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Tigers vs. Yellow Jackets Preview/Pick: Chick-Fil-A Bowl

Chick-Fil-A Bowl LSU vs Georgia Tech

LSU did not fare well in the second half of the season, losing 52-38 to Georgia on 31-13 to Ole Miss, along with more competitive defeats suffered at the hands of Alabama and Arkansas. The Tigers were also rescued from the jaws of defeat with a furious 30-point fourth quarter against Troy, otherwise they would have gone into the bowl season with a 6-6 record.  

BetUS NCAA Football Betting Odds: GEORGIA TECH -4, Total 52.5

Here are some of the NCAA college football betting trends as they relate to this matchup:

* LSU has lost its last six games ATS
* LSU has lost four of its last six games SU
* LSU has played seven of its last ten games OVER the total
* LSU has won 18 of its last 25 games SU
* GT has covered four of its last six games
* GT has won seven of its last nine games SU

Five teams scored more than 30 points against LSU, so this was a team that did not resemble many recent editions, which perhaps can be expected when you have sent players like Glenn Dorsey, Ali Highsmith, Jacob Hester, Early Doucet, Matt Flynn and others into the NFL after winning a national title.

Les Miles knows how to prepare a team for the post-season, quite obviously. He won the SEC title last year using Ryan Perrilloux, the talented but rarely-used QB who became the game’s MVP. Here he has his three quarterbacks available to him. Jarrett Lee and Andrew Hatch combined for 16 TD passes and 17 INT’s, but it looks like it’s going to be freshman Jordan Jefferson getting the start. Jefferson went 19 for 41 in the season’s final games, so like Hatch and Lee, he won’t be a model of consistency. Charles Scott should provide some run support, but he gained only 220 yards in his last four games.

LSU had a pretty successful time stopping the run, allowing only 3.3 yards per carry on the season, which will be important against the Georgia Tech option. The Yellow Jackets aren’t too bad either on the defensive front, limiting foes to 3.5 yards an attempt.

So the question may become – who can pass better? Or maybe – who can execute their running attack better?

Well, the answer to the first question is probably LSU, by default. The answer to the second is likely the Yellow Jackets, who finished 3rd in the nation in rushing at 282 yards a game, and ended the season with 881 yards in their final two games against Miami and Georgia.

Paul Johnson has so completely transformed this program in his first season, and done so in such unlikely fashion that he should be the coach of the year without much further discussion. The former head man at Navy had a major weapon in Jonathan Dwyer (1328 yards), who had 574 yards over his last four games. Josh Nesbitt gained 631 yards form the quarterback position, so he is probably more useful on an overall basis than anyone LSU puts under center.

Georgia Tech’s is going to put any of the LSU quarterbacks off-balance. With people like Derrick Morgan and Paul Johnson, they have a fine pass rush (32 sacks) and ranked 12th in the nation in tackles for loss. This has to be a big excitement for them, to play in front of hometown fans in a bowl game in Johnson’s first season, while LSU looks upon this game as a sign that they really have to regroup. We respect the experience of the Tigers, but Georgia Tech’s offense is much more well-oiled. Lay the points with Georgia Tech, the four-point favorite in the BetUS Sportsbetting NCAA college football betting odds.

Our PLAY: GEORGIA TECH -4 ***

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