With so many people betting on the LSU Tigers, maybe it’s time to put the Auburn Tigers in Saturday’s college football picks – or should we pound the Over?
Louisiana State Tigers vs. Auburn Tigers
Saturday October 31, 2020 – 3:30 PM at Jordan-Hare Stadium
Strange things are happening in the SEC. Neither the LSU Tigers (2-2 SU and ATS) nor the Auburn Tigers (3-2 SU, 2-3 ATS) are in the Top 25 heading into Week 9 – that’s the AP Top 25 we’re talking about here. Both teams have played well enough according to the F+ Ratings at Football Outsiders, with LSU checking in at No. 14 and Auburn at No. 21. However, losses are losses, and each team has already lost twice in this pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign.
The sharps didn’t hesitate to put the defending champions in their Week 9 college football picks. Bookmaker opened this bad boy as a pick’em, but LSU have already steamed to –3 as we go to press. This is despite our consensus reports showing 57 percent of bettors on Auburn. That suggests the really big money is on the road team, and as they say, big money is sharp money.
Steamy Windows Buying
LSU at the open may indeed have been the right move. Jeff Sagarin projects the champs at –0.61 using his Rating numbers, and –1.08 using his eigenvector analysis. Plus, you have those efficiency stats we just mentioned showing LSU performing even better than 4-0 Oklahoma State, who sit at No. 6 in the polls. But here we are at press time with LSU at –3, making Auburn worth a look as 3-point home dogs on the NCAAF odds board.
There might be more value with the total, though. Heritage opened things up at 62.5 points, where it remains right now; Sagarin’s projections have these two Tigers combining for 66.38 points. That might be a bit generous compared to some of the other numbers I’m looking at out here on the interwebs, but those are proprietary sources, which means I don’t quote them – all the data we use at the home office is freely available to you and me, so you can play along at home.
Myles To Go?
So is the Over worth a wager? Saturday’s weather report calls for mostly cloudy skies over Auburn and temperatures in the low 60s, so no problem there. LSU have the Over at 3-1, combining the nation’s No. 8-ranked offense – still buoyed by last year’s developments under assistant coach Joe Brady – with the No. 39-ranked defense.
On the other hand, Auburn (No. 32 offense, No. 22 defense) have the Under at 4-1. That’s not ideal. Confusing matters further, QB Myles Brennan may or may not play Saturday for LSU. He sat out last week’s 52-24 win over South Carolina (+4.5 away) with a lower-body injury, giving freshman TJ Finley a chance to shine. This was against the No. 32-ranked defense in the FBS, though, so whoever gets the ball this week should have a little more trouble, especially now that LT Dare Rosenthal has been suspended.
Let’s stick with Auburn for a small sum given this uncertainty, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.