The Week 10 college football slate is filled with intriguing matchups, perhaps none bigger than No. 13 LSU visiting No. 9 Alabama. Heading into the final month of the regular NCAAF season, both college football teams remain in contention for a berth in the SEC Championship game.
Alabama opened as a 7.5-point favorite in the preseason but is now down to -3 (-115) and -160 on the moneyline. Conversely, LSU is +3 (-105) against the spread and +140 to win outright. The total has climbed from 58.5 to 60.5 flat.
The Crimson Tide have won five of the last six matchups with LSU at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Will that trend continue Saturday? Let’s break down the matchup and give our LSU vs Alabama free pick.
Date/Time: Saturday, 7:45 p.m. ET
Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium; Tuscaloosa, Ala.
The LSU Tigers are 5-3 against the spread this season. They’re also 4-2 ATS in their last six NCAA football games against Alabama. The total has gone Over in LSU’s last 10 games, including all eight this year. The Alabama Crimson Tide are also 5-3 ATS, including 4-1 over their last five games. The total has gone Over in seven of the Crimson Tide’s last 10 games. That’s important to remember when analyzing our LSU vs Alabama free pick.
Daniels Fueling Playoff Push
The LSU Tigers remain on the periphery of the College Football playoff race at 6-2. What the No. 13 Tigers are still lacking is a marquee win, one that could tip the scales down the line. The Tigers are 1-2 this season against ranked opponents, with the lone win coming Oct. 7 against Missouri.
The Tigers are led by Jayden Daniels, who’s supplanted himself among the Heisman Trophy favorites with his terrific start. Daniels ranks in the top 5 statistically, including completion rate (73.1%), passing yards (2,573) and passing touchdowns (25). Just as importantly, he’s thrown only three interceptions across 223 attempts. As such, Daniels is +400 to win the Heisman, third on the board behind Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. (+275) and Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy (+300).
Daniels has at least three touchdown passes in five straight games, including a 62-0 rout of Army preceding the Week 9 bye. A 32.5-point favorite, LSU jumped to a 38-0 halftime lead before covering the spread for the third straight game.
LSU is just +600 to win the SEC but could significantly strengthen its chances with an upset of Alabama. In that case, the Tigers would leapfrog the Crimson Tide in the SEC West standings, leaving them in a three-way tie for the division lead with Ole Miss. But there’s still plenty to be ironed out. LSU is also +650 to make the CFP and a +5000 longshot to win it all.
It figures to continue to rely heavily on its top-rated offense, which leads FBS in scoring (47.4 points per game). The Tigers have scored at least 30 points in seven straight games since a season-opening loss to Florida State. Keep that in mind when analyzing our LSU vs Alabama free pick.
Tide Still Elite
Contrary to some early doubts, the Alabama Crimson Tide are still one of the best college football teams. Ranked ninth in the AP poll, they’re 7-1, including 5-0 in SEC play, following a 34-20 victory over No. 17 Tennessee last week. An 8.5-point favorite, Alabama covered the spread for the fifth time in five weeks.
Sophomore Jalen Milroe has separated himself as the Crimson Tide’s clear starter at quarterback, giving the perennial powerhouse much-needed stability at the sport’s most important position. Milroe has thrown for 1,617 yards and 13 touchdowns while rushing for five scores. Although he’s not getting much love for the Heisman — nor should he — Milroe’s been a steady hand.
Oddsmakers are still bullish on the Crimson Tide, pricing them +260 to win the SEC and +275 to make the CFP. Despite an early loss, they’ve crept back to +1400 to win the national championship.
The Crimson Tide still have their work cut out for themselves, with games remaining at Kentucky and Auburn. But clearly, much of the panic surrounding them was overblown. They still have a top-20 defense (306.4 yards allowed per game) and a fully capable offense.
Handicapping the Game
Alabama isn’t as dominant as previous years. It already has one loss on its ledger and also played uncharacteristically tight games against the likes of South Florida (17-3) and Arkansas (24-21). Yet here they are, ranked top 10 in the country and controlling their own destiny for a spot in the SEC Championship game.
LSU may be more explosive, especially with Daniels. However, the Tigers are still a bit unproven. It’s hard to forget them getting waxed by Florida State to open the season.
As tempting as it is to trust Daniels, it’s hard to see Alabama slipping up at home. Take the Crimson Tide to stay hot up to -4.