1. Red zone stops help Alabama Football to a victory
The LSU offense will be tough to stop, and Alabama Football has to limit explosive plays. If it can make LSU drive the field, it will have the opportunity to tighten up in the red zone without the vertical aspect of the offense posing a threat.
The Bama defense has been stingy in the red zone this season, allowing just 10 touchdowns in 23 opportunities (43 percent). If it can force LSU to kick field goals in the red zone, it could be the deciding factor in this game.
2. Alabama Football scores a non-offensive touchdown
This prediction gets less bold with every passing week. The Alabama defense has already generated two defensive scores this year, courtesy of a Chris Braswell pick-six against Mississippi State and a Braswell strip sack that was picked up by Jihaad Campbell against Tennessee.
Additionally, Bama has had two special teams touchdowns negated by penalties. A Braswell blocked field goal returned for a touchdown against Texas A&M was called back, as was a Terrion Arnold kickoff return for a score against South Florida. Still, the explosive, game-changing ability of Alabama to score non-offensive touchdowns was put on display.
If Bama can once again score a NOT, it will be very difficult for the road team to overcome.
3. Alabama Football wins a low-scoring matchup (relative to expectation)
Many media members have projected a high-scoring shootout in this game. Given LSU’s high-powered offense that averages a nation-leading 47.4 points per game and its struggling defense that is allowing 26.5 points per contest, this is a reasonable expectation. However, the betting total is set at 60.5, and I think the game is more likely to hit the under than many anticipate.
The Alabama defense is a top-15 unit nationally by almost every statistical measure, and I maintain the belief that it is even better than the stats show. I think it will take the media’s focus on the LSU offense as disrespect and play one of its best games yet. It won’t completely shut down LSU like it did Ole Miss, but it could put on a similar performance.
Additionally, the LSU defense may not be as bad as the numbers suggest. It has a lot of talent and has been an opportunistic group that has forced turnovers in key moments.
When discussing this game, some have said “first to 30 wins,” and I think that could be accurate. Points will be at a premium more so than the public expects, and I could see Alabama Football winning somewhere in the neighborhood of 31-24.