Alabama Crimson Tide vs. LSU Tigers
The Alabama Crimson Tide and the LSU Tigers face off in for the first place in the SEC west, the number one national ranking and a clear shot at the National Title game as they meet Saturday in primetime in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide are -4.5 point favorites over the Tigers with an over/under point total set at 41.
Big games are nothing new for Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide and there shouldn’t be much on the field on Saturday that disrupts their game more than their opponent. Saban has already won national Titles as Head Coach of the Tide and at his opposition here, LSU, and dates in big bowl games and championship games have been a nearly annual occurrence for him. No one has really even come close to competing with Alabama this season and QB A.J. McCarron has guided the offense well playing within himself and using his vast array of surrounding talent. Running back Trent Richardson is gaining momentum for the Heisman Trophy and this will be another chance to showcase his talents but he has help with Eddie Lacy filling in in spots, much like Richardson did for former Heisman winner Mark Ingram. Marquis Maze and Darius hanks make up one of the best receiving combinations in the nation and Maze is also one of the best return men. No offense has been able to penetrate the Alabama defense as the most points they have allowed in a game is 14 with only three opponents scoring into double digits as they have allowed just 55 points the entire season. Dont’a Hightower and Mark Barron are the stars of the unit but it is loaded with talent up and down the unit.
No one will ever accuse Les Miles and the LSU Tigers of under-scheduling as they have taken on all comers and they have beaten them as well. LSU has played one of the toughest schedules in the country mixing their already tough SEC schedule with a neutral site game against last season’s number two team Oregon and then beating a ranked West Virginia team on the road. While this season hasn’t come without trouble or controversy, no bad decisions have gone unpunished and they haven’t even seemed to phase the Tigers on the field. Jarrett Lee has been starting at QB but with a week off leading into this one I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw more of Jordan Jefferson and some packages we haven’t seen from LSU this season. In the backfield Spencer Ware and Michael Ford both see action and both have had big moments already this season. Like Bama LSU has an awesome set of receivers in Rueben Randle and Russell Shepard but it doesn’t end there as putting receivers in the NFL is a yearly occurrence for LSU. Tyrann Mathieu is the star of the LSU defense and he is everywhere but he is far from the only one who can play as in his absence last week defensive end Barkevious Mingo had a big game and the safeties all came up big as well. It is going to take a team effort to slow down the Alabama offensive machine which seems to get stronger as the game goes on.
Alabama is 5-1 against the spread in their last six games as a home favorite, 5-0 against the spread in their last five SEC games, and 5-0 against the spread when playing a team with a winning record. LSU is 5-0 against the spread when playing a team with a winning record, 5-2 against the spread in their last seven road games, and 4-1 against the spread in their last five SEC games. The favorite is 6-2-1 against the spread in the last eight meetings of these two and the road team is 11-3-1 against the spread in the last 14.
I think this one is won on the offensive side of the ball and I see it going over the total. Take the over 41.