A complete guide to betting on Alabama vs. LSU


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LSU vs. Alabama Odds

  • Odds: Alabama -6
  • Over/Under: 62.5
  • Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
  • TV: CBS Sports

It’s not No. 1 vs. No. 2 with Ohio State holding the top spot in the College Football Playoff rankings, but Alabama vs. LSU is loaded with intrigue.

The Tide and Tigers always meet on this weekend in November following bye weeks, but given the storylines and magnitude, this could be an all-timer.

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa injured his ankle against Tennessee three weeks ago, and while it sounds like he will play, he may not be 100%.

On the other side, LSU’s offense has looked dynamic behind Heisman favorite Joe Burrow. The Tide haven’t seen an LSU offense like this, ever.

Let’s dive into a few different betting angles for this game, with our bets at the bottom.

How LSU-Alabama Odds Shifted

The lines for this game have been fluctuating as the status of Tua Tagovailoa remains uncertain. After opening around Alabama -6, it went through the key touchdown number to -7.5, only to fall back to -5.5 and -6. Of course, there could still be a major change on the way once more is known about Tua.

The total has been on a similar back-and-forth ride, opening around 63, reaching 66 and falling back inside its opening number to 62.5.

As it stands now, the public has been playing LSU (59% of bets) and the under (64%). — Danny Donahue

Market Shifting Daily with Tua News

There are plenty of stories changing the market daily. The health of Tua Tagovailoa has been the top story, as his every step in practice when possible has been on film.

Friday, CBS broadcaster Gary Danielson said Tua is not 100%, saying “He’s okay…I’d be playing if I was him. But he’s not the Tua that started season.”

I have the drop-off between him and Mac Jones at around 6-7 points, so if Tua is hobbled or can’t continue in the game, it’s a pretty material drop. The first drive or two will be very telling, so have some live lines fired up. — Stuckey

Why Has the Total Dropped?

The drop in the total is correlated to a worry of Alabama trying to establish the run and not push Tua to throw downfield too much. While running the ball would take the load off Mac Jones or Tagovailoa, it’s not in either team’s offensive identity.

LSU ranks top 5 in opponent rushing success, and because of that both Tua or Mac Jones will attack the weakest part of each defense, which is the middle. LSU lost defensive end Justin Thomas and linebacker Michael Divinity, weakening a pass defense that is 113th in opponent pass explosiveness. — Collin Wilson

The total in this game opened at 63 and immediately shot up. I knew that there would be some buy back eventually because a few sharp people that I know liked the under. What I didn’t expect was the number to get back below 63. That has me a little worried about my over play, my second highest play of the year, but I’m not wavering.

Like Collin, a lot of what I’m hearing behind the motivation for under money has to do with Alabama running the ball much more with a hobbled Tua. — Kyle Miller

What’s LSU’s Game Plan?

LSU is expected to forgo the rush and use Joe Burrow’s bread and butter with slants, quick hitches and shallow crossing routes. The Tigers are No. 1 nationally in passing success rate.

Burrow has been excellent at hitting targets out of the backfield and hitting the deep ball off play action. The best place to attack the Alabama defense is over the middle, which LSU can do. Ole Miss has similar success with quarterback John Rhys Plumlee, who managed to hit four different targets for an explosive pass. — Collin Wilson

LSU is fifth in yards per play, 102nd in rush play percentage, and sixth in explosive play percentage. The offensive line has been solid, and they have one of the most talented group of receivers I’ve ever seen.

Nearly identical statements can be made about Alabama’s offense. The only difference between the two are Alabama’s elite offensive line and the slower pace that the Tide play with.

Neither defense has been it’s usual, dominant self but they’re both still very good. Alabama can be vulnerable to the big play, especially on the ground, while LSU’s “weakness” lies with its explosive pass defense and lack of pass rush (70th in sack rate). — Kyle Miller

How Good Is Alabama’s Defense?

Well, we know Alabama’s recruiting allows it to reload every year so the answer as usual is very good. However, we don’t know just how good in relation to the other elite teams in college football, and LSU clearly is part of that group.

I do have questions about the Alabama defense, specifically up front. This is not your older brother’s Alabama defensive line, as the Tide just aren’t getting a big push up front, ranking 95th in Stuff Rate, per Football Outsiders. I think the Tide are vulnerable against an elite team with an elite rushing attack.

However, maybe that won’t hurt them in this particular matchup against an LSU pass-heavy offensive attack that has struggled to run the ball at times this season, averaging only 4.5 yards per rush (60th).

The Tide secondary is uber-talented as you’d expect, so they can stick with the LSU wideouts but the Tiger offense is playing too well to get shut down. Don’t expect another Alabama shutout like last year. — Stuckey

Special Teams Corner

Per SP+, the Tigers have the fourth best unit in all of college football while Alabama ranks 78th. That could end up making all of the difference in the world if this game is close. — Stuckey

How We’re Betting Alabama-LSU

I was able to get down on LSU lookahead line of +8 with a buyback of Alabama -5.5 this week.

I believe opportunities will be available in live betting, and I would suggest any Alabama pk or LSU +7.5 or better.

As for the total, my projection sits at 69. Even with the number dipping below 63, I still believe that over is the right play considering the weakness of each defense, skill position yards after catch potential, explosive passing and poor special teams play.

Scoring should come in flurries, as I wouldn’t be surprised at any eight minute stretch of no points, followed by scores from both teams.

If playing this live, look to target over 60 and under 70. Personally, I will be looking to middle the over 63.5 on the Action App with a live under. — Collin Wilson

Collin’s Pick: Alabama -6 or better, over 63 or better

How am I betting this game? Well, coming into the year, I said Alabama would take a step back (and by step back I mean only a few spots from a top 2 team and still safely within the top 10).

I just thought the defensive losses in the front seven and the assistant coaching carousel in recent years would catch up in 2019. Well, this would be the game we’d find out if that’s true as the Tide haven’t played anybody in their stratosphere yet this season.

Throw in the uncertainty around Tua’s health and we are guessing at quite a few variables for such a marquee matchup. Therefore, I think there is some value on LSU moneyline.

I do think we will see plenty of points (though I think the total is spot on at 63), which will provide us with good live betting opportunities.

If I can’t get LSU above +7 pregame, I will wait for that live but will have a small piece of LSU moneyline before the game regardless. I expect a classic. —Stuckey

Stuckey’s Pick: Small piece of LSU moneyline (+175)

I don’t think Nick Saban and the Alabama coaching staff are going to have the luxury of making the decision that we’ve been hearing so much about — that they can establish the run and keep things slow.

Alabama will have to match LSU score for score if it wants to keep its name in the College Football hunt, so I’m going over. — Kyle Miller

Kyle’s Pick: Over 62.5