Alabama at LSU Free Pick & Odds

Posted by Michael Hunt on Wednesday,November 2, 2016 9:24, EST in

The first Saturday of November is always an important date on the college football schedule because it’s when the annual meeting between LSU and Alabama is always scheduled. And just like every other year, this Saturday’s matchup between the No. 1 Tide and No. 15 Tigers is huge. It’s the final true road game of the season for Alabama and really its only realistic chance to lose before the College Football Playoff. LSU is a rare home underdog in the college football odds and interim head coach Ed Orgeron could get the full-time job with an upset. Both teams come off bye weeks.

Let’s Take a Closer Look at the Alabama at LSU Free Pick, Odds & TV Info

When: Saturday, Oct. 5, 8 PM ET
Where: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge
TV: CBS
Stream: CBSSports.com
RadioAlabama / LSU
Opening NCAA Football Lines: Alabama -8.5 (45.5)

Why Bet on Alabama?

When Alabama lost safety and return man Eddie Jackson for the season due to a fractured leg suffered in the team’s win over Texas A&M, the Crimson Tide lost a big playmaker. But they also have other five-star recruits and All-Americans all over the field.

The Tide’s Damien Harris is the most consistent wheel in a balanced rushing attack that actually has 610 yards more than last year’s crew totaled through eight games — Derrick Henry won last year’s Heisman. The Tigers bring the nation’s No. 13 rush defense into the showdown. LSU’s season-high rushing allowance was surrendered to Auburn, though those 154 yards checked in well below that offense’s 303-yard season average.

The Tide (8-0, 5-0) don’t plan to give LSU’s running game much room to breathe. That was the Tide’s plan of attack last season, when it shut down All-American Leonard Fournette — who ran for just 31 yards on 19 carries — and put the onus on LSU quarterback Brandon Harris to extend possessions with clutch passes. The Tigers know the one-dimensional approach will not work if Saturday’s outcome is to be any different from last year’s 30-16 drubbing.

“Even if they stacked the box in years past, we’re still running the ball,” LSU fullback J.D. Moore said. “Nowadays [offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger is] a little more strategic about running the ball and passing it out there if they stack the box.”

Alabama owns the all-time series advantage, 50-25- 5, and is currently riding a five-game winning streak that began with the Tide’s 21-0 victory over the Tigers in the 2012 BCS National Championship Alabama owns the longest winning streak in the Football Bowl Subdivision, having won 20 consecutive games dating back to last season (a loss on Sept. 19, 2015, vs. Ole Miss). The 20-game streak is the fourth-longest in school history.

Why Bet on LSU?

The Tigers enter Saturday’s game with a 5-2 overall record, including a 3-1 mark in conference play. LSU’s Fournette appears to be back at full strength after rushing for a school-record 284 yards and 3 TDs in a win over Ole Miss last time out. Fournette missed three of LSU’s first six games with an ankle injury.

In four games, Fournette has rushed for 670 yards (167.5 per game) and five touchdowns. Dating back to last year, Fournette has rushed for 100-plus yards in seven games.

The Tigers are led by the interim coach Orgeron, who is 3-0 this season after taking over for Les Miles on Sept. 25. LSU’s offensive plan this time around isn’t clear, but expect a change in philosophy from the one Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron used in last year’s loss to Alabama.

A new look has been on display in Orgeron’s first three games as the interim coach — 35-point wins over Missouri and Southern Miss and a 17-point victory over Ole Miss. In those games, Danny Etling became the first LSU quarterback since Zach Mettenberger in 2013 to pass for more than 200 yards in three straight games while having a cumulative completion percentage of at least 64.

LSU right tackle Toby Weathersby could return after being out for the last four games with an ankle injury. LSU has started four different combinations up front and was starting to establish a little consistency by starting the same five in three of the last four games.

Defensively, LSU is No. 2 in the SEC in rushing defense (104.1), No. 3 in scoring (14.9) and total defense (313.9), and No. 6 in pass defense (209.7). LSU is also limiting opponents to just 31.9 percent (36-of- 113) on third-down conversions.

Since 2005, the LSU-Alabama games have been tight battles, with seven of those games being decided by seven points or less.

My Free Pick

Under is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings in Louisiana State.
Under is 6-1 in the last 7 meetings.
Crimson Tide are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.
Favorite is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 meetings.

Love the under in NCAA football odds. Take the points as Alabama will win by a TD or less.