One of the hottest rivalries in the SEC reignites this week as the LSU Tigers play the Alabama Crimson Tide. Kickoff is at 8:00 EST on Saturday, November 4 at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The game will be nationally televised in primetime by CBS.
Oddsmakers have the Crimson Tide as 21-point favorites at home. The over/under for the game is 59.5 points. Click here for a full list of Week 10 betting odds and links to game previews.
LSU vs Alabama Vegas Betting Line & Game Preview
The Tide are 8-0 this year and have won in blowout fashion in nearly every game. However, they’ve yet to beat a ranked team this year outside of their season opener against Florida State, a team that’s now 2-5 on the season. Alabama knows that their toughest games are ahead of them, starting with LSU this week.
As for LSU, they’ve come a long way since their loss to Troy earlier this year. The Bayou Bengals have won their last three games, beating Florida, Auburn, and Ole Miss. The Tigers are 3-1 in conference play and actually control their own destiny in the SEC West if they can win out. Of course, that means beating Alabama.
This rivalry has heated up over the past decade, including a meeting in the national championship game. However, the Tide have won six straight games in this series. LSU’s last win came in Tuscaloosa during the same season that Alabama beat them in the BCS title game, so it’s been a while since the Tigers tasted victory over the Tide.
Free NCAAF Football Pick Against the Spread: LSU +21
Alabama may be the best team in the country, and they may be playing this game at home, but this is still a lot of points to swallow. The Tigers have been a different team over the past month, beating good teams and winning on the road. I won’t predict an upset, but I don’t think Alabama wins this game by three touchdowns. I’ll lean toward the Tigers.
Running back Derrius Guice is officially back for the Tigers. He struggled with injuries earlier this season, but he was healthy enough to run for 276 yards in their last game, a win against Ole Miss. The Tigers also had last week off, so Guice should be as healthy and fresh as he’s been since the start of the season. LSU has had its trouble in the trenches this season, but with Guice, they have a back who carry their offense for large stretches if he needs to.
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The LSU defense has also shown improvement in recent weeks. Against Auburn, they pitched a shutout in the 2nd half, allowing the offense to forge a comeback. Against Ole Miss, they didn’t allow a touchdown until late in the 3rd quarter after the offense had built a two-touchdown lead.
Alabama, of course, presents a great challenge for any defense. But quarterback Jalen Hurts is yet to prove this season that he can throw the ball when he has to. To be fair, Alabama’s running game is so productive that the Crimson Tide are rarely in a position in which they have to throw. But if the LSU defense can slow down Alabama’s running game just a little, they can put Hurts in an uncomfortable position.
It’s also pertinent to mention Alabama’s strength of schedule. The Tide’s only game against an SEC team with a winning record was an 8-point win over Texas A&M. Alabama has proven that they can blow out bad teams, but they haven’t proven they can dominate good teams. At this point in the season, I’ll still categorize LSU as a good team.
To be honest, I’m a little worried that Nick Saban will use his team being ranked no. 2 in the Playoff rankings to motivate his team to blow out LSU. But I’ll stick with the Tigers. LSU has gained a ton of confidence during their three-game winning streak and I think they’ll keep pace with Alabama for most of the game and will end up beating the spread.