Alabama at LSU
November 2, 2018
By Brian Edwards
Editor's note: Brian Edwards went 3-0 in MACtion picks on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Brian improved his Week 10 record to 4-0 by cashing with UCF last night. His guaranteed plays are on a 7-1 run (87.5%, +590!) since Oct. 13, so don't miss out on his next pay-if-it-wins-only selection!
SEC Notebook - Week 10
Alabama (8-0 straight up, 5-3 against the spread) is ranked No. 1 in the newest College Football Rankings and that title is certainly well deserved. Nick Saban’s team has won all eight of its games by at least 22 points. The Crimson Tide has been so dominant that its star QB Tua Tagovailoa hasn’t taken a snap in the fourth quarter all season.
On paper and by just about anyone’s eye test, this squad appears to be Saban’s best and one of the most dominant in college football history. But nobody earns the latter honor through only eight games. In fact, this team can’t even claim the former billing unless it wins the CFP. So obviously, Alabama still has plenty of work to do.
With that said, let’s take a moment to digest what this club has accomplished to date. For gamblers who have backed the Tide in the first quarter and the first half, in addition to taking its team total ‘over’ in the first quarter, first half and for the game, those bettors have cashed tickets at an insane 36-3-1 clip.
For those gamblers who regularly read my weekly SEC Notebook, you’re freakin’ welcome since I’ve been pointing you toward this sequence of bets since Week 3! When I write my SEC content on Friday, the lines for the first quarter and the teams totals in the first quarter and first half usually aren’t available yet.
As I write this on Friday afternoon, we do have a first-half line already as ‘Bama is a 7.5-point favorite with a total of 27.5. We also have a team total for the game (34.5 pts. for the Tide; LSU’s is 19.5). Most books have Alabama installed as a 14.5-point favorite (we’re talking about the game now) with a total of 53.5. The Tigers are anywhere from +450 to +500 on the money line.
Tagovailoa is a monster -400 ‘chalk’ to win the Heisman Trophy at Sportsbook.ag. He has 25 TD passes without an interception, in addition to a pair of rushing scores. The true sophomore QB has connected on 70.4 percent of his passes for 2,066 yards.
Najee Harris has run for a team-best 489 yards and four TDs with a 6.3 yards-per-carry average. Damien Harris has 435 rushing yards and five TDs while averaging 6.4 YPC.
Jerry Jeudy reminds me of former Florida Gator WRs Jack Jackson and Jacquez Green. He has lightning-fast speed and an incredibly quick burst. Jeudy has 31 receptions for 777 yards and 10 TDs, while Jaylen Waddle has 21 catches for 457 yards and three TDs. Henry Ruggs has caught 24 balls for 444 yards and a team-best seven TDs. Devonta Smith, who was upgraded to ‘probable' on Friday, has 21 grabs for 409 yards and three TDs.
Since giving up backdoor covers in three straight games, Alabama has covered the number in back-to-back outings vs. Missouri (39-10) and at Tennessee (58-21). Tagovailoa threw for 306 yards and four TDs against the Vols, while Josh Jacobs ran for 68 yards and two scores on 12 carries.
LSU (7-1 SU, ATS) will be without its best player in junior LB Devin White for the first half. White was flagged for a shaky targeting penalty in the second half of his team’s 19-3 win over Mississippi State two weeks ago. The enormity of his absence for the first 30 minutes can’t be overstated. White was a second-team All-American last season and is en route to garnering first-team honors in 2018. He has recorded 76 tackles, six TFL’s, one sack, six QB hurries, four PBU, one forced fumble and one fumble return for 29 yards.
LSU has notable wins over Miami (33-17 at Jerry World), at Auburn (22-21 on a walk-off FG), vs. La. Tech (38-21), vs. Ole Miss (45-16), vs. UGA (36-16) and vs. MSU (19-3). The Tigers took their lone defeat at Florida by a 27-19 score.
LSU intercepted Mississippi State QB Nick Fitzgerald four times at Tiger Stadium two weeks ago. Grant Delpit had a pair of picks, Nick Brossette scored on a one-yard TD run and Cole Tracy buried four FGs against the Bulldogs.
The difference for LSU this season has been the timely play of Ohio State grad transfer QB Joe Burrow, who doesn’t have the cleanest stats but has been money at crunch time. Burrow has run for 250 yards and four TDs and wasn’t intercepted for the first time until Week 6.
Brossette has rushed for a team-high 697 yards and 10 TDs, averaging 4.6 yards per carry. Clyde Edwards-Helaire has run for 521 yards and five TDs with a 5.0 YPC average. WR Justin Jefferson has 30 receptions for 471 yards and two TDs.
Since Ed Orgeron replaced Les Miles as head coach, he has compiled a 15-4 spread record in 19 SEC games. Oregon owns an 11-1 spread record in his past 12 SEC contests. As a home underdog on his watch, LSU is 2-1 both SU and ATS.
Since LSU won a 9-6 overtime decision at Alabama in 2011, the Crimson Tide has won seven games in a row over the Tigers while going 5-2 ATS. The past three wins and four of the last five have come by double-digit margins.
When these bitter rivals squared off in Tuscaloosa last season, Alabama won by a 24-10 count but LSU took the cash as a 20.5-point road underdog. The 44 combined points slithered ‘under’ the 45-point tally. QB Jalen Hurts, who is ‘questionable’ Saturday night due to a sprained ankle, threw one TD pass and ran for another score.
This rivalry has seen the ‘under’ hit in four straight games and nine of the past 10. The ‘under’ is on a 5-0 run when the game is played in Baton Rouge. The favorite is 4-1 ATS in the past five head-to-head meetings.
The ‘over’ is 6-2 overall for ‘Bama this season, 2-1 in its three road contests. Both ‘unders’ came when the total was in the 70s. In fact, both totals were the highest we’ve seen in Alabama football history. The Tide’s games have averaged combined scores of 70.0 PPG.
The ‘over’ is 5-3 overall for LSU, 3-2 in its home games. The ‘over’ had hit in four consecutive outings for the Tigers until their win over MSU fell way below the 45.5-point total. LSU’s games have averaged combined scores of 45.5 PPG.
CBS will provide the broadcast at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.
Follow Brian Edwards' sports gambling opinions on Twitter at @vegasbedwards.
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