NCAA Football Betting Picks – LSU-Alabama Lacks Sizzle of Seasons PastNoah Williams
Usually, the SEC has been the championship producing force in NCAA football betting, and it’s a conference that has been highlighted by Les Miles’ LSU Tigers and Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide. So whenever these two teams meet, it’s going to be interesting. Unfortunately, the LSU Tigers have been a ghost of themselves this year because of weak recruiting. There are still some that believe Miles has enough tricks up his sleeves to give Alabama a run for their money, but it’s hard to envision that happening. Every metric and data point we have suggests that Alabama is going to destroy their most hated rival.
Alabama has been the top ranked team in the country all season long, and for good reason. Their 5-3 ATS record is to be expected because they’ve faced some monster spreads. They failed to cover a -54.5 handicap against Georgia State in a dominant 45-3 victory, didn’t cover a -40.0 line against CSU during a 31-6 win and were also given a stiff challenge from Johnny Football in the second game of their season. Those are all excusable spread losses.
It’s worth pointing out, however, that LSU has usually given Alabama a tough game. The Tigers are 2-3 SU and 3-2 ATS in their last 5 meetings, and everyone who loves NCAAF football betting remembers the dog fight these two engaged in last season. What’s important, however, is that Alabama seems to be on a completely different level than everyone else in the country. LSU is a scrappy team, but it’s hard to see them giving Alabama any real problems.
Everything starts for Alabama on the defensive side of the football. They’ve allowed a nation best 9.8 points per game this season. The crazy part about that stat is that if you subtract the 49-42 win over Texas A&M from that average, the Tide have allowed an astounding 5.2 points against per game, which includes four games where they haven’t surrendered a touchdown. I mean, there’s nothing I can write in a paragraph that exclaims the merits of this defense. They’re not just the best in the country…they’re one of the best ever constructed.
Which means that LSU quarterback Zach Mettenburger might be in for a rough go on Saturday night. With 2,492 passing yards and 19 touchdowns, Mettenburger has been solid but he’s also been vulnerable to turnovers. He has seven so far this year, and 5 of those have come in the past two games. Alabama can not only create pressure in the pocket, they have super powered vultures in the secondary who can victimize Mettenburger’s mistakes. Mettenburger has to try to win this game, and though he’s good, it will give Alabama plenty of opportunity to tear down turnovers out of the air. This is simply a bad situation to be in for a quarterback.
On the flip side, LSU hasn’t been the defensive stalwarts they have been in years gone by. They’ve given up 21 points against Auburn, 27 against TCU, 26 against Mississippi state and 27 against Ole Miss. Stopping A.J. McCarron is no easy task either. The senior quarterback is having his best season ever, and is line to challenge for the Heisman. On the season, McCarron has 1,862 passing yards and 16 touchdowns but he’s been hyper efficient and has only allowed 3 picks. All of those came in the first four games of the year as well. More recently, McCarron has been virtually unstoppable and his stats are low because he isn’t asked to do that much.
The real heroes for Alabama are their offensive line, which is the best in the country as well. They’ll be cracking open holes for T.J. Yeldon and giving McCarron all the time he needs against an LSU defensive front that lacks a big time playmaker up front. LSU has made it a tradition to produce first round worthy defensive line talent for the NFL, but this season they lack that kind of player.
It’s impossible to hype Alabama too much. They have a great rushing attack. McCarron has blossomed in to one of the most dangerous quarterbacks in the country. And their defense won’t give LSU an inch to work with. This is by far the largest spread the Tide have faced when playing the Tigers in the last seven NCAA football betting seasons. There’s a damn good reason too.
Bet Alabama, watch McCarron go to work and sit back while you marvel at how talented and dominant the Tide’s defense is. This is going to be an awful night to cheer for the LSU Tigers and will only increase the cavernous gap Alabama has carved out between them and the rest of the best.
NCAA Football Betting Pick – Alabama -13.0 (UNDER)