College Football Odds: Better Than Advertised LSU -3.5 Over Mentally Beaten Louisville In Citrus Bowl

LSU Tigers

Friday, December 16, 2016 8:58 PM GMT

One of the more compelling bowl matchups outside of the “New Year’s Six” will occur when No. 13 Louisville takes on No. 20 LSU. SBR college football handicapping professional Ross Benjamin provides an early outlook and forecast.

Citrus Bowl: Louisville Cardinals Vs. LSU Tigers

A couple of teams that had higher aspirations this season square off in the 2016 Citrus Bowl. It will be LSU (7-4) against Louisville (9-3) on Saturday, Dec. 31, in what shapes up to be an intriguing matchup. The opening kickoff at Camping World Stadium in Orlando is slated for 11 a.m. ET. This will be the first-ever meeting between these schools.

At of this writing, the college football betting odds at BookMaker have LSU as a 3.5-point favorite, and there’s a posted total of 60.0. Bookmaker is currently offering new customers 50% cash bonuses on all initial deposits of up to $300.

 

Riches To Rags

Behind Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson, Louisville was 9-1 and on the cusp of being one of four teams chosen for the College Football Playoff. Then the Cardinals, and to an extent Jackson, collapsed in their final 2 regular-season games. First came a lopsided 36-10 loss to Houston as a sizable 17.5-point road favorite. Next was a humiliating 41-38 loss to Kentucky in a game the Cards were massive 28.5-point home favorites. Jackson turned it over four times. The question now becomes: How motivated will U of L be to play in a less glamorous bowl game than anticipated and against a four-loss opponent? Not to mention a morning kickoff time that can be uninspiring in the best of circumstances.

 

Ed Orgeron & LSU

LSU cleared up the cloudy picture regarding its next head coach. The school chose to retain interim head coach Orgeron, who took over for the fired Les Miles earlier this season. Under the guidance of Orgeron, LSU has gone 5-2 SU & ATS.

This is a much better LSU team than the record indicates. Their 4 defeats came against No. 1  Alabama, No. 20 Florida, No. 17 Auburn and No. 8 Wisconsin. Those losses were by a combined 23 points and vs. teams that a cumulative 40-10 (.800) record thus far. The LSU defense has been terrific all season and has allowed 21 points or less in 10 of its 11 games. 

 

Final Opinion & Pick

Despite Louisville having the better record and much better offense, LSU has unequivocally played a tougher schedule. My professional intuition leads me to believe that LSU will be the more focused team. My early lean goes to the small favorite for one of my college football bowl predictions. Season college football record: 49-24 ATS.

NCAAF Free Pick: LSU -3.5

Best Line Offered: BookMaker

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