The LSU Tigers have been out of the national title picture for quite some time now as Les Miles and his program haven't really been in contention since 2011. Yes, the SEC powerhouse typically begins the year receiving title talk and odds, but a series of three-loss seasons and 2014's horrendous five-loss campaign (including a bowl game), has left the team slipping in stature during the College Football Playoff era. The Tigers continue to receive Top 13 odds at many sportsbooks, yet they seem to be an afterthought in a loaded field of contenders.
The 2014's record tied the worst mark LSU has produced under Miles' 11 years with the team and left the program scrambling to rebuild during the offseason. Fortunately for fans and bettors, the Tigers managed to produce the No. 2-ranked recruiting class in the nation with a slew of freshman ready to contribute this season. Let's take a closer look at LSU's 2016 national title odds with predictions and analysis.
LSU Tigers 2015 Schedule and Win Total Odds
Win Totals: 8.5 wins ("Over" -130)
Sept 5: McNeese State
Sept 12: @ Mississippi State
Sept 19: Auburn
Sept 26: @ Syracuse
Oct 3: E Michigan
Oct 10: @ South Carolina
Oct 17: Florida
Oct 24: W Kentucky
Nov 7: @ Alabama
Nov 14: Arkansas
Nov 21: @ Ole Miss
Nov 28: Texas A&M
LSU struggled in 2014 with four regular-season losses and a disappointing bowl game appearance against Notre Dame. The team lost two games during its first six matchups and essentially played itself out of the playoff race before it ever really began. Overall the SEC powerhouse lost games against Mississippi State, Auburn, Alabama, and Arkansas to go along with that bowl game defeat and will once again face every one of those teams in 2015.
LSU has a history of bouncing back under Miles, and the only other time the program lost five games (back in 2008), it was followed up with a 9-3 and 11-2 regular-season record in consecutive years. This season may be different, however, as most experts believe the roster has too many question marks (at quarterback and on the defensive end) to consider LSU a true contender in a loaded college football field. Looking at the schedule, finding another five losses for the Tigers isn't a difficult proposition. Take the "under".
LSU Tigers 2016 National Title Odds and Trends
Title Odds: +2500
2014 ATS Record: 8-5; 6-3 home
2014 Totals Record: 5-8; 4-5 home
LSU is sitting in a packed grouped of third-tier contenders at +2500 odds, and so far the program has done nothing to separate themselves from that group. The Tigers still have the same quarterback issues they always have-the program has yet to produce an elite talent under coach Miles-and will once again be forced to rely on their defense to win games. The trouble, however, is LSU no longer has elite talent on that side of the ball, where it struggled against the run and produced little pass rushing last season.
LSU Tigers 2016 College Football National Championship Pick and Predictions
LSU brought in a lot of freshmen talent during the offseason, and while a few players are expected to make an immediate impact, the team has not done enough to be a contender in 2015. Miles is a great coach and could have the team playing above its talent range, but do not expect a national title run out of LSU this season. The odds do not have much value at +2500, particularly when a bettor can grab a few other teams with better long-shot value.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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