SEC College Football Picks: #18 LSU Tigers at Auburn Tigers

#18 LSU Tigers at Auburn Tigers
Saturday, September 24, 2016, 6:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Jordan-Hare Stadium – Auburn, Alabama
Opening Line: LSU -2
Current Line: LSU -3 1/2 (-105)
Opening Total: 45 1/2
Current Total: 45 1/2
Opening Money Line: LSU -160 / Auburn +140
Current Money Line: LSU -175 / Auburn +155

LSU and Auburn meet Saturday in Auburn.
LSU and Auburn meet Saturday in Auburn.

The 2-1 LSU Tigers and 1-2 Auburn Tigers renew their rivalry Saturday in Auburn. LSU leads the series 28-21-1 and the home team has won 14 of the last 16 contests in the series. LSU won 45-21 last year in Baton Rouge.

LSU is coached by Les Miles. The Tigers lost their first game of the season 16-14 in Green Bay against Wisconsin. LSU has home wins against Jacksonville State 34-13 and Mississippi State 23-20 last week. The Tigers took a 20-0 lead in the second quarter and held on for the narrow win against the Bulldogs. LSU was a 13 point favorite against Mississippi State and the total was 47. The Tigers are 0-3 ATS this season and the all three games have gone under the total.

Auburn is coached by Gus Malzahn. The Tigers have home losses to Clemson 19-13 and Texas A&M 29-16 last week, plus a home win over Arkansas State 51-14. Auburn was a 1 point favorite against Texas A&M and the total was 55.5. The Tigers are 2-1 ATS and the total is 1-2 this season.

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LSU is outscoring teams 24-16 this season. The Tigers average 340 yards per game on offense including 158 passing and 182 rushing yards. LSU allows 326 yards per game on defense including 222 passing and 103 rushing yards per game. The Tigers are -1 in turnovers with 6 giveaways. LSU averages 49 penalty yards per game and opponents average 50 yards per game. LSU is 16/39on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 15/53. The Tigers have forced 11 sacks and allowed 3 this season. LSU is 6/8 scoring in the red zone with 5 touchdowns and opponents are 8/9 with 3 touchdowns.

Quarterback Danny Etling, a transfer from Purdue took over for an ineffective Brandon Harris. Etling has thrown for 315 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception, and also has 6 carries for 29 yards and a touchdown. Harris had 139 passing yards with a touchdown and 2 interceptions.

Running back Leonard Fournette suffered a bruised ankle last week against Mississippi State but did return to the game. He isn’t listed on the injury report this week. He has 51 carries for 285 yards and 2 touchdowns, and has 7 catches for 65 yards. Derrius Guice has 26 carries for 177 yards and a touchdown.

Receiver Travin Dural has 10 catches for 95 yards and a touchdown. Malachi Dupre has 7 catches for 78 yards. DeSean Smith and D.J. Chark each have a touchdown catch. Three offensive linemen and three defensive players are on the injury report for LSU.

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Auburn is outscoring teams 27-21 this season. The Tigers average 456 yards per game on offense including 194 passing and 262 rushing yards per game. On defense, Auburn allows 401 yards per game including 252 passing and 149 rushing yards. The Tigers are -3 in turnovers with 5 giveaways. Auburn averages 43 penalty yards per game and opponents average 65 per game. The Tigers are 24/58 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 17/56. Auburn has forced 5 sacks and allowed 9 this season. The Tigers are 12/16 scoring in the red zone with 7 touchdowns, and opponents are 10/12 with 5 touchdowns.

Quarterback Sean White has thrown for 510 yards with 3 touchdowns and an interception, and also has 22 carries for 56 yards. Jeremy Johnson and John Franklin III have also take snaps this season. Franklin has 13 carries for 117 yards.

Running back Kerryon Johnson has 56 carries for 278 yards and 4 touchdowns, along with 4 catches. Kamryn Pettway has 35 carries for 275 yards and a touchdown, plus a catch.

Receiver Tony Stevens has 13 catches for 177 yards and 2 touchdowns. Kyle Davis has 3 catches for 96 yards. Marcus Davis has 10 catches for 83 yards. Will Hastings has 8 catches for 72 yards and a touchdown. Darius Slayton and Ryan Davis will also get some targets. Three defensive backs are out indefinitely for Auburn.

LSU is 5-1 ATS after allowing less than 100 rushing yards, 6-2 against teams with losing home records, 2-5 in road games and on grass, 2-6 overall, 1-4 after failing to cover, in conference games and against teams with losing records, and 0-4 in September. The favorite is 6-2 ATS in this series recently. The under is 11-5 in this series recently and 7-1 in Auburn between the teams.

Auburn is 7-1 ATS after a double digit home loss, 4-1 after a straight up loss, 4-9 after scoring less than 20 points, 6-15 overall, 4-11 against teams with winning records, 3-9 in SEC games and after allowing more than 450 total yards, 2-6 after allowing more than 200 rushing yards and passing for less than 170 yards, 5-15 on grass, 3-10 after failing to cover, 2-7 in September, 3-11 at home, 2-8 after rushing for more than 200 yards, and 0-4 against teams with winning road records. The home team is 6-1 ATS in this series recently. Auburn is 6-1-1 ATS against LSU at home recently.

Both of these coaches could be on the hot seat and the seat will get a little warmer with a loss. Although it is still early in the college football season, this is a crucial contest for both teams. I like LSU to win a close game on the road.

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