Pick LSU Moneyline vs. Wisconsin College Football

Jeff Grant

Thursday, August 28, 2014 2:59 PM GMT

The SEC has posted the highest non-conference winning percentage than any other conference over the previous eight seasons, which provides the LSU Tigers a major edge over the Wisconsin Badgers Saturday night.

Two of the nation’s top teams
Since the start of the 2009 campaign, LSU’s .803 winning percentage ranks sixth nationally, while Wisconsin’s .731 mark sits behind only 11 teams, which has led the next level to take notice of these programs.

Over the last four NFL drafts, the Tigers and Badgers have produced 26 combined top-75 selections.

College football handicappers need to also be aware that LSU and Wisconsin rank first and second respectively in terms of wins in regular-season non-conference games since 2002.


A favorable situation
The Tigers are five-point favorites on the college football odds page due to their FBS record of winning their last 45 non-conference regular-season games, with 35 of those victories coming under 10th year head coach Les Miles.

It’s also important to point out that LSU has won a school-record 11 straight season-openers.

Miles has certainly been busy on the practice fields in Baton Rouge leading up to this affair, as last year’s team was the first in the history of the Southeastern Conference to feature a 3,000-yard passer, two 1,000-yard receivers and a 1,000-yard running back, with all four of those players leaving campus.


Gordon is special
Badgers running back Melvin Gordon is a legitimate 2014 Heisman Trophy candidate, as he’s the nation’s active career leader in rushing average at 8.1 yards per carry, while his 1,609 rushing yards last season ranks second among returning players.

Wisconsin’s run of nine consecutive seasons with at least one 1,000-yard rusher is the longest active streak in the nation.


Inexperience under center
With the departure of Zach Mettenberger to the next level, LSU will start either sophomore Anthony Jennings or true freshman Brandon Harris.

The Tigers simply need that duo to take care of the football behind potentially the best offensive line of the Miles era, with six players in that group combining to start 75 games.

LSU’s compiled a dominating 50-7 straight-up record when winning the turnover battle over the last nine seasons.


Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Tigers on the money line as one of their Week 1 college football picks, as they’ll benefit greatly from playing a high number of true freshman the previous two seasons.

LSU has opened three of its last four seasons in a neutral-site environment—winning those contests by an average of 10 points.

College Football Pick:  LSU Tigers -200 at Pinnacle Sports

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