’s defense is like a dollar store version of LSU’s. They’re solid in terms of success rate, but the Sooners are downright awful in defending explosive plays. That’s a tough set of skills to have against Joe Burrow and the best passing attack in the nation.
As double-digit underdog, the OU defense will have to dial up some risky plays to try and get a turnover or two. This will lead to even more chunk plays from the LSU offense.
My power ratings make this game LSU -7.5, so I think there is value on Oklahoma. I’m hesitant to pull the trigger at this point because of how poorly the Sooners matchup up with LSU’s offense.
At this point, I’m playing the over in hopes that Hurts, CeeDee Lamb, and Kennedy Brooks will get enough points on the board to have this thing in the 80’s. — Kyle Miller
Pick: Over 76