ESPN College GameDay Week 10: LSU At Alabama Odds, Betting Preview, Picks
Week 10 presents a monster slate with some of the sport’s best rivalries. Perhaps top billing comes in the SEC between the No. 14 LSU Tigers (6-2, 4-1 SEC) and the No. 8 Alabama Crimson Tide (7-1, 5-0). Aside from being a fierce rivalry and being the site of ESPN College GameDay, this year brings heavy SEC West title implications, with the Tide in a position to all but punch their ticket to Atlanta. Alabama is a home favorite while LSU has odds to win the game outright. The game carries an over/under set at points.
LSU at Alabama kicks off Saturday, Nov. 4 at 7:45 p.m. ET from Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. CBS will broadcast the blockbuster contest as LSU looks for a second straight upset of Alabama. ESPN College GameDay airs from 9 a.m. to noon ET.
ESPN College GameDay: Alabama Vs. LSU Odds
Compare odds from the best college football betting sites below. Click on the odds in the table to place a bet now.
Alabama Vs. LSU Quick Look
|2.47 (45th)||PPD||3.91 (3rd)|
|1.40 (14th)||PPD/A||2.65 (103rd)|
|5.5 (65th)||YPP||7.9 (1st)|
|4.3 (10th)||YPP/A||6.0 (106th)|
|3-1||Top 25 Record||1-2|
Table key: Power (TheLines aggregate power rating), KFord (KFord Rating), PPD (points per drive scored), PPD/A (points per drive allowed), YPP (yards per play), YPP/A (yards per play allowed), Top 25 Record (record vs. top 25 teams in TheLines’ aggregate power ratings – NOT AP or CFP polls!)
Alabama Crimson Tide Preview
The transition from Bryce Young to Jalen Milroe was a difficult one for Alabama at first. The offense largely lacked identity until Nick Saban decided to make the best of a Milroe-led offense. Now, the Tide’s offense resembles that of an NBA team – layups (runs/short passing game) and three-pointers (deep shots) only. Milroe transformed into one of the nation’s best deep ball throwers. On attempts 20+ yards down the field, the sophomore has 17 graded big-time throws and no turnover-worthy plays (PFF). While far from perfect, the system works, leading Alabama to a 5-0 start in the SEC.
Known from the preseason, this group of Alabama receivers may be its least prolific in some time. However, Jermaine Burton and Isaiah Bond have rounded into shape and are improving with each passing week. Jase McClellan successfully fended off other talented backs to become the featured rusher. However, the offensive line has not dominated like in years past, leading to increased sacks and just the 80th-most successful run game nationally.
Defensively is where Alabama once again hangs its hat. A ferocious pass rush led by Dallas Turner and Chris Baswell stifled opponent after opponent, leading the charge to a 10.3% sack rate (ninth-best). The preseason’s most lauded unit, the secondary, has been drowned out by the dominant pass rush but still poses a real challenge to LSU. Kool-Aid McKinstry continues to play at an All-American level, and freshman Caleb Downs made an expected immediate impact. Safety Malachi Moore had the bye to get completely healthy, as well.
The Tide had this game circled since last year. LSU kept them out of the SEC Championship Game with an upset in Death Valley, marking their second win over Alabama in the last four seasons.
LSU Tigers Preview
Despite a seeming-endless well of talent, LSU’s defense has been one of the most shockingly awful units in the country. To make matters worse for the 117th-ranked stop unit in EPA per play, they’re battling several key injuries. Defensive lineman Mekhi Wingo is out for the season, and three contributors in the secondary – Zy Alexander (injury), Deuce Chestnut (personal), and Denver Harris (personal) – won’t suit up for this game. The experiment of moving star Harold Perkins out of position failed spectacularly, but the All-American is back on the edge.
Luckily for the defense, the offense is putting up nation-leading numbers. Jayden Daniels has crafted a fine Heisman campaign thus far, and his duo of receivers is among the SEC’s best. Brian Thomas boasts a perfect passer rating when targeted, and Malik Nabers is living up to his All-SEC preseason honors. If there is any concern around this LSU offense, it’s whether or not the offensive line provides enough protection for Daniels against Alabama’s pass rush. Against the better pass rushes on the schedule (Florida State, Missouri), Daniels was under duress frequently.
