#6 LSU at #9 Texas. LSU -6.5 O/U 56.5
This is clearly the game of the week. The storyline coming out of week 2 of the College Football Season will depend on the outcome of this game. An LSU win, and people will start to consider the Tigers as National Title contenders. A win for Texas, and its going to be about the Longhorns chances at making the College Football Playoff as well as the Big 12 having a leg up on the SEC should it come down to a comparison between CFB Playoff hopefuls.
The trends point significantly to Texas here. LSU is 5-4 in True Road Games over the last 2 seasons and Tom Herman as an underdog is 13-2-1 Against the Spread as the head coach at Houston and Texas. His teams won 10 of those 16 games outright and he’s always good at getting his teams up in big games. But you know what I say? Fuck the trends. The biggest mistake people make when betting college football is to look at historical trends over analyzing the actual teams. The roster turnover is massive in college football. So while your trends or last years or 2 years ago results may look good, they have very little to do with the actual players playing now.
To me, this game is all about the Quarterbacks. There’s a lot of similarities between Joe Burrow and Sam Ehlinger. Both guys like to run the football and both will not make the big mistake. Burrow looked great in his first game in this new look LSU Offense. You could really see the influence that passing game coordinator Joe Brady has brought to the Tigers. Burrow completed passes to 14 different receivers last week. We’re not used to seeing a Tigers offense spread the ball around that much. They lined up in 11 personnel for most of the game (1RB 3WR 1TE). The RPO was working for them as well. No longer is this an LSU offense leading with the run and keeping 8 man protections for the pass. With not much film on this for Texas to prep for, they may be in for more suprise looks.
For Ehlinger, its going to be about his legs. If he can run agains this LSU defense, Texas will have a nice day offensively. He’s their biggest rushing threat. Keontay Ingram showed a little last week but he’s still unproven and has never faced a defense like LSU. The Tigers will be focused on setting the edge and spying Ehlinger, forcing him to beat them through the air. That won’t be an easy task against this LSU secondary.
As for the lines, LSU has the advantage there as well. They are loaded with NFL talent on the defensive front and will pressure Ehlinger into getting the ball out before he is ready, thus leading to turnovers. This LSU defense is fast, and I mean fast. They’re physical and tough, nothing like what is seen in the Big 12.
Ultimately, this will be a close game throughout, but LSU’s defense will make the big stop that Texas wont. Give me the team with the better talent in this one, thats LSU. They will win. If you find them at under a touchdown favorite, which right now its at 6 to 6.5, Take it. If it gets to 7, you probably want to buy the hook down to 6.5 Good Luck.
Follow Scott on Twitter @ScottsOnAir.