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LSU vs. Alabama ATS Picks

NCAAF Betting Odds Week 9

The scene of the SEC West changes every year the first Saturday of November when the LSU Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide play against each other. The Tide might be the best team in the nation at the moment, but even they can lose control of their standing in the SEC West if they slip up at home against one of the sneakier teams in the land.

LSU Tigers vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
Date and Time
: Saturday, November 4, 2017, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL
Opening College Football Odds: Alabama -20
LSU vs. Alabama TV Coverage: CBS

The Crimson Tide were off last week, letting the chaos develop around them. TCU and South Florida were both knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten teams, leaving the Tide and just four other undefeated challengers left standing. Of course, that zero in the loss column doesn't necessarily mean anything; Nick Saban has won plenty of titles over the course of his career with one-loss teams.

If Alabama can get out of this week with that zero still intact, that does represent control of the SEC West. If Georgia was to beat Auburn next week at Jordan-Hare, that would effectively clinch the SEC Championship Game being between two teams that will likely head into that showdown ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in America.

Is Alabama flawless? Maybe. The team really hasn't been challenged this year. The biggest hurdle Crimson Tide bettors face every week isn't whether they'll win, rather whether they'll be able to beat the number set by the top college football sportsbooks.

LSU was left for dead a couple weeks ago after losing to Troy. That was the Tigers' second loss of the season after getting embarrassed at Mississippi State, and it was assumed that they wouldn't be a part of the national discussion again.

But good ol' Coach O has the Bayou Bengals back on the prowl winning a brutal game in Gainesville and following that up with a come-from-behind upset of Auburn at Tiger Stadium.

Ed Orgeron knows that this game is the real deal, though. LSU hasn't beaten Alabama since coming to Tuscaloosa in 2001 and winning an ugly 9-6 overtime game. The games have been close at times with just one being separated by more than two touchdowns, but there's no such thing as a moral victory for either side in the LSU/Alabama rivalry.

Key Players

It's hard to point to just one man and suggest that he's the one that made the difference for the Tigers this year. