College Football Week 1 Picks: LSU Tigers vs. TCU Horned Frogs

No. 12 LSU Tigers vs. No. 20 TCU Horned Frogs
Saturday, 8/31/13, 9:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  LSU -3
Current Betting Line:  LSU -4
Opening Total:  50.5
Current Total:  50
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The LSU Tigers have won 41 consecutive non-conference regular season games
The LSU Tigers have won 41 consecutive non-conference regular season games

LSU is a dominating 31-0 under head coach Les Miles in non-conference regular season games, while the program has won 34 of 51 meetings against ranked opponents.  The Tigers are 5-2-1 all-time against the Horned Frogs, but the teams haven’t played in 45 years, which is important to consider when making your college football betting picks.  Quarterback Zach Mettenberger is 10-3 as a starter—joining Matt Flynn and Warren Rabb as the only first-year starters at that position to win double-figures games for the program.  LSU is 3-1 as favorites of 3.5 to 10 points since 2011, with the OVER going 3-1 in that situation.

The Tigers own a 28-15 record against teams in the current Big 12 Conference, which can’t be ignored when looking over the NCAA football odds page in Week 1.  LSU will put a FBS record on the line again in the season opener, as it has won 41 consecutive non-conference regular season games dating back to the 2002 season.  Under head coach Les Miles’ direction, the team has outscored such opponents by a dominating 1,217-317 margin.

TCU is opening a new season in the Cowboys Classic for the second time in the last four seasons, as it picked up a 30-21 victory over the Oregon State Beavers en route to a 13-0 campaign and Rose Bowl championship in 2010.  The Horned Frogs are 14-10 against ranked teams under head coach Gary Patterson, but they haven’t faced a SEC opponent since Sept. 20, 2003.  TCU is 3-3 as underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points the last two seasons, with no edge in terms of the betting total (3-3 Over/Under).

The Horned Frogs return eight starters from a defense last season that led the Big 12 in six categories and ranked 16th nationally.  Nearly 70 percent of players who saw action for the team last season were freshmen or sophomores.  TCU quarterback Casey Pachall tops all players nationally in career passing efficiency with a 163.1 rating, as he completed 66 percent of his pass attempts for 948 yards with 10 touchdowns and a single interception in limited action due to a suspension in 2012.  Running back Waymon James is the program’s career leader in averaging 6.9 yards per carry.

Sports bettors will likely back the Tigers due to the Horned Frogs failing to cover the spread in their last six games on a neutral field.

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