If gamblers don’t think Nick Saban circled the Alabama-LSU game on his calendar, they don’t know the Crimson Tide head coach very well. Losing at home to the Tigers last year was bad enough, but getting taunted by LSU head coach Ed Orgeron and his players let that defeat simmer for a year.
The rematch is Saturday in Baton Rouge, and Saban has been licking his chops at the chance to face the struggling defending champion. That’s why with this week’s One Bet, $100, I’m taking Alabama and giving away 28 points.
My last college football bet was a disaster. I took Tennessee over Kentucky and they lost by 27 points. I do feel much better about taking Alabama this week.
One Bet, $100
|This Week||Last Bet||Season Total|
|Alabama -28 over LSU||Lost: Tennessee||2-3: Down $120|
I must admit, I waited a bit on Alabama-LSU and might pay for my procrastination. The line opened Sunday at 25 points, and the sharps jumped all over it, driving it up early in the week. It got as high as 29.5 at some sportsbooks.
Still, I believe there are several factors that should make this game a blowout, the overriding one being Saban’s motivation to stick it to LSU.
Alabama Should Overpower Young LSU Squad
Saban has been home recovering from COVID-19, but expects to be on the sidelines on Saturday. I get there’s nothing that would stop him from missing this game.
The Alabama head coach has tried to downplay the revenge issue with LSU, telling reporters he attempts to keep emotion out of his game plan.
“To be honest with you I never try to use that as a motivating factor,” Saban said. “Every season is different. Every team is different.”
Saban did quickly add, however, that it might be hard to forget last year’s 46-41 defeat to the Tigers.
“Do I think it is a motivating factor with individuals and players?” Saban said. “I absolutely think it is. I think that awareness of what happened in last year’s game and all that is always something that players remember, think about how they felt after the game last year or whatever.”
It seems hard to believe that Saban hasn’t tacked up game stories from last year on the team’s bulletin board, and used highlights – or lowlights in this case – of LSU’s upset.
“I think nobody likes to get disrespected, and I think when you lose a game you feel that way to some degree,” Saban said. “I think it’s human nature to try to make it right.”
Alabama Won’t Get Derailed of CFP Goal
The Crimson Tide is the No. 1 team in the country, according to the AP Top 25 poll, and are 8-0 on the season. Last week, without Saban, they steamrolled Auburn, 42-13 in the Iron Bowl. I believe LSU is inferior to Auburn and won’t even put up that much of a fight.
The Tigers, who are 3-4, lost 14 starters from last year’s national championship team. They’re young and took a blow this week when star wide receiver Terrace Marshall announced he’s opting out for the rest of the season. He had 48 catches for 731 yards and 10 touchdowns this year for a team that ranked 18th in total passing. If you take away Marshall’s yards, they drop all the way to 194.
LSU’s defense is lackluster this year. The Tigers are 96th in total defense and will have to stop a combined running and passing attack that ranks fifth in total offense.
Even without revenge as a motivating factor, the Crimson Tide should dominate. Against any other team in a game that looks this lopsided, they might call off the dogs in the second half. Not this year, however, as I believe Saban will keep the starters on the field to humiliate LSU for what they did last year.