No. 19 LSU Tigers (6-2 SU, 3-4-1 ATS) vs. No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (8-0 SU, 4-4 ATS)
College Football Week 10
Date/Time: Saturday November 4th, 2017. 8:00PM (EST)
Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium Tuscaloosa, A.L.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: LSU +21/ALA -21
Over/Under Total: TBA
The top ranked Alabama Crimson Tide return to action this week when they battle no. 19 LSU inside Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide are fresh off a bye week as they prepare for a difficult stretch that features 3 ranked teams in their final 4 games of the season concluding with the infamous Iron Bowl. For this weeks game, Alabama will faceoff with an LSU team that is trending up. The Tigers have won 3 straight conference games since that embarrassing loss to Troy including an impressive 27-23 victory over no. 10 Auburn. With just 1 conference loss, the Tigers could take complete control of the SEC West if they were to upset the Crimson Tide on Saturday.
During the early part of the Nick Saban era at Alabama, LSU and Alabama were among the biggest rivalries in the country. Each year, LSU and Alabama met it seemed to carry SEC and National Championship type of implications. In fact, you would have to go back to 2006 to find the last time at least one of these teams has not been ranked inside the top 5. During the early years, the Tigers got the better of the Crimson Tide winning the first 3 of 5 meetings. However, it has been all Alabama since as the Crimson Tide have won 6 straight games over the Tigers.
To LSUs credit, even though they have fell to the Crimson Tide in 6 straight years they have still be very competitive. Only once has this game gotten out of hand and the game has been decided by 10 points or less on 4 occasions. For LSU to keep things competitive yet again on Saturday, it all starts with their defense. Offensively, this team still resembles their appearance under former Head Coach Les Miles which highlighted a power running attack yet struggled to find success throwing the football.
Current Head Coach Ed Orgeron has had similar marks with the offense currently averaging 216 yards (26th in FBS) per game on the ground with just 201 yards (84th in FBS) through the air. Running backs Derrius Guice and Darrel Williams provide an excellent 1-2 punch from the back field that has combined for nearly 1,200 yards with 11 touchdowns on the season. Quarterback Danny Etling has improved completing 60% passing for just 1,452 yards with 9 scores and just 1 pick. However, this offense still lacks explosiveness in the passing game whether it is the product of quarterback play or simple playcalling.
Therefore for LSU contend in this game, it all starts with the defense. The Tigers have played well yielding just 319 yards per game which is the 22nd best mark in college football. This week LSUs physical toughness and strength within the trenches will be put to the test by a dynamic Alabama rushing attack. The Crimson Tides power rushing attack has produced 298 yards per game which is the 8th best mark in college football and in reality the 3rd best mark among traditional offenses (exclude triple option offenses). Between running backs Damien Harris, Bo Scarbrough, and quarterback Jalen Hurts, Alabama has racked up 22 touchdowns on the ground. Harris leads the team with 697 yards on the ground with 10 touchdowns and Scarbrough has averaged nearly 5 yards per carry in a similar workload.
Like LSU, Alabama does not rely on their passing attack nor is the quarterback Jalen Hurts the most efficient passer. Similar to Etlings stat line, Hurts has hit 62% passing for just 1,223 yards with 9 scores and just 1 pick. Fortunately for Alabama, their running game and defense has been so dominate that they rarely need big production from the quarterback position. I dont necessarily see either team abandoning their style of play this week therefore both teams will expect big performances from the defense and running game to lead them to victory.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: These Alabama and LSU games are typically close games because the style of play is so similar. Both teams are very physical, rely on defense, and primarily focus towards running the football. However what you may not know is that LSU has only covered the spread once in their last 6 games against Alabama. I think Alabamas defense will be the difference here and I am going to surprisingly take the points. I believe most will be on LSU given the history of these games but I also would not be surprised to see LSUs offense struggle heavily. Take Alabama -21. - Bet this game and all your sports bets at 5Dimes! Why should you switch? Because you’re being overcharged for odds! Your book is socking you -110. Why pay that hefty price when you can bet at the lower price of -105? This saves you $5 for every $100 you bet and $50 for every $1000 you wager. Added up over time, this amounts to a massive amount of cash you’re pissing away. Plus, 5Dimes is simply better. More wagers, teasers up to 20 points, parlays up to 25 teams, faster payouts. It doesn’t make any sense to bet anywhere else! Get signed up today by clicking here!