WEEK 10 SEC BETTING
#1 Alabama Crimson Tide at #3 LSU Tigers (54)
Saturday, Nov. 3 – Tiger Stadium – 8:00pm ET on CBS
Odds: ALA -14.5 (54.0)
The biggest games in the college football regular season happen in November, and the SEC kicks off the month with a significant showdown when #1 Alabama (8-0/5-0) tackles #3 LSU (7-1/4-1) in a first place SEC West battle in Baton Rouge. Those rankings are from the current college football playoff rankings released this week, where the SEC is very well represented with four teams in the Top-10. But even with LSU ranked closely to Alabama, there is a veritable chasm between the two teams and the Week 10 SEC betting line reflects that.
The best team in the country is favored by just over two touchdowns over the third ranked team in the rankings. That doesn’t devalue LSU by any stretch, but it says a lot about how good the Crimson Tide are.
What a juggernaut this Alabama team is, averaging a nation-best 54.1 points per game (PPG) and beating all eight opponents by at least 22 points. The Crimson Tide are averaging 38 PPG in the first half alone! Coach Saban hasn’t had an offense this explosive in his tenure, yet I’m not sure he’s had a defense this deficient either. Still solid, but not elite like recent editions, Alabama enters November with three tough games to finish their season. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is the Heisman Trophy favorite heading into November and has accumulated 2,066 passing yards at a remarkable 13.6 yards per attempt and 25-to-ZERO touchdown/interception ratio. Oh, and doesn’t even play the entire game, often giving way to last seasons starter and now backup QB Jalen Hurts.
Probably the best factoid from this awesome Week 10 SEC betting showdown is that Tagovailoa has yet to play in a fourth quarter this entire season, and he’s still the Heisman favorite. The fact that Alabama has churned this many points out by playing their starting quarterback for just over two quarters per game on average says a lot about how explosive they are.
Regardless, this Week 10 SEC betting line is just too high against a defensive dominator like LSU playing at home with revenge and an extra week of rest and preparation. Yes, ‘Bama is rested and ready too, but the Tigers have played a tougher schedule to this point of the season while allowing just over 341 yards and 16.7 points per game vs. FBS opponents. LSU has beaten four ranked teams and the Tigers are the only team in the country that has beaten six teams with a winning record. Alabama has played one ranked team this season and allowed nearly 400 yards to Texas A&M in a 45-23 home win.
The last time Alabama visited here in 2016, the ‘Tide escaped with a 10-0 win when the current backup QB Jalen Hurts was directing the Alabama offense. In the last eight meetings between these two teams, Alabama has scored more than 30 points just once, and LSU has held Alabama to 15 PPG below their season average. Unfortunately, LSU has not scored more than 17 points against Alabama in any of the last eight meetings, but this is not an elite Alabama defense, and I expect LSU to break through for at least 20 points, which would be enough to cover with a projected score based on the line of 34-20.
The emotions will be high and the marquee Week 10 SEC betting matchup in Baton Rouge will tell us more about these two teams, especially Alabama. I don’t expect the ‘Tide to remain high, and it could send the Crimson crashing down.
Week 10 SEC Betting Pick – LSU Tigers +-14.5 or LSU +480 Moneyline
Bonus Pick – Texas A&M at Auburn -4.0 (49.0)
Both teams are 5-3, but Auburn enters off its bye week trying to get its offense untracked. It won’t be easy against a Texas A&M run defense that ranks top-10 in the country allowing 96 rushing yards per game. But A&M has only forced four turnovers this season, which has hurt not only its defense, but not allowed the offense more possessions or better field position. Texas A&M has proven they have the slightly better offense and defense entering this contest, but not a good situation for them to be at their best this week either. The visitor is 6-0 SU and ATS in the recent series, and while we would like to play the Aggies, there are too many negative variables overall. The best play may be on the total, and we’ll lean that way with less scoring than expected. My gut tells me that the best Week 10 SEC betting play in this matchup is UNDER 49.0.
Fairway Jay is a professional handicapper based out of Las Vegas. He focuses primarily on the four majors along with college football and college basketball. You can follow him on Twitter @FairwayJay.