Free College Football Picks: Alabama at LSU Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
Alabama Crimson Tide at LSU Tigers, Saturday November 3, 10 p.m. ET
It is November, so the sample sizes aren't particularly small, and rankings are starting to really mean something. And the No. 4 team in the country is a two-touchdown underdog. At home. In a conference game. And a strong majority of bets have come in against them. Just think about how truly insane that is for a moment. It's Nick Saban's world, and we are all just lucky he lets us live in it.
Alabama at LSU Betting Storylines
There is no end to the ways in which this game, and this line, are fascinating. Let's start with this - the Tigers rank seventh nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 15.1 points per game. And yet they are underdogs by two touchdowns or more. So, if they allowed their average on defense, oddsmakers would expect them to be shut out. Of course, it is possible - and even likely - that Alabama will blow past that average. LSU allowed 27 to Florida in their lone loss, and Florida's offense is, to be kind, not as good as Alabama's. And opponents have scored 21 on the Tigers twice as well. Alabama, meanwhile, leads the nation with 54.1 points scored per game and has never scored fewer than 39. Tua Tagovailoa, who clearly isn't human, has thrown 25 touchdown passes without a pick, and Jalen Hurts is reportedly feeling healthy again after an ankle injury last time out. Tagovailoa's numbers are just insane beyond even the touchdowns - 13.6 yards per attempt while completing more than 70 percent of his passes. LSU ranks just 38th nationally in yards allowed through the air, and the best passing attack they have faced is a very ordinary Georgia one, so it's a good bet the Tide will be able to pass. And that's a problem for the Tigers.
Joe Burrow is going to have to have the game of his life to hold LSU in this one. And it's not inconceivable that he could - the Alabama defense, while solid enough, is not what is carrying this team by any means this year. But the problem, at least in my eyes, is that Burrow is Burrow. He hasn't thrown a touchdown in three games, he has topped out at a 57 percent completion rate over that time, and he has completed less than half of his passes in the two games he has played as an underdog. Bringing him in this year seemed like a move with upside, but I am not at all convinced by what he has done so far. If the defense for LSU can't hold up and the game turns into a bit of a shootout, then the team is in serious, serious trouble in the hands of Burrow.
While it is easy to say that LSU is in trouble for a number of reasons - only some that we have touched on - there are a couple of factors we have to keep in mind. First, Baton Rouge is a tough place to play, and the crowd is going to be out of their minds for this one - at least until Alabama starts to roll. And second, while this is by far the best team that LSU has faced, it is also by far the best team that Alabama has faced. In fact, Alabama's schedule has been a complete joke. The smallest line they have faced is the 22.5 points they gave up at Ole Miss. They have really played no one, and as a result they have yet to have been punched in the mouth. We don't know how Tagovailoa and company will deal with adversity because literally everything has gone exactly their way all year. If the Tigers can do some damage early - imagine a pick six on Alabama's first drive, for example - then things could really get interesting. I'm not holding my breath, but I have to put it out there.
Alabama at LSU Odds and Betting Trends
The game opened with Alabama favored by 14.5 points. That moved early, falling as low as 13.5, but has risen back to 14.5 again in early action. A solid majority of bets have been on the Tide, so we aren't likely to see a ton of movement going forward without any major news. The total has opened at 53.5.
The Tide are 15-7 ATS in their last 22 road games and 13-6 ATS in their last 19 road games against teams with a winning record. They are, however, just 1-5 ATS in their last six games played in November. LSU has covered the spread in their last five November games and in 10 of their last 11 conference games. They are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 at home. Alabama is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings between the teams - all as favorites.
Alabama at LSU Predictions and Picks
It would be easy to give LSU too little respect in this one. They are, after all, a highly-ranked, talented, fast and deep team that would terrify most opponents. Ed Orgeron is an easy guy to underestimate, and he deserves better. That being said, I am giving LSU little respect and little chance in this one. Alabama has had a week off to get healthy and ready for this one, and they will come out of the gate firing on offense. The Tigers will be back on their heels early on offense, and they just don't have the tools to shine in that kind of circumstance. This is a crazy amount of points to give up on the road against a Top 4 team, but there really is no choice but to give them up. Alabama is the pick.
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