Heading into Saturday’s big College Football game, the LSU vs. Alabama line remained at -4.5 with only a handful of online sportsbooks offering the line at -5. YOU CAN BET THIS GAME LIVE RIGHT NOW HERE
Sportsbook.com Line & Total: Alabama -4.5 & 41
Opening Line & Total: Crimson Tide -5 & 42
*Also note that Alabama was currently listed with even odds to win the 2012 BCS Championship and LSU had odds of just under 2/1. You can place your future bet here.
The biggest game of the college football season takes place in Tuscaloosa on Saturday night when top-ranked LSU visits No. 2 Alabama.
The Tigers deserve to be No. 1 with the top-25-loaded schedule they have played, but Alabama is the better team here on both sides of the ball. Both schools have smart quarterbacks who won’t throw the game away, but Alabama (229 YPG, 5.8 avg) has a decisive edge over LSU (189 YPG, 4.3 avg) in terms of running the football. Trent Richardson (989 rushing yards, 18 total TD) had only six carries in last year’s loss at LSU after getting injured on a touchdown run. He certainly has a game-changing presence on the field. The Tide also have a stronger defense, having not given up more than 14 points to anybody, and that includes Penn State, Arkansas and Florida with John Brantley starting. The Tigers have been good, but they have also been very fortunate to play three straight games against teams breaking in a new starting QB (Florida’s Jacoby Brissett, Tennessee’s Matt Simms and Auburn’s Clint Moseley).
Despite LSU’s stellar 39.3 PPG (12th in nation), the Tigers rank 81st in total offense (372 YPG) and 99th in passing offense (183 YPG). QB Jarrett Lee does a fine job of managing the game though, with 13 TD and just one interception for the entire season. Co-QB Jordan Jefferson is 6-for-10 passing with 2 TD and has rushed 26 times for 111 yards and another 2 TD this year. He played pretty well in last year’s win over Alabama, completing 10-of-13 passes for 141 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. In addition to Jefferson, the Tigers have three other players that can run the football. Spencer Ware leads the team with 512 rushing yards and he is expected to return to the field after a one-game suspension. Michael Ford is averaging 5.6 YPC with six touchdowns, and Alfred Blue is at 4.4 YPC with four scores. But the best offensive player for this team recently has been junior RB Rueben Randle, who has 319 receiving yards and 4 TD in his past three games.
LSU’s defense has really stepped up in SEC play, holding all five conference foes to 11 points or less (8.2 PPG) and fewer than 250 total yards (209.6 total YPG). The Tigers are second in the nation in turnover margin (+1.9 per game) and are tied for 15th in Tackles for Loss (7.6 per game).
Alabama is 7-1 ATS on the season, with its only non-cover being a 41-0 win over North Texas when it was favored by 47 points. QB A.J. McCarron continues to mature throughout his sophomore season with 10 TD and just 3 INT on the year. His completion percentage is a strong 67%, which includes a 74% clip over his past three games. McCarron also knows his best option is to get the ball in Richardson’s hands. His 77 rushing yards against Tennessee in the last game broke a string of six straight 100-yard efforts, but Richardson is still averaging a hefty 6.6 yards per carry. Sophomore Eddie Lacy has an even higher YPC average at 8.0, scoring five times on his 58 carries.
The Crimson Tide defense has been unbelievable, leading the nation in scoring defense (6.9 PPG), total defense (181 YPG) and rushing defense (45 YPG), while ranking second against the pass (136 YPG). And like LSU, Alabama has also done a great job forcing turnovers, posting five straight games with two takeaways.
- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter