The No. 6 Alabama Crimson Tide travel to face the No. 19 LSU Tigers on Saturday, November 8th in an SEC West rivalry game. The Crimson Tide have won each of the last three meetings in this series, including a 38-17 home victory last year as a 14-point favorite.
Alabama (7-1) is squarely in the playoff hunt after a 34-20 win over Tennessee two weeks ago. LSU (7-2) could get back into the discussion with a win this week. It is also coming off its bye after a huge 10-7 home win over then-No. 3 Ole Miss on November 25th.
Kickoff inside Tiger Stadium is scheduled for 8:00 EST Saturday night with CBS providing the television coverage. Taking a look at the odds in Las Vegas, I find Alabama installed as a 6.5-point favorite at LSU.
My Early Lean: Alabama -6.5
The Crimson Tide are simply the more complete team in this one. They are better on both sides of the football, and I don’t even believe that playing in Death Valley will be enough for the Tigers to stay within a touchdown of the better team in this one. Look for the Tide to roll to victory by a touchdown or more.
This could be Alabama’s best offense in the Nick Saban era. It is putting up 36.5 points and 505.5 yards per game this season. Blake Sims is completing 65.3 percent of his passes for 2,020 yards with 15 touchdowns and three interceptions, while also rushing for 223 yards and five scores. Amari Cooper has had a Hesiman Trophy-caliber season, catching 71 balls for 1,132 yards and nine touchdowns.
While Alabama’s defense is perceived to be down from year’s past, I still believe this is one of the top stop units in the country. The numbers would indicate that as well. The Crimson Tide are only giving up 14.0 points and 276.7 yards per game to rank 4th in the nation in total defense.
LSU just isn’t going to be able to do enough offensively in this one to keep it close. In their two biggest SEC games this season, the Tigers were held to just seven in a 7-41 loss at Auburn and 10 points in a 10-7 home win over Ole Miss. They have no passing game, averaging just 189 yards per game through the air on 51.6% completions.
The Tigers obviously rely heavily on the run, which plays right into the Crimson Tide’s hands. Alabama is only giving up 78 rushing yards per game and 2.7 per carry against opponents that average 164 yards per game and 4.3 per carry. So, it is holding its foes to 86 yards and 1.6 per carry below their season averages.
The Tigers obviously rely heavily on the run, which plays right into the Crimson Tide’s hands. Alabama is only giving up 78 rushing yards per game and 2.7 per carry.
While the LSU defense is solid as well, it has still had some poor performances this year that make me believe that Alabama can put up 30-plus in this one. Indeed, the Tigers allow 34 points and 570 total yards to Mississippi State and 41 points and 566 total yards to Auburn. They also gave up 27 points to a poor Florida offense.
LSU is 0-6 ATS following three or more consecutive wins over the last three seasons. Alabama is 21-5 ATS in its last 26 road games off a no-cover where it won straight up as a favorite. The Tigers are 4-12 ATS in their last 16 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game. The road team is 13-5-1 ATS in the last 19 meetings in this series.