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LSU Tigers 2014 NCAA Football Gambling Odds & Predictions

2014-15 Football Previews – (SEC) – LSU Tigers

The combination of the continuity of the Les Miles coaching regime and the recruiting hotbed that is the Louisiana-east Texas area always has the cupboards well-stocked in Baton Rouge. Whether you’re making a gumbo or assembling a football team, that is a desirable position to be in.

However, all is not perfect at Louisiana State University. The Tigers must deal with a mass exodus of players leaving early for the NFL, including their two leading receivers from 2013, their leading rusher and their top QB. It’s a situation that LSU is better-equipped to deal with than the vast majority of other programs in the nation, but it’s a worrisome situation nonetheless.

LSU Tigers

Head Coach: Les Miles
2013 Record: 10-3
LSU Gambling Odds to win BCS Championship: 18/1
Futures from sportsbook.ag

The Tigers lost three pivotal conference games last year, which rather took the shine off an otherwise solid season. Losing to Georgia, Ole Miss and above all, rival Alabama never sits well in “Death Valley”, where the expectation is for constant excellence.

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The foundational parts of LSU’s team are well assembled in 2014, but how things develop at the skill positions will be pivotal to the amount of success the Tigers will have in the SEC. Let’s examine the strengths and weaknesses of this year’s LSU Tigers.

Team Strengths

There may be new faces getting reps carrying, catching and throwing the ball, but the offensive line is dominant and should be creating ample opportunities for offensive production. The unit is led by outstanding senior La’El Collins, an All-American that will be joined by senior C Elliott Porter, junior guard Vadal Alexander and sophomore RT Jerald Hawkins.

Four of LSU’s six returning offensive starters are on the O-line.

Among the new starters elsewhere, there’s plenty of talent. The run game should be plenty good with senior RBs Terrence Magee and Kenny Hilliard. Magee and Hilliard would’ve featured at enough other college programs over the last couple of years, that they were on the bench is a testament to LSU’s eye-popping depth.

LSU should be able to play its characteristic nasty defense, which will be anchored by a talented and seasoned linebacker corps. Kwon Alexander, D.J. Welter and Lamar Louis will make opposing ball-carriers and tight ends wish they’d chose a different sport.
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In continuing the trend of LSU pumping out incredibly talented players in the secondary, the unit will be led by gifted junior safety Jalen Mills.

The special teams are in good shape with reliable sophomore K Colby Delahoussaye and transplanted Australian P Jamie Keehn, who has a strong leg.

Team Weaknesses

Two inexperienced QBs are battling for the starting job. That never tends to augur well in a new season. Underclassmen Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris are scrapping to start under center; Tigers’ coaches surely breathe a sigh of relief that the offensive line is so experienced to help their learning curve a little bit.

The issue is that especially in today’s SEC, there is no easy mail-in game; all the teams in the conference are talented and can give you a tightly-contested football game. One of the two will have to learn on the fly.

The offense will also really miss Odell Beckham, a superb WR that now plays for the New York Giants. Sophomores and freshmen (likely Travin Dural and John Duarse) will try and plug that vacancy.

On defense, other than Mills (who actually changed positions at last year’s Outback Bowl) the secondary is a bit of a question mark. There’s plenty of trademark athleticism, but this unit was somehow still prone to the big play in 2013. Cornerbacks Tre’Davious White and Rashard Robinson must bring their A-game this season in order for LSU to have a well-rounded defense.

2014-15 LSU Football Prediction: 11-2

As usual, Miles gets to employ plenty of talent on the gridiron in the bayou. This team doubtlessly has the talent to come together and be one of the conference’s elite – it’s just perhaps a bit scary that there are so many unknown commodities that need to come through for this team. LSU gets a tough opening game against Wisconsin and everyone will circle November 8 on the calendar, when the Alabama Crimson Tide come to town.

2014 LSU Tigers Schedule

  • 8/30/14 WISC (at Houston, TX)
  • 9/6/14 SAM HOUSTON ST (FCS)
  • 9/13/14 LA.-MONROE
  • 9/20/14 MISS. ST.
  • 9/27/14 NM ST.
  • 10/4/14 @ AUBURN
  • 10/11/14 @ FLA
  • 10/18/14 KENTUCKY
  • 10/25/14 OLE MISS
  • 11/8/14 ‘BAMA
  • 11/15/14 @ ARKANSAS
  • 11/27/14 @ TEX. A&M

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