Alabama Crimson Tide-LSU Tigers Picks Against the Spread

Vegas handicapper Preston Johnson, aka the Sports Cheetah, examines whether Alabama will cover a 7.5-point spread in Death Valley on Saturday night.

ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE AT LSU TIGERS (+7.5, O/U 45), Sat., 8 p.m. ET

No. 1 Alabama (8-0, 5-0 SEC) goes for its sixth straight win over No. 13 LSU (5-2, 3-1) when the SEC West powers clash in Death Valley on Saturday night.

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Alabama -280 O/U 46
LSU +240 +7
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LSU
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After a 2-2 start, the Tigers have been rejuvenated under interim coach Ed Orgeron. All-American Leonard Fournette is healthy and coming off a 284-yard rushing performance versus Ole Miss two weeks ago.

The Crimson Tide held Fournette to 31 yards on 19 carries (1.6 ypc) in their 30-16 home win last year.

As expected, Alabama debuted at No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings, leading five SEC teams in the Top 13. LSU is at No. 13 and is finally playing up to its talent level under interim coach Ed Orgeron.

The Tide, led by dual threat QB Jalen Hurts (21 combined TDs), rank eighth nationally with 43.9 points per game. They have outgained LSU by more than 100 yards on average in the last five meetings.

Aside from Alabama's recent domination, the Under is the other notable trend in this bruising series, having cashed in four straight meetings in Baton Rouge, La., and six of seven meetings overall.

SPORTS CHEETAH'S TAKE

As the week progresses I just keep seeing more and more LSU +7.5 bets from everyone. My number, Alabama -7, is real close so I don't necessarily disagree, but the Tigers are becoming quite the popular home underdog.

The Crimson Tide have won the last five meetings in this rivalry game. With Les Miles out and Ed Orgeron running the show now for LSU, I expect the Tigers to attack Nick Saban and company in a way they haven't seen.

When you break down the numbers, it's no surprise to see the Crimson Tide ranked No. 3 nationally in defensive efficiency. They trail only Florida and Michigan, but when you account for strength of schedule, they have the nation's best defense.

No. 4 on that list, however, is LSU. Offensively the Tigers also rank eighth in the country while Alabama sits at 11th. The numbers say they are pretty even, but don't take that too far.

Preston Johnson has been using analytics, game theory and his Master's Degree in Sport Psychology to profit from football, basketball, and baseball betting for several years. He's made multiple appearances on ESPN1100 Las Vegas, NBC Sports, SiriusXM and other radio shows throughout the nation to discuss his expertise. A high-volume bettor and sound practitioner of bankroll management, Preston went a documented 165-110 (60 percent) in college football and 61-33 (65 percent) in the NFL last year. His work also can be found at wagertalk.com.