No. 1 Alabama vs LSU

No. 1 Alabama vs LSU | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

Written by on December 4, 2020

Top-ranked Alabama was originally to play Arkansas this week, but the SEC made some schedule changes that instead has the Tide renewing their rivalry with LSU, a game that was postponed from a couple of weeks ago. Bama is a huge favorite on the NCAAF odds and would reach the SEC title game with a victory.

How to Bet Alabama at LSU NCAA Football Odds & TV Info

  • When: Saturday, 8 PM ET
  • Where: Tiger Stadium
  • TV: CBS
  • Stream: CBS Sports app
  • Radio:com
  • Opening NCAAF Lines: Alabama -29 (total 67.5)

Last Meeting/Series

In 2019, Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa – now both NFL rookies – played a stellar duel as LSU won at Alabama 46-41, a game that helped Burrow take the Heisman Trophy. The current Cincinnati Bengal passed for 393 yards and three scores. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, also now in the NFL ran for three touchdowns and caught a scoring pass. The Crimson Tide rallied from a 33-13 halftime deficit to three times pull within a touchdown in the fourth quarter but could never get even. Tua was 21-of-40 for 418 yards and four touchdowns with an interception and a fumble.

Saturday will be the 85th all-time meeting. The Tide lead 53-26-5 all-time. Bama had won eight in a row prior in the series prior to last year. Alabama head coach Nick Saban is 10-5 in his career against LSU, including a 10-4 mark at Alabama. LSU head coach Ed Orgeron is 1-6 all-time against the Crimson Tide, including a 1-3 mark during his time in Baton Rouge.

Why Bet on Alabama? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

The Tide (8-0) beat bitter rival Auburn 42-13 in the Iron Bowl last Saturday without Coach Nick Saban, who tested positive for COVID-19. It’s thought he will be on the sideline for this one but not a sure thing: “I’m going to be back shortly, it’s a medical decision. When I can come back I’ll be totally 100% with the team, so, and that’s something that’s going to happen in the very near future.”

During his tenure at Alabama, Saban has suffered 23 total losses. Of those 23 losses, the Crimson Tide and Saban have had the opportunity to face the team that beat them at a later date on 19 occasions (like LSU here). In those 19 rematches, Alabama owns a 17-2 mark when avenging its previous loss. The only two times the Crimson Tide have fallen in back-to-back games against the same opponent is LSU (2010-2011) and Ole Miss (2014-2015).

Alabama has defeated 96 consecutive unranked teams under Saban, the longest streak in FBS history. The current streak began with a win over Colorado on December 30, 2007 in the Independence Bowl.

If Saban isn’t cleared, offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian would be the head coach again. With how much LSU has struggled this year, the Tide probably don’t need Saban on the sidelines, but they’ll only be better off with him around.

Against Auburn, DeVonta Smith had 171 receiving yards on seven catches, including two that went for touchdowns. It marked his fifth game this season with 140-plus receiving yards and pushed him over 1,000 yards for the season. Smith’s 1,074 on 72 catches in 2020 marks the second 1,000-yard season of his career, after tallying 1,256 in 2019. He now has two of the 11 1,000-yard seasons in Alabama history. Smith also bettered his SEC and Alabama career receiving touchdown record to 35.

Mac Jones threw for 302 yards on 18-26 passing with a career-best five touchdown throws, tying the Iron Bowl passing TD record. Two of his passing scores went to Smith, two to John Metchie III and one to Jahleel Billingsley. Jones is battling Kyle Trask for the Heisman Trophy. Najee Harris rushed for 96 yards on 11 carries, including a 39-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Harris has now scored rushing touchdowns in seven of eight games this season, totaling 17.

Why Bet on LSU? | 2020 NCAAF Expert Analysis

The Tigers (3-4) have hugely disappointed but have been crushed by injuries, early entries to the NFL draft and opt-outs. Less than a week ago, top wideout Terrace Marshall Jr. left the team to prepare for the draft. Marshall finishes with 48 receptions for 731 yards and 10 scores, all of which led the team by far this season.

LSU comes off a 20-7 loss last Saturday to Texas A&M. The Aggies held the Tigers to 267 yards in total offense, including 36 yards rushing. Field position was a significant factor in the Aggies’ defensive effort, as punter Nik Constantinou pinned the Tigers’ inside the 20-yard line on six occasions.

On the flip side, the Aggies offense managed only 267 total yards against the LSU defense, which forced Texas A&M to punt 12 times. In his final game with LSU, Marshall Jr. caught 10 passes for 134 yards and one TD.  Marshall’s touchdown meant nothing to the outcome of the game. It came with LSU trailing 20-0 and with just 38 seconds in the contest. Freshman QB T.J. Finley completed just 9-of-25 passes for 118 yards with two interceptions. Finley is now 2-2 as the starter for an injured Myles Brennan, who is done for the season.

Tigers wideout Racey McMath (undisclosed) will not play against Alabama. McMath had started all five games that LSU had played before sitting out last Saturday. The redshirt junior has registered 11 receptions for 147 yards thus far.

The Tigers are 13-0 under Ed Orgeron in games following a loss. That mark includes a 3-0 record in 2020. LSU hasn’t dropped back-to-back games since 2015 when the Tigers lost three straight games during the month of November (Alabama, Arkansas, and Ole Miss).

This will be LSU’s first home game in six weeks and first regular-season December game for LSU in Tiger Stadium since 2001 when the Tigers beat Auburn, 27-14, on Dec. 1 to clinch a spot in the SEC Championship Game.

LSU is 2-14-1 all-time against teams ranked No. 1 in the nation. LSU beat Florida, 28-21 in 1997 for its only win over a No. 1 ranked team in Tiger Stadium.

Game Trends

  • Crimson Tide are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games as a favorite.
  • Crimson Tide are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a ATS win.
  • Tigers are 6-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
  • Tigers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games.
  • Tigers are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games as an underdog.
  • Road team is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings.

Expert College Football Prediction

Alabama 52, LSU 21


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