(5) Alabama Crimson Tide at (16) LSU Tigers (+6.5, 45 o/u)
There are a lot of great college football games on tap this Saturday. Arguably the best of the bunch features the No. 5 Alabama Crimson Tide (7-1, 4-1 SEC) visiting the No. 16 LSU Tigers (7-2, 3-2 SEC) at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.
Alabama didn’t play last week and, if the season ended today, would be the first team out of the inaugural four-team College Football Playoff. A win on the road against No. 16 LSU would give the Selection Committee some pause before placing the Tide outside the top four again. Though LSU is out of the playoff picture with two losses, Alabama coach Nick Saban knows the Tigers are keen to spoil the party for everyone else.
“These games are traditionally very tough, physical games between two ranked teams,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. “It’s certainly not going to be any different this year.”
LSU already played spoiler last weekend against then-No. 3 Ole Miss, edging out a 10-7 win in Baton Rouge and knocking the Rebels from the top four.
“They have a very good team, who’s playing their best football of the year,” Saban added. “We play these games one game at a time and this is the most important game, because it is a game we play this week against a very good team on the road in a difficult place to play.”
Saturday’s game figures to be a low-scoring, defensive struggle. Alabama has the second-best defense in the nation, allowing just 14 points per game, while LSU has the fourth-best defense, giving up 15.9.
The odds have Alabama as 6.5-point favorites and the over/under is at 45. The Tide are 0-5 ATS in their last five games on the road, but have historically cashed tickets in Baton Rouge, going 7-3 ATS in their last ten at LSU.
(Photo credit: Thecoiner [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)