College Football Predictions Week 7: LSU Tigers vs. Tennessee Volunteers SEC Betting Preview

No. 1 LSU Tigers at Tennessee Volunteers
Saturday, 10/15/11, 3:30 PM EST, TV:  CBS
Opening Point Spread:  LSU -13
Current Betting Line:  LSU -17
Opening Total:  43.5
Current Total:  45
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The LSU Tigers will be looking to make an impression before the first BCS standings are released Sunday

LSU is the top-ranked team in the country and will be looking to make an impression before the first BCS standings are released.  The Tigers have won three consecutive games in this series, including a 16-14 win as 16.5-point home favorites last year, a game that wasn’t as close as the score, out-gaining the Volunteers by 217 yards.  The team has two options at quarterback again, with Jarrett Lee being the starter, while Jordan Jefferson is working his way back into the fold.  LSU is 15-15 ATS over the last two-plus seasons and the ‘under’ is 17-13 in that span.

The Tigers possess one of the more ferocious defensive units in college football, allowing just 254 yards and 12.5 points per game.  “I can tell you that the defense is ranked in the top 10 in virtually every statistical category.  That speaks to the effort,” commented head coach Les Miles.  “That defense that comes to the field with the want to make an impression.”  The program has also protected the football, turning it over just three times this year, while holding opponents without a touchdown in 18 of 24 quarters of action.

Tennessee has dropped both of its SEC games thus far, including a 20-12 loss to the Georgia Bulldogs as 2.5-point home underdogs.  The Volunteers should gain confidence in at least knowing that the program holds a 20-8-3 edge in the all-time series, including an 11-2-1 mark when hosting the Tigers in Knoxville.  “We’ve got a tough situation and we all know it,” commented Volunteers coach Derek Dooley.  “But you’ve got to go out there play and compete.”  Tennessee is 3-4 ATS as an underdogs of 10.5 to 21 points, while the ‘over’ is 5-2 in that situation.

The Volunteers will definitely want to try and go into halftime with a lead today, as the team is 9-0 under Dooley’s direction when given that situation.  Tennessee has been very successful inside the red zone this season, scoring on 22 of 24 trips, including 17 touchdowns.  Backup quarterback Matt Simms gets back on the field now that Tyler Bray is out with a hand injury, something he has been waiting for since he lost the job last year.

Bettors will likely back the Volunteers due to the underdog being 4-1-2 ATS in this series, while the Tigers are 1-4 ATS as a road favorite of 10.5 or more points.

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