ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE (7-1)
at LSU TIGERS (7-1)
Kickoff: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. EDT, Line: Alabama -6.5, Total: 44
Two one-loss teams coming off a bye, clash in Baton Rouge in hopes of keeping national championship hopes alive. Alabama can boost its BCS resume if it beats LSU, then No. 21 Mississippi State and finally Auburn ranked second in the BCS. LSU needs to beat Alabama, Ole Miss and No. 17 Arkansas (and hope Auburn loses) to have a shot at the SEC title. But all these wins won’t be easy, considering LSU has the worst November ATS record (3-12) among BCS schools over the past four seasons. NFL spreads.
Alabama leads the all-time series 45-23-5 (66%), but the teams have split the past 18 meetings. Other than surrendering 35 points to South Carolina, the Crimson Tide defense has not allowed any of their other seven opponents to score more than 20 points. Although known for their rushing attack, Alabama has just as many 300-yard passing games (four) as 200-yard rushing games (four) this season. QB Greg McElroy has not thrown an interception in his past four games, which is a span of 108 pass attempts. He threw for 276 yards and two touchdowns in Alabama’s 24-15 win over LSU last season. RB Mark Ingram also had a big day against LSU in 2009 (144 rushing yards, 30 receiving yards), but he has struggled a bit this season. Ingram has not rushed for 100 yards in any of his past four games, averaging just 59 YPG on 4.5 YPC. He averaged 118 rush YPG and 6.1 YPC in last year’s Heisman-winning season.
LSU entered its last game against Auburn ranked as the sixth-best rushing defense in the nation (84 YPG), but was steamrolled for 440 rushing yards (8.5 YPC) in the 24-17 loss to Auburn. It won’t get much easier against an Alabama team with Ingram and Trent Richardson carrying the pigskin. On offense, LSU has been pretty weak this year. The Tigers rank 113th in passing offense (139 YPG), 101st in total offense (318 YPG) and 73rd in scoring (25.5 PPG). Junior RB Stevan Ridley began the season averaging 111 rushing YPG in his first five games, but that number has been cut in half to 55 YPG over his past three contests. QB Jordan Jefferson has not thrown a touchdown pass in seven straight games, but has tossed seven interceptions during these 101 pass attempts. NFL lines.
The road team is 13-3-2 ATS (12-6 SU) in the past 18 meetings, with Alabama posting an 8-1 ATS record in the past nine games at LSU. This four-star FoxSheets trend expects Alabama to tally another win and cover.
Les Miles is 1-11 ATS (-11.1 Units) in home games versus good rushing defenses – allowing <=120 rushing yards/game as the coach of LSU. The average score was LSU 27.3, OPPONENT 21.7 – (Rating = 4*).
The FoxSheets also side with the Under based on these two trends:
LSU is 8-0 UNDER (+8.0 Units) in a home game where the total is between 42.5 and 49 over the last 2 seasons. The average score was LSU 23.5, OPPONENT 10.4 – (Rating = 3*).
Play Under – Road teams where the total is between 42.5 and 49 (ALABAMA) – dominant team – outgaining their opponents by 125 or more yards/game, after outgaining opp by 225 or more total yards in their previous game. (35-11 over the last 10 seasons.) (76.1%, +22.9 units. Rating = 3*). NFL betting lines.