LSU vs. Alabama: BCS National Championship Game Kicks Off Monday Night from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome
No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. No. 1 LSU Tigers
Monday, 1/9/12, 8:30 PM EST, TV: ESPN
Opening Point Spread: LSU -1
Current Betting Line: Alabama -2.5
Opening Total: 39
Current Total: 40.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
Alabama is set to play LSU in the 2012 BCS National Championship Game in a rematch of a 9-6 overtime defeat as 5.5-point home favorites on Nov. 5. “This could be a totally different type of game,” Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban stated. “There’s so much opportunity for this game to play out completely different and have a completely different flavor than the first game.” The program’s senior class has won a school-record 47 games over the past four seasons while losing only six contests. Alabama is 4-0 ATS on a neutral field the last two-plus seasons.
The Crimson Tide have outscored their opponents by a 336-69 margin in the final three quarters this season, while holding a 96-37 edge in the first quarter. Alabama has tallied a solid 17-6 mark versus AP Top 25 over the past four seasons, which includes a 9-4 mark versus top 10 squads. There’s no better defensive unit in the country, allowing just 191.3 yards per game, including 74.9 rushing yards per game. The Crimson Tide offense is led by Heisman Trophy finalist Trent Richardson, who averaged 142 rushing yards versus five ranked teams this season.
LSU will likely kick off as an underdog against Alabama for the second time this year, coming in as the No. 1 team in the nation after posting an unblemished 13-0 record. The Tigers outscored opponents by a 491-131 margin and possesses a defense that ranked second nationally in surrendering just 252.1 yards per game. “This team loves the big stage,” stated Tigers head coach Les Miles. He has led the program to a perfect 4-0 straight up and against-the-spread record in BCS bowl games. LSU has tallied a 10-3 ATS record during the 2011-12 campaign.
The Tigers thrive on creating turnovers on the defensive end, leading the nation with a plus-22 turnover margin, as Heisman Trophy finalist Tyrann Mathieu patrols the secondary. LSU took advantage of those miscues, turning 21 of 30 into points. Scoring points in big games comes naturally to this program, combining to score 147 points in its four BCS games, putting at least three points on the scoreboard in 15 of 16 quarters. Senior quarterback Jordan Jefferson will be directing the offense and will hand the ball off to a deep backfield that possesses four runners that gained over 400 yards on the ground this season.
Bettors will likely back the Tigers due to their 8-1 ATS mark versus winning teams, while the Crimson Tide are 3-7-1 ATS as a favorite of three points or less.
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