No. 1 LSU Tigers at No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide
Saturday, 11/5/11, 8:00 PM EST, TV: CBS
Opening Point Spread: Alabama -6
Current Betting Line: Alabama -5.5
Opening Total: N/A
Current Total: N/A
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
LSU is 8-0 for the first time since 1973 and just the fourth time in school history, winning each of its games by double digits. The Tigers have held their opponents without a touchdown in 24 of 32 quarters of action this year. Much has been made about numerous players being suspended over the course of the 2011 campaign, but everyone is expected to be available Saturday. “If they continue to do the things that they’re doing, we could anticipate that they would play.” LSU is 17-15 ATS over the last two-plus seasons, including a 3-3 mark as a road underdog of 3.5 to 7 points.
The Tigers are second in the SEC in scoring 39.2 points per game, hitting the 30-point mark or above in seven of eight games. LSU has two players at quarterback that will see action, with Jarrett Lee likely starting out, connecting on 63.2 percent of his passes for 13 touchdowns and just a single interception. Jordan Jefferson was the proposed starter during the offseason, but was suspended due to an off campus fight, but has returned. The defense has allowed just four touchdowns in its SEC games.
Alabama will play host to the first SEC regular-season game that features the two top ranked teams in the country, looking to gain revenge from a 24-21 defeat in last year’s meeting as 6.5-point road favorites. Both teams are coming off a bye week and Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban made it a priority to give his players rest, hoping that time off from the field will have them come back with passion for such a high-profile contest. “When we don’t have it, we become very average,” commented Saban about his team when it plays with passion and energy. Alabama is 24-10 ATS over the last two-plus seasons, but just 1-1 ATS as a home favorite of 3.5 to 7 points.
The Crimson Tide lead the all-time series, 45-24-5, claiming wins in two of the last three meetings. Alabama has prided itself on finishing strong, not allowing a single point in the second half in the last four games. The program has won its last nine games by 16 or more points dating back to its bowl victory over the Michigan State Spartans. Also during that span, the team has allowed just 34.6 rushing yards per game, while gaining 234.3 yards per game on the ground. Heisman Trophy candidate Trent Richardson will need to play big, coming in averaging 123.6 yards per game, while also scoring 13.5 points a contest.
Bettors will likely back the Crimson Tide due to the favorite being 6-2-1 ATS in the last nine meetings, while the Tigers are 3-12 ATS in November.
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