After seeing the tape on Alabama’s secondary against Texas, LSU likely looks down the field frequently with their high-octane pass game. While the Tide stand inside the top 20 for most defensive categories, they have allowed 23 passes of 20+ yards, tied for 42nd nationally.
A loss to Alabama this week likely removes LSU from the SEC West race. The Tigers have won in Tuscaloosa three times since Saban took over, the last coming in the historic 2019 year and the time previous in 2011.
Week 10: Alabama Vs. LSU Preview
Both teams this week are willing and able to throw the football downfield. Given the injuries and movement in LSU’s already-porous secondary, Milroe likely won’t hesitate to take shots early. Connecting on those early deep shots may spell trouble for LSU. However, consistent deep shots also lead to a high average time to throw (TTT); Milroe has the second-highest TTT in the country, leading also to the second-highest pressure-to-sack ratio nationally (35.8%!). Perkins has the ability to take advantage of freshman tackle Kayden Proctor, who is among the lowest-graded pass-blocking tackles in the SEC.
Standout defensive tackle Maason Smith also needs to have his biggest game of the year to disrupt the Tide. Should neither Smith or Perkins have All-American-worthy outings, LSU’s defense will likely fall back to their early-season stage after allowing just 18 points in their last two games.
Perhaps the biggest concern for Alabama in this game comes from Saban’s own words – “Good defense doesn’t beat good offense anymore.” LSU fields the superior offense by a hefty margin, even if the margin between the defenses is even greater. Breakdowns from the Alabama secondary could lead to a shootout, a game script far more beneficial to the Tigers than the Tide.
But the opposite is also true: should Alabama remain buttoned-up in the secondary and force pressure and sacks on Daniels, then the game script becomes beneficial to Alabama.
LSU at Alabama Prop To Consider
A game plan where LSU lines up and tries to run the football straight at the teeth of the Alabama front seven seems unlikely. Though the offensive line has done a fine job creating creases and getting a push in previous games, this is a clear step up in class. If LSU is going to win this game, it’s going to be built on the shoulders of a Heisman-defining game from Jayden Daniels. Playing the potential of a high-scoring affair (which the over/under heavily suggests), I’m taking Jayden Daniels Over 32.5 pass attempts (-114) at FanDuel Sportsbook.
KFord Rating assessment
Find Kelley’s work all season long with TheLines!
Alabama is currently power rated No. 9 in my model. The Crimson Tide haven’t finished a season ranked that low since 2008 – Nick Saban’s second year in Tuscaloosa. My power ratings suggest that this year’s LSU team is actually better than the 2022 version that beat the Tide and won the West. LSU’s current power rating of 22.0 is their best since they finished the 2019 national championship season with a rating of 35.9
The difference in this game comes down to two things for my model: the LSU defense is No. 56 (the only unit ranked outside the top 20 nationally) and this game is in Tuscaloosa. This strength-on-strength matchup should be phenomenal, and is a big reason why this game has such a high Watchability Score (9.8).
Bottom line, I have Alabama -2.5, with a 43% chance LSU pulls off the upset for the second year in a row.Kelley Ford, TheLines College Football Podcast
Alabama Vs. LSU Odds: Market Report
LSU vs. Alabama odds have been posted all summer long as Game of the Year lines. FanDuel Sportsbook re-opened the odds Sunday morning with a 58.5-point over/under. Butting just up on a key figure in college football totals betting, the market made an immediate play to the over, pushing the total up to 60.5. There’s apparent market resistance at LSU +3.5, and the number hasn’t hit Alabama -2.5, making three points a golden mean. Likely, we won’t see much movement in that number until close to kickoff, if at all.
If you’re watching ESPN College GameDay on Saturday, enjoy! If you’re betting LSU vs. Alabama, good luck!
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