LSU (3-4) and Alabama (8-0) will finally take the field at Tiger Stadium in Death Valley, after being postponed on November 14th, due to a Covid-19 breakout within the LSU program. Nick Saban hopes to be back on the sideline after missing the Iron Bowl last week, with a positive Covid-19 diagnosis of his own. Alabama looks to stay undefeated and on track to get back to the SEC Championship game and College Football Playoff after last year’s hiatus.
The Crimson Tide look for revenge against short-handed rival, LSU
Since hiring Coach Saban in 2007, Alabama has won 10 of the last 14 meetings between the two rivals. The Tide had won 8 in a row, until the Joe Burrow-lead LSU beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa last year, en route to a historic 15-0 season, capped off by winning the College Football Playoff National Championship.
This year’s LSU team, however, is in rebuild mode, as 14 players from that championship team were drafted in the 2020 NFL Draft, including Burrow, who went Number 1 overall. On top of that, 4 players have opted out of the Covid-stricken season, including leading Wide Receiver Terrace Marshall, who decided earlier this week to leave the team and start preparing for the NFL.
LSU struggled offensively last week against Texas A&M, and the loss of Marshall will not make things any easier against the Tide. Freshman Quarterback TJ Finley will get his 5th consecutive start since the injury to Redshirt Junior Myles Brennan in the Tigers’ 3rd game. Finley completed just 9 passes last week against Texas A&M and turned the ball over twice. The Tigers will need Finley to step up his game for LSU to have any chance at keeping up with an explosive Alabama attack.
Leading that impressive Alabama offense is Heisman candidate, Mac Jones, who has thrown for 23 touchdowns to just 3 interceptions and leads the nation with a 95.5 QBR. Alabama ranks 4th in the nation in Pass Yards per game and 6th in Total Yards per game.
Making things easy for Jones is the fact he is throwing to one of the best wide receiving corps in the nation, even after losing Jaylen Waddle for the season. DeVonta Smith has stepped up in Waddle’s absence and has 72 receptions for 1,074 yards and 12 touchdowns this season. If that wasn’t enough for the Tiger defense to handle, throw in fellow Heisman hopeful, running back Najee Harris, who has amassed over 1,100 yards of total offense and 17 touchdowns through the first 8 games of the season.
LSU Tigers vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Betting Odds
Odds via Bovada as of Thursday, December 3 (3:30 pm ET)
Money Line: Alabama -4100 | LSU +1225
Point Spread: Alabama -29.5 (-115) | LSU +29.5 (-105)
Total Over/Under: 66.5 points (-110)
See Bovada for updated lines and odds.
Betting Trends and Odds
Alabama is 6-2 ATS this season while laying an average of 23 points to their opponent. The under has hit in 3 of the last 4 games for Alabama, with an average of 63.5 total points. Since Nick Saban became the coach in 2007, Alabama is 18-5 when facing a Freshman quarterback.
LSU is 4-3 ATS this season, and the Under has hit in 4 of their 7 games.
Predictions and Picks
It’s not often you see such a large spread in a rivalry game, particularly when the road team is the favorite. However, in 2020, the home-field advantage doesn’t quite mean the same thing, and Tiger Stadium will only be at roughly 25% capacity on Saturday night.
The LSU defense has shown improvement in recent weeks, but it won’t be enough to stop the Alabama juggernaut. Since getting torched to the tune of 48 points and 647 yards against Ole Miss, the Alabama defense has played better, as well. I expect both teams to be fired up and ready to play, but Alabama will strike early and often, and LSU will struggle to keep up offensively.
Although Alabama could easily score 40+ points in this game, I don’t expect LSU to add a ton of points and like the Under 66.5.
Alabama should win this game handily, but I think 29.5 is too many points for this rivalry. I like LSU to cover, just barely. Alabama 42, LSU 13.