LSU Vs. North Carolina: College Football Predictions with Betting Odds
by Robert Ferringo - 9/3/2010
BREAKING NEWS: (updated 9/3 11 a.m.)
Several news outlets are reporting that North Carolina will be without 12 players due to suspension or other measures when they face LSU this Saturday. Marvin Austen, Robert Quinn, Michael McAdoo, Kendric Burney, Charles Brown and Greg Little were all suspended. Shaun Draughn, Ryan Houston, Brian Gupton, Norris Searcy, Jon Smith and Linwan Euwell are being held out. These are key players and all of this severely hinders North Carolina’s chances to get a win in this game with LSU. The line has adjusted to this news and the new odds on this game are LSU -7.5 with a total of 43.5.
There are a million different methods of college football handicapping and college football betting. There are any number of stats, angles, trends, systems and other fundamental things that a handicapper can use to determine value, rate a play, and then make a college football prediction and lay down some cash to back it up.
But one tried-and-true that I know of involves at least knowing who is playing when you make your wager.
No. 18 North Carolina will take on No. 21 LSU in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 4. This game will be held in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta and it marks the third straight year of the Kickoff Game. The LSU-North Carolina betting odds are actually off the board at most books, but the numbers out there range from North Carolina -4 to LSU -2.
That much we know. But what we don’t know if who will be suiting up for the Tar Heels. Several key starters, including future NFL Draft picks Greg Little (WR) and Marvin Austen (DT) are suspended, for this game and, as of Thursday, there has been no resolution to multiple NCAA investigations into this team. Little and Austen were suspended due to alleged benefits while a second investigation into possible academic misconduct involves two other starters (Bruce Carter and Robert Quinn).
So the Tar Heels, who were poised for a breakout season with 18 starters back and one of the best defenses in the country, are now stuck in limbo heading into their opener. With a full compliment of players I believe that North Carolina would have handled their SEC counterparts and scored a marquee win. But now there are just too many questions about A) how much this team will miss all of that talent, B) how will the team respond to the controversy that’s been distracting them for weeks now, and C) if the players will be given a last-second clearance to take the field.
As of now, I don’t have a true LSU-North Carolina football betting pick or prediction. But one prediction that I do have on this game is that Austen and Little won’t play (Austen is involved in both controversies so there is no way he’ll be on the field), but that Carter and Quinn will be reinstated. That will help, but I don’t think it would make a major difference if they are in or not. In my opinion the distraction of this circus will have the biggest impact on a team that isn’t exactly used to this type of spotlight.
LSU, on the other hand, stands to take advantage of North Carolina’s misfortune/missteps. And they are used to playing on this stage in this type of marquee game. And while North Carolina’s concentration and focus can be questioned, the same can’t be said about the Tigers.
This is a critical game in a critical season for embattled head coach Les Miles. LSU has slogged through back-to-back substandard seasons after winning 11 or more games in four of five years. The locals are sharpening their pitchforks and with Miles a frontrunner for the Michigan job if Rich Rodriguez finally steps off the plank there will be no shortage of subplots and distractions around this Tigers squad. But headed into this nationally televised opener you can be sure that they are focused on a fast start.
LSU has just 10 starters back from last year’s group, but they are led by three-year starter Jordan Jefferson at quarterback. Jefferson is a good microcosm of this Tigers team in that he is incredibly athletic but wildly inconsistent. That is the running theme at most positions. And on a defense that brings back just four of its top 12 tacklers they will need to find some guys to rely on quickly.
As far as LSU-North Carolina football betting trends, the Tigers are a stellar 12-1 in their last 13 season openers and they haven’t lost a game in September since 2006. LSU is 15-7 against the college football point spread in its last 22 nonconference games and they have covered four straight against the ACC. LSU destroyed No. 9 Virginia Tech, another ACC stalwart, back in 2007. But that Tigers team went on to win the National Championship and there is nowhere near the talent or experience on this LSU squad.
The SEC has won, convincingly, in each of the first two Kickoff Games, with Alabama dominating Clemson and Virginia Tech.
The total on this game is set at 42.0.
Robert Ferringo is a writer and a professional college football and NFL handicapper for Doc’s Sports. Last year he brought home +62.5 Units for his clients for NFL picks and he is regarded as one of the top totals players in the sport. He guarantees a winning football season this year or he will work for free until you turn a profit. You can sign up for his college football and NFL picks and get more information here.
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