Auburn vs. LSU Pick Against the Spread 10/2/21
When: Saturday, October 2, 9 p.m.
Where: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, La.
Point Spread: AUB +3.5/LSU -3.5 (GTBets - Deposit $100 get $100 FREE! Deposit $500 get $500 FREE!)
Total: O/U 54.5
The annual battle of SEC West Tigers features a pair of teams who haven’t looked all that impressive to this point, as LSU and Auburn both lost their only tests of the season against Power 5 non-conference opponents. LSU did at least regain a measure of stability by going to Starkville and beating Mississippi State, but things are a lot less straightforward at Auburn, where Bo Nix might very well have lost his starting quarterback job.
For now, Nix remains the starter over former LSU quarterback T.J. Finley. But, that could easily change at kickoff or even during the game, as Auburn coach Bryan Harsin has shown no hesitation in swapping out one quarterback for another if the starter isn’t getting the job done. With LSU looking more stable, the Bayou Bengals look like they’ve got an edge here — especially because they likely haven’t forgotten getting trounced 48-11 a year ago at Auburn.
How the Public is Betting the Auburn/LSU Game
The public thinks that Auburn’s got the edge on the LSU defense, as it’s pushed the total up from 53 to 54.5 and has the Tigers down to +3.5 after they started at +4. Tickets are split almost evenly, as 52 percent came in on LSU.
Wide receiver TarVarish Dawson Jr. (undisclosed) is questionable. Defensive tackle Jeremiah Wright (knee) is out.
Wide receiver Jontre Kirklin (academics), defensive end Soni Fanua (academics), tackle Cameron Wire (knee), cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. (foot), and tackle Austin Deculus (shoulder) are questionable. Defensive back Sage Ryan (undisclosed), wide receiver Chris Hilton Jr. (undisclosed), defensive end Andre Anthony (knee), defensive end Greg Logan (foot), running back John Emery Jr. (academics), and quarterback Myles Brennan (arm) are out.
When Auburn Has the Ball
The biggest concern with the orange-and-blue Tigers is who is going to be under center, and can they put up a better showing than they did against Georgia State? Auburn really couldn’t get going until the defense, and special teams saved the day with a blocked punt and an interception return for a touchdown, making the 10-point margin look a lot worse than it really was. Jarquez Hunter did good work against the Panthers’ run defense, but Auburn just didn’t give him enough of a workload to take advantage.
Instead, the Tigers seemed intent on using the Georgia State game to find out if they could count on a quarterback. That’s probably the right approach, considering that Auburn really doesn’t have much of a chance to win the SEC West this year, but how it works in the short term is anyone’s guess. Auburn really won’t be able to get away with experimenting against SEC defenses, and whether Harsin chooses to prioritize the short-term of trying to beat LSU or the long-term of trying to build his program will determine how the Tigers approach this game. Odds are, Nix will give way to Finley, whether or not that’s the right move for Auburn.
When LSU Has the Ball
When you get outrushed by Mississippi State, something has gone seriously wrong with your running game. LSU just isn’t moving the ball on the ground right now, which means that a lot of pressure is on Max Johnson’s shoulders in the passing game.
Fortunately for the Bayou Bengals, the backup has handled it well so far. The Tigers got past Mississippi State on the strength of four touchdown passes from Johnson, three of which came on shot plays of longer than 40 yards. That’s both a good sign for the offense that it can score from anywhere and a bad sign that it cannot sustain drives. The Tigers had five punts and an interception on their other drives, only one of which lasted longer than seven plays. With neither Corey Kiner nor Tyrion Davis-Price able to go anywhere on the ground, everything is in the hands of the passing attack.
When the Tigers can hit the big plays, they tend to put up a lot of points quickly. When they don’t, they tend to go three-and-out quickly.
Auburn doesn’t like to be an underdog. The orange-and-blue Tigers have failed to cover in five straight games as an underdog, and they’re 0-4 as a dog when they go on the road. However, historically, this is a series that has been kind to underdogs, so this might be the one exception. The dog has covered in four of the past five matchups, and this game usually comes down to the final drive.
When it’s played in Tiger Stadium, points are usually part of the equation. The under has cashed in four of the past five matchups, but three of those games were played at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The over is 4-1 in the past five meetings in Baton Rouge, with 55 or more usually the expectation here.
It’s going to be a rotten week weather-wise in Louisiana, but things should clear up Friday night and leave calm skies for the teams when they play on Saturday night. Look for temperatures in the low 70s on a partly cloudy evening with wind blowing at six miles per hour.
Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread
LSU seems to be the more stable team right now, even if the Bayou Bengals can’t move the ball on the ground. With Auburn facing a quarterback controversy, I don’t want any part of Harsin’s crew in a game I expect to be low-scoring.
I’ll wait a bit to see if I can get LSU under the hook, but I’m backing the Bayou Bengals here. Bet your Week 5 college football picks for FREE by taking advantage of a 100% REAL CASH bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $1000 at Betnow!