LSU vs. Alabama fearless prediction and game preview.
LSU vs. Alabama Broadcast
Date: Saturday, November 9
Game Time: 3:30 ET
Venue: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL
LSU (8-0) vs. Alabama (8-0) Game Preview
Why LSU Will Win
Just how healthy is Tua Tagovailoa’s ankle?
Alabama, of course, isn’t saying much of anything other than he’s a game-time decision, and that he and backup Mac Jones will get enough practice time in to be ready.
With or without No. 13 under center for the Tide, LSU’s offense has to keep on doing what it’s been doing and has to keep pressing.
This isn’t the killer Bama defense of past years. It’s very, very good by any reasonable and normal standards, but for this program it’s just an okay group that hasn’t faced anything so far like it’s about to see when the Tigers roll in.
Most of the numbers against the secondary have come in blowouts, but it’s still possible to push the ball midrange-to-deep on a secondary that’s coming up with plenty of big plays – it destroyed Nick Starkel of Arkansas two weeks ago – but is beatable.
Auburn’s defense is fantastic – Joe Burrow hit 76% of his throws for 321 yards and a score.
Florida’s defense is fantastic – Burrow hit 78% of his passes or 327 yards and four touchdowns.
Playing in Tuscaloosa will hardly be an issue for this offense that’s been nearly flawless time and again in big circumstances.
Every time the Tigers were challenged at Texas, the passing game came up with the big play to take back control. Every time Florida and Auburn pressed, LSU was able to get nasty and pound the ball a bit to balance things out.
The Tigers have to have a little bit of early success, and then hope it steamrolls from there.
Alabama hasn’t beaten anyone special. Winning at Texas A&M wasn’t without its charm, but LSU has dealt with far tougher moments and has been up to the challenge time and again. Get out to a hot start, and this Bama team that hasn’t seen a real passing game since last January in Santa Clara might start to have flashbacks.
As silly as that might sound, LSU has the Clemson-level talent on the offensive side to potentially turn the lights out in a hurry.
Essentially, LSU knows it can beat a fantastic team. This Alabama team hasn’t shown it can do that yet.
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Why Alabama Will Win
Sam Ehlinger threw for 409 yards and four touchdowns in the Texas loss to LSU, and he didn’t have the benefit of having NFL running backs to take the heat off like the Bama quarterbacks do.
Florida’s Kyle Trask and Auburn’s Bo Nix are fine. They’re good, solid quarterbacks who can, have, and will win big games. But they didn’t have the chops to keep up with what Joe Burrow and company were able to do, and in the fourth when their respective teams needed something special, they were still Kyle Trask and Bo Nix.
They weren’t Tua Tagovailoa.
But Mac Jones can get the job done, too.
The Bama offense is amazing partly because of the race car, and partly because of the driver. The quarterback matters, but Bama’s NFL receiving corps has the talent to take over the game no matter who’s getting them the ball.
If Tagovailoa is okay and close to his normal self on the high ankle sprain, then all if fine with the Bama offense and the world. He’s at his best when he’s more mobile, but the Tide line isn’t allowing enough pressure to be a problem.
And if it’s Jones … fine. He’s been around the system long enough to know what he’s doing, he’s been able to get in enough meaningful reps this season to not be coming in cold, and he had the luxury of a light scrimmage against Arkansas – hitting 18-of-22 passes for 235 yards and three touchdowns – and two weeks to prepare in case No. 13 isn’t quite right.
Both teams are going to try to strike quickly, and the jaw-dropping array of talents on both sides will want to be unleashed, but Bama is better equipped to settle in and go on long drives to take control of the game and keep Mr. Burrow on the sidelines.
LSU’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire might have rumbled for 136 yards on the amazing Auburn D, and he ripped off 134 yards on the great Gator defensive front, but the Tiger offense doesn’t control the clock quite like Bama can.
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What’s Going To Happen
This might not be the only time we see these two play.
The offensive talent is there to keep the NFL shelves stocked for years, we might be seeing next year’s Cincinnati and Miami starting quarterbacks, and we might just see the Alabama student section stick around for a full four quarters.
We’re also going to see that both teams have a whole boatload of defensive guys who’ll play on Sundays, too.
This won’t be the 9-6 battle of 2011, but don’t be stunned when the two defenses rise up and keep this from turning into a track meet.
Bama has beaten LSU five of the last six times by double-digits, and hasn’t lost in the series since that 2011 regular-season classic. But this is a much, much different Tiger team than anything Nick Saban’s program has had to face.
Both offenses will have their moments, and the loser will look strong enough to be a lock in the “four best team” argument the College Football Playoff types are going to have over the next month, but …
No matter who’s at quarterback, the Alabama offense will be a bit more balanced, it’ll control the clock just enough at times to matter, and the team will be a +1 in turnover margin. Being at home will make a wee bit of a difference, too.
Demand a classic.
LSU vs. Alabama Prediction, Line
Alabama 30, LSU 24
Bet on LSU vs. Bama with BetMGM, or for latest line
BetMGM Line: Alabama -5.5, o/u: 65
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
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Must See Rating: 5
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