NCAA College Football Betting - Alabama vs. LSU

In what could be the biggest game of the regular season, Alabama Crimson Tide (#1) will travel to Tiger Stadium to take on the LSU Tigers (#5). Alabama is 8-0 and has reigned at #1 all season long. LSU is 7-1 and 2nd in the SEC West behind Alabama. Nick Saban and Les Miles have split victories in matchups as head coaches in Alabama-LSU games 3 apiece. In these games Alabama has averaged 22.2 points scored and LSU 18.3 points in these six games. Last year these two teams (very similar composition again this year) split their two meetings 1 game apiece. But Alabama’s win last year was a 21-0 victory in the Allstate BCS National Championship.

Alabama’s offense has been scoring big points all season long. Averaging 40.6 points a game, good for 11th in the country, their passing game is no pushover, but their running game is their strength. QB AJ McCarron has thrown 18 TDs this season, averaged 9.51 yards per pass and thrown 0 INT. That incredible ball security with no interceptions is slightly diminished by the fact that he has been sack 16 times this season. Alabama is ranked 22nd in the country for their run game and the primary carries are being split between two RBs. Freshman TJ Yeldon has carried for 649 yards on 93 carries and 7 TDs. Junior RB Eddie Lacy has carried for 596 yards on 109 carries, also with 7 TDs.

LSU’s offense is far from shabby but has been less productive than Alabama this year. Averaging 31 points a game the Tiger offense, also stronger on the run, will have to find some creative answers to beat the tough Crimson Tide defense. LSU QB Zach Mettenberger has averaged 7.17 yards per pass, gained 7 TDs, had 4 INTs and been sacked 18 times. LSU’s passing game is ranked 109th in the country as compared to Alabama’s 73rd ranking. Like Alabama, LSU’s run game is very strong ranked 25th in the country; there is no doubt in everyone’s mind that this will be a battle of the run. RB Kenny Hilliard has run the ball 72 times for 420 yards and 6 TDS; other RB Michael Ford has rushed 60 times for 357 yards and 3 TDs.

The offensive numbers favor Alabama, defensively both teams have a top ten defense. Alabama is 1st in the country allowing an average of only 8.1 points against while LSU is 9th in the country allowing an average of 14.6 points. That average is not far apart but what it does not show is that Alabama has not allowed more than 14 points against all season whereas LSU has allowed up to 22 points and has had only three games where the points against was under 14 points.

Alabama is the favorite to win this game at a 9.5 point spread and a game total of 42 points. Last year the regular season match between these two teams ended in a 9-6 OT victory for LSU, then, Alabama won 21-0 in the national championship. Last week Alabama beat Mississippi State (then #11) 38-7. LSU beat South Carolina (then #3) 23-21 and lost to Florida (then #10) 9-6. Alabama to win makes complete sense but to take a 9.5 spread if the game total goes to 42 points does not. It seems more reasonable that Alabama covers the spread but that the game stays under 42 points, assuming LSU can make this competitive. And LSU will certainly make this game competitive; the stats hide the fact that they have played more highly ranked teams this season and thus they are battle tested, plus they had last week off to scout and prepare for this game. National championship stakes are on the line.

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