Mac Jones and the Tide are massive favorites over a struggling LSU in Week 11. Photo from @pff_college (Twitter)
- Alabama opens as a 22-point favorite against the defending national champion LSU Tigers
- The Crimson Tide have won eight of the last ten in this series
- Read below for an opening look at this SEC West matchup
The rivalry between Alabama and LSU has been one of the biggest matchups on the college football calendar for the past decade, but in 2020, it lacks the usual hype. LSU if off to a rough start, while Alabama appears to be their usual, dominant self.
The Crimson Tide are undefeated with an offense that is firing on all cylinders, and that’s why they open as a 22-point favorite for this SEC West rivalry.
Alabama Crimson Tide vs LSU Tigers Opening Odds
|Alabama Crimson Tide||-22 (-110)||N/A||N/A|
|LSU Tigers||+22 (-110)||N/A||N/A|
Odds taken Nov. 8th from FanDuel
Tide are Rolling
Before this year, there was question about whether or not Mac Jones would run the offense at a high level, and some thought he wouldn’t even last the season as the starter. Those doubters have been summarily silenced.
Jones is completing 78% of his passes and he’s thrown 16 touchdowns to only two interceptions. He has sliced and diced every defense on the schedule, and there was no hiccup whatsoever against the vaunted Georgia defense.
Those numbers are impressive for Jones, but they’re also a testament to all of the weapons that this unit possesses. Najee Harris has 714 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns in 2020. DeVonta Smith has 759 receiving yards, and Jaylen Waddle (pre-injury) and John Metchie are over 500 as well.
The Tide are basically a fantasy football roster that is good for at least 40 points a game. It’s tough to really analyze this team in the way it was tough to analyze LSU a year ago, because there is such an overwhelming amount of talent. The problem for the Tigers, of course, is that they are no longer one of those teams themselves.
2020 Heisman Trophy Odds Tracker
One Hit Wonder in Baton Rouge
The 2019 LSU team was one of the great teams in the history of college football. The 2020 team is anything but.
All offseason, there was a question as to how Ed Orgeron would replace Heisman Joe Burrow, coordinators Joe Brady and Dave Aranda, and pretty much every significant playmaker on the team. As a 48-11 defeat to Auburn and losses to Missouri and Mississippi State have shown, he hasn’t been able to do so.
LSU has had problems in every department. The defense has been generally porous, giving up totals of 52 to South Carolina, 48 to Auburn, and 44 to a Mississippi State offense that has struggled mightily in 2020.
Myles Brennan has played well at quarterback, but he’s been out of action since suffering an injury against Missouri. The offensive line hasn’t helped backup TJ Finley at all, as the running game is currently averaging just 3.5 yards per carry, and LSU ranks 72nd nationally in sacks allowed.
LSU is fortunate that this season is abbreviated, because the 2020 season has been a painful one.
Where Will the Line Move?
It’s tough to see this line moving all that much. It’s already all the way at Alabama -22, so betting Alabama isn’t all that enticing. On the other side, though, there isn’t much reason to think LSU keeps it within 20 either.
The latest on Myles Brennan is that it’s “very doubtful” he’ll play against the Tide, per Orgeron on his weekly radio show.
That is the one piece of news that could shift the line. Brennan is a far more effective passer than Finley, and he opens up the offense so much. This line could drop into the high teens, still favoring Alabama, if Brennan does play.
With four years as radio host with The Ticket Sports Network and various written contributions to publications such as Fansided, Southbound and Down, and Last Word on Sports, Jake Mitchell comes to SBD with NFL, NBA, NCAAM, NCAAF and MMA know-how you can count on.