No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (8-0 SU, 6-2 ATS) vs. No. 15 LSU Tigers (5-2 SU, 3-4 ATS)
College Football Week 10
Date/Time: Saturday November 5th, 2016. 8:00PM (EST)
Where: Tiger Stadium Baton Rouge, L.A.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: ALA -7.5/LSU +7.5
Over/Under Total: 46.5
One of the biggest questions this season is can anyone beat the top ranked Alabama Crimson Tide? Despite challenges from ranked opponents such as USC, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Texas A&M, the Crimson Tide have remained unchallenged for the most part. Alabamaís closest win against those teams was a 19 point victory over Arkansas. The Crimson Tide blew away USC by 46 points, blew out Tennessee by 39 points, and manhandled Texas A&M in a 33-14 victory. However, there is one challenge that they have not conquered this season that may be the biggest test of them all and that is a road trip to Baton Rouge on a Saturday night. We will find out of the top ranked Crimson Tide can remain unbeaten this Saturday when they battle the no. 15 LSU Tigers in Death Valley.
Currently Alabama is listed as 7.5 favorites over an LSU team that has really turned things around in recent weeks. Since the loss to Auburn that caused Les Miles to lose his job, the Tigers have posted 3 straight victories including a 38-21 victory over no. 23 Ole Miss two weeks ago. Ironically, it was the Rebels that gave Alabama their biggest scare of the season earlier this year. Instead the Tigers manhandled Ole Miss holding their potent offense to just 325 total yards while the offense led by Leonard Fournette flourished. Fournette actually had his biggest outing of the year against the Rebels racking up 284 yards and 3 touchdowns on just 16 carries.
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However, this entire LSU team has just played much better since Coach Ed Orgeron took over. Instead of the very conservative rushing approach that the team often abided by under Miles, Orgeron has opened the playbook allowing junior quarterback Danny Etling to go down the field more. Since that Auburn loss, Etling has hit 64% of his passes for more than 700 yards with 4 scores and just 2 picks in the 3 games since. As a trickle-down effect, opposing defenses have not been able to sell out on the run which has allowed guys like Fournette and sophomore running back Derrius Guice big opportunities in the running game.
The question this week becomes can LSUís newfound offensive momentum stay intact against one of the best defenses in the country. Alabama currently ranks 4th overall giving up just 274 yards per game and I have mentioned several times that they lead the entire country by a large margin in non-offensive touchdowns. I think LSUís defense is right there with Alabama in terms of talent. The Tigers have allowed just 317 yards per game this season as the 13th best group overall. While they may not have the same amount of defensive scores to their resume, I would actually give them the edge over Alabamaís defense against the pass.
The problem with that statement is that Alabama still has the best offense that will be on the field Saturday night. Quarterback Jalen Hurts is getting better as a passer and is still very dangerous running the football. Hurts actually leads the team with 9 touchdowns on the ground this season. Meanwhile Damien Harris leads the team with 700 yards on the ground. As a unit, Alabama ranked 8th in the FBS averaging 43.9 points per game. While that is very impressive, much of those scoring totals can be accredited to the defense that has continuously come up with big turnovers on the short side of the field and big plays on special teams. For there to be a possibility of an upset this Saturday night, LSU has to avoid those critical turnovers and not give this Alabama offense any short field opportunities.
Jay's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: For the record, LSU 54-5 SU at Tiger Stadium in night games since 2005. Not only is this one of the biggest games in recent memory but this could win Orgeron the Head Coaching job if he can deliver. I will take my chances with LSU and the points as they will look to pull out all stops in this game.
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Expert College Football Picks - Free premium college foots plays against the spread from expert handicappers from around the web from week 1 through the National Championship.
Underdog of the Week Pick - We sort through it all and find out which University is getting "too many points" this week. If there was a Heisman Trophy for picking underdogs, we'd be a frontrunner. Expect a 57%+ winning percentage with these picks as we've got a keen ear for loud barking dogs.
Line Movement - NCAA football lines open early in the week and often times move up or down based on wagering activity, injuries to key players and weather. We decipher whether it's square or wiseguy action and predict the point spread winner based on value.
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Trends - Despite what you have been told or read on tout sites, the trend ain't your friend. We however turn the tables and fade the almighty trend for what should be some great profits over time.
2016/2017 College Football Predictions - Bob gives his picks to win each major conference. At the end, he gives his prediction on who thinks will win the 2017 National Championship game at Raymond James Stadium on January 9th.
2016 Heisman Trophy Predictions - DeShaun Watson is favored to win the award at +575 with Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey (+575) and LSU RB Leonard Fournette (+850) close behind. However, the real value may be with Oregon Ducks RB Royce Freeman at 40/1.
2016-2017 College Football Championship Predictions - NCAA football experts have the National Championship as a 4-horse race which includes Bama at +665, Clemson +725, LSU +900 and Ohio State +1075. Teams on teh bubble include Oklahoma at +1200, Michigan +1300 and FSU at +1350. Jay gives his pick to win it all along with how his top 15 rankings for season's end. Get your bets in early before your favorite team's line drops!
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Heisman Trophy Betting Odds - Clemson QB DeShaun Watson will have the ball in his hands a TON and he plays on a good team so he's the obvious favorite to win the award this year at +575. Leonard Fournette at 8.5/1 looks like he could play in the NFL right now. Bama WR Calvin Ridley brings experience and big-time playmaking ability and will be featured on National TV a bunch, giving him a legit darkhorse shot. It's unlikely to happen as offensive players usually win this honor, but Michigan DB Jabrill Peppers (75-1) and Texas AM DT Myles Garret (110-1) could be in the running as well. It might be a good year to bet more than one prediction!
Odds to Win the 2016 College Football Championship - The Alabama Crimson Tide are favored to be repeat winners of the National Championship this year at +700 followed by Ohio St. at +750 and Clemson at +800. Things drop off a bit with the Michigan Wolverines, LSU Tigers and Oklahoma Sooners all coming in at +1200. Check out your favorite school's odds here!