SEC Football Betting Picks: #2 LSU Tigers at #4 Alabama Crimson Tide

#2 LSU Tigers at #4 Alabama Crimson Tide
Bryant-Denny Stadium – Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Saturday, November 7, 2015, 8:00 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
Opening Line: Alabama -7
Current Line: Alabama -7 1/2
Opening Total: 54
Current Total: 45 1/2
Opening Money Line: Alabama -270 / LSU +220
Current Money Line: Alabama -280 / LSU +240

Alabama is a 7.5 point favorite against LSU Saturday.
Alabama is a 7.5 point favorite against LSU Saturday.

The 7-0 LSU Tigers and 7-1 Alabama Crimsin Tide would currently both make the playoff as they are in the top four in the initial College Football Playoff rankings released this week. LSU leads the SEC West at 4-0 and Alabama is tied for second with Ole Miss at 4-1. The Tigers and Crimson Tide renew their rivalry Saturday in Tuscaloosa.

Alabama leads the series against LSU 49-25-5 including 11-9 in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide have won four straight games in the series including 20-13 last year in overtime in Baton Rouge.

LSU is coached by Les Miles. The opening game against McNeese State was cancelled due to bad weather. LSU has road wins over Mississippi State 21-19 and Syracuse 34-24. The Tigers have home wins over Auburn 45-21, Eastern Michigan 44-22, South Carolina 45-24, Florida 35-28 and two weeks ago against Western Kentucky 48-20. LSU was off last week.

LSU was a 16 point favorite against Western Kentucky and the total was 65. The Tigers led 14-7 at halftime. LSU led 17-13 in the third before scoring 17 straight points to basically ice the game. The Tigers led 34-13 going into the fourth. The Tigers would cruise to the 28 point victory. Each team had over 400 total yards, but the Hilltoppers had the only 2 turnovers of the game. LSU is 4-3 ATS and the total is 6-1 this season.

Alabama is coached by Nick Saban. The Crimson Tide have a home loss to Ole Miss 43-37. Alabama has a win over Wisconsin 35-17 in Arlington, Texas, road wins at Georgia 38-10, Texas A&M 41-23 and two weeks ago at Tennessee 19-14, plus home wins over Middle Tennessee 37-10, UL-Monroe 34-0, and Arkansas 27-14. The Crimson Tide were also off last week.

Alabama was a 14.5 point favorite against Tennessee and the total was 48.5. The two teams traded touchdowns in the first quarter and would enter halftime tied at seven. Alabama kicked two field goals to take a 13-7 lead with 7 minutes left in the fourth. Tennessee scored with 5:49 left to take a 14-13 lead. However, the Crimson Tide drove from their own 29 to score the go ahead touchdown on a 14 yard touchdown run from Derrick Henry with 2:24 left. Alabama would miss the two point conversion. Tennessee took over at their own 25 but a fumble recovered by Alabama ended hopes of a Volunteers upset. Alabama had 303 total yards to 364 for Tennessee. Alabama is 3-5 ATS and the total is 3-5 this season.

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LSU is outscoring teams 39-23 this season. The Tigers are #14 in scoring and #40 in points allowed nationally. LSU averages 466 yards per game on offense including 309 rushing and 157 passing yards. The Tigers are #4 nationally in rushing but #117 in passing. The Tigers are #28 nationally in total offense. On defense, LSU is allowing 316 yards per game including 222 passing and 94 rushing yards. The Tigers are #18 in total defense and #6 in rush defense nationally. LSU has forced nine turnovers and has two of their own. The Tigers average 63 penalty yards per game and opponents average 45. LSU is 39/84 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 42/113. The Tigers have forced 18 sacks and allowed 8 this season. LSU is 28/31 scoring in the red zone with 21 touchdowns and opponents are 16/17 with 14 touchdowns. The Tigers have a punt return for a touchdown and a pick six, and have allowed a kick return for a touchdown.

Quarterback Brandon Harris has thrown for 1,098 yards with 9 touchdowns and no picks, and has rushed for 146 yards on 31 carries with 3 touchdowns. Receiver Travin Dural has 24 catches for 426 yards and 2 touchdowns.  Malachi Dupre has 21 catches for 397 yards and 5 touchdowns.  No other receiver has more than 7 catches this year. Tight end Dillon Gordon is out for the season with a torn Achilles’. Another tight end John David Moore is probable with a knee injury.

Running back Leonard Fournette has 176 carries for 1,352 yards with 15 touchdowns, along with 7 catches. He is the favorite for the Heisman Trophy. Darrel Williams has 50 carries for 265 yards and 3 touchdowns. Derrius Guice has 34 carries for 316 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 3 catches.

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Alabama is outscoring teams 34-16 this season. Alabama is #10 in points allowed and #43 in scoring.  The Crimson Tide average 422 yards per game on offense including 233 passing and 189 rushing yards. Alabama is #49 or better in total and rushing offense. On defense, Alabama is allowing 276 yards per game including 197 passing and 79 rushing yards. Alabama is #4 in total defense and #3 in rush defense. The Crimson Tide have forced 17 turnovers and have 14 of their own. Alabama averages 61 penalty yards per game and opponents average 53. Alabama is 44/127 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 44/140. The Crimson Tide have forced 27 sacks and allowed 13 this season. Alabama is 30/35 scoring in the red zone with 25 touchdowns and opponents are 15/18 with 8 touchdowns. The Crimson Tide have four pick sixes and a punt return for a touchdown this season.

Quarterback Jake Coker has thrown for 1,623 yards with 11 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, along with 77 rushing yards on 42 carries and 2 touchdowns. Cooper Bateman has thrown for 244 yards with a touchdown and 2 interceptions.

Running back Derrick Henry has 180 carries for 1,044 yards and 14 touchdowns, plus 8 catches for 69 yards. He has a rushing touchdown in 13 straight games dating back to last season. Kenyan Drake has 58 carries for 265 yards and a touchdown, along with 16 catches for 181 yards and a touchdown. Damien Harris has 31 carries for 105 yards.

Receiver Calvin Ridley has 45 catches for 525 yards and 3 touchdowns.  ArDarius Stewart has 31 catches for 331 yards and 2 touchdowns. O.J. Howard has 26 catches for 290 yards. Richard Mullaney has 24 catches for 230 yards and 3 touchdowns. Robert Foster has 10 catches for 116 yards and 2 touchdowns, but is out for the season with a shoulder injury.

LSU is 4-1 ATS in SEC games and on grass, 6-2 after a bye week, and 2-6 in November. The road team is 14-5-1 ATS in this series recently. The Tigers are 6-2-1 ATS in Tuscaloosa recently.

Alabama is 12-25-2 ATS after scoring less than 20 points, 5-11-1 in November, 2-5 after a straight up win, overall and on grass, 1-4-1 against teams with winning road records, and 0-5 at home. The under is 5-1 ATS in this series recently. The favorite is 9-4-1 ATS in the series in the last 14 games.

This should be a low scoring game between two great defenses. Alabama will try to bottle up Fournette and make Harris beat them with his arm. Of course, that is always the game plan against LSU but no team has accomplished that goal yet. Fournette has rushed for at least a 150 yards in every game. I think the Tigers are certainly talented enough to pull off the upset on the road to snap the four game losing streak against the Crimson Tide.

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