Crimson Tide vs Tigers NCAA Football Spread/Handicapping
In what might be the most highly anticipated matchup of the entire 2012 season, the LSU Tigers are set to host the Alabama Crimson Tide in a rematch of last year’s BCS National Championship game. The No. 1 Tide and the No. 5 Tigers will have played three times in the last 365 days by the time this one is done.
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No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (8-0) vs No. 5 LSU Tigers (7-1)
Saturday November 3, 2012
Tiger Stadium, BATON ROUGE, L.A
8:00 PM ET
Moneyline: Alabama -350, LSU +280 from SportsBettingOnline
Spread: Alabama -9.5
Alabama Crimson Tide
The Alabama Crimson Tide are averaging 40.6 points per game this season and their average win margin is more than 30 points per contest. Quarterback A.J. McCarron has been terrific on the year, having thrown for 1,684 yards, 18 touchdowns and not a single interception. The team only ranks 73rd in the country in passing yards per game, but the efficiency they display is nearly unmatched.
The team’s offense is great, but there’s a reason they’re known for their defense. Alabama has allowed the fewest points per game in all of college football (8.1) and they are tied for sixth in the nation with 14 interceptions on the year.
The Tide’s run defense is phenomenal, which is what they’ll use to stop LSU’s attack come Saturday. LSU has the 25th-best rushing attack in the country, but just the 109th-best passing game. If Alabama can clog the middle and force them to throw the ball, they’re going to control the game from the opening kickoff.
The LSU Tigers are another example of an elite defense, as they allow just 14.6 points per contest. Offensively, however, is where the two teams begin to show their differences. The Tigers average just 31 points per game, and their passing attack has racked up just 177.4 yards per contest. Luckily for them their running game has been very good this season, but they’re preparing to take on an Alabama defense that allows just 57.2 yards per game on the ground, which is the best in the country.
The key for the Tigers in this one is going to be about putting pressure on the quarterback. Alabama has done an outstanding job protecting A.J. McCarron, and without having truly felt the pressure of an opposing defense, he’s been allowed to pick apart secondaries all season long. He leads the nation in quarterback rating this year (182.4), so the Tigers must play physically up front and do whatever it takes to limit his time in the pocket.
LSU is coming off of a bye, which means they’ve had more time to prepare an offensive scheme to put up points, and it all starts with protecting the backfield against Alabama’s massive frontline. This game is going to be a physical one to say the least, and the matchups on the offensive and defensive lines could decide the outcome.
This isn’t “The Game of the Century” that we encountered last season, but it is still a game that should prove to be the most vital of the year for both teams. Alabama has been perfect thus far, whereas LSU stumbled the first time they came across a great defense. The Tigers were only able to muster up six points against Florida, making it difficult to imagine they can keep up with the Tide this time around.
Crimson Tide are 6-0 ATS in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Crimson Tide are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 conference games.
Under is 3-0-1 in Crimson Tide last 4 vs. a team with a winning record.
Under is 5-1-1 in Crimson Tide last 7 games following a ATS win.
Under is 5-1 in Tigers last 6 games following a S.U. win.
Under is 4-1 in Tigers last 5 games following a bye week.
Under is 4-1 in Tigers last 5 vs. a team with a winning record.
O/U Pick: Under 42
Score Prediction: Alabama 23 – LSU 13