Head coach: Ed Orgeron (fourth year)
Last year’s record: 10-3 (5-3 SEC), Fiesta Bowl win against UCF, 40-32
Final AP ranking: No. 6
Recruiting Ranking: No. 5 (3 5-stars, 11 4-stars, 10 3-stars)
First game: Aug. 31 against Georgia Southern (Futures available on BetAmerica)
O/U win total: 9
In Ed Orgeron’s second full year as head coach, he led the Tigers to a 10-3 season behind solid defense. In 2019, however, LSU will need to replace a handful of playmakers, starting with linebacker Devin White, who tallied 123 total tackles, three sacks and six passes defended. LSU also lost cornerbacks Greedy Williams (nine passes defended, two interceptions) and Terrence Alexander, plus defensive tackle Ed Alexander.
One player who could make a difference on the defensive side is Derek Stingley Jr., the No. 1 cornerback recruit in the ESPN 300. Second-leading tackler and linebacker Jacob Phillips (87 total tackles) is back, as is defensive lineman Rashard Lawrence (54 tackles, four sacks). Safety Grant Delpit (nine passes defended, five interceptions) will bolster the defense, as well.
On offense LSU must replace running back Nick Brossette (1,039 yards, 14 touchdowns). Sophomore Clyde Edwards-Helaire will look to make up for Brossette’s production and build on last year’s 658 yards and seven touchdowns. ESPN 300’s No. 1 running back, John Emery, will also have the chance to fill some of the void left by Brossette.
Quarterback Joe Burrow will need to continue his development in his senior season. Last year he threw for 2,894 yards and 16 touchdowns and ran for 399 yards and seven more scores. He’ll keep his top target, Justin Jefferson (875 yards, six touchdowns), most of last year’s receiving corps and four starting offensive linemen. Former New Orleans Saints assistant Joe Brady will serve as passing game coordinator and receivers coach for LSU in 2019, as well, so expect improvement all around on the offense.
Win total: Under 9 (-115), Over 9 (-105)
Looking at the toughest games on the schedule, LSU will play Alabama and Texas on the road, Florida and Auburn at home with a road game at Mississippi State in between, and Texas A&M at home to close out the season. LSU could feasibly win all but one of those, but realistically, the Tigers should lose two. Riding optimism with the offense, take the over on win total.
LSU at Texas, Sept. 7
Texas is coming off a 10-4 season with Tom Herman and heading into 2019 with another top recruiting class. Still, the Longhorns suffered too many losses on defense in the offseason. In just the second game of the season, LSU will come in much stronger and more confident. Look for LSU to win and cover the -2.5 spread.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call 1-800-GAMBLER. 21+. NJ only. Odds may vary. Eligibility restrictions apply. See website for details