BCS National Championship Free Picks - LSU Hopes To Break Crimson Tide
The Superdome is going to be a pretty busy place this coming week, and one of the biggest reasons is the Allstate BCS Championship matchup between two SEC rivals. Top-ranked LSU was perfect this season, in large part thanks to the 9-to-6 victory they held over Alabama at mid-season in what was dubbed the "Game of the Century". While the first matchup may not have lived up to the aforementioned hype (unless you're big into "defense-porn"), the stakes for this game are much higher.
If you thought the home field advantage was pretty big when LSU hosted Alabama in their first meeting, then you might as well fork over your hard earned cash to the Tigers now because they're literally playing a few blocks from campus. It should also help that LSU was one of the sturdier bets in all of college ball this season with a stingy defense and a surefire offense that covered with a 10-3 ATS record.
So why is Alabama favored? Well for one they have Heisman candidate Trent Richardson at their disposal, who most scouts point to as a Steven Jackson redux and while I'm not going to anoint him that high up on the pedestal, Richardson is a bankable talent. With 1,583 yards and 20 touchdowns this season I'm not breaking any news when I remind everyone he's a force to be reckoned with. It also helps that the visiting team whenever Alabama and LSU butt heads is 12-3-1 ATS in their past 16 meetings.
#2 Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1) vs. #1 LSU Tigers
Monday, January 9th --- Superdome, New Orleans --- 8:30pm EST
NCAAF BCS Championship Line: Alabama -1.0 (40.0)
Familiarity is a key here, since Nick Saban and Les Miles know each other pretty damn well. It also doesn't help LSU's argument that they are 25-45-5 SU in their rivalry against Alabama, and not a whole lot of people have that much faith in Les Miles on the big stage. He's kind of like the Andy Reid of college football and though that's not meant as a blistering criticism, it's also not the highest praise in the world.
LSU has both a very difficult and versatile offense to cover, and a defense as stingy as the Crimson Tide's. The Tigers were able to maul opponents by double digit victories in each win this season…except against Saban's boys.
That in itself should tell you everything you need to know about this matchup. The Tigers opened this matchup as the -1.0 point favorites, but the odds quickly shifted against them and have been posted as high as -1.5 in Vegas on the other side of the line. The sharps love the Crimson Tide in this matchup and for very good reason.
Both teams have amazing defenses, and I don't need to dive in to the specific metrics or players to tell you that this is the truth. They are clearly the top two defenses in the country, but the difference here is that Alabama has a much more preferential type of offense that bettors love to back. Who doesn't love a power running game and a smart sophomore quarterback like A.J. McCarron who doesn't make mistakes combined with a stalwart defense?
The big bowls have been a testament to offense with teams averaging a whopping 38.5 points per game in the Sugar, Rose, Orange and Fiesta bowls respectively blowing most TOTALS out of the lakes and oceans. As for this game? Well I think nerves get the better of both teams and with these types of defenses, you can guess where I'm going in the over/under.
It's not that I think that LSU is an undeserving first ranked team. Hell, I really wanted to see Oklahoma State in the BCS Championship game after the first stinker between the Tide and Tigers. This will be a defensive stand to watch if you're in to that kind of thing, and while I think LSU has undoubtedly been the best team in college ball this season, the boys from Alabama simply have their number.
BCS Championship Free Pick - Alabama -1.0 (UNDER 40.0)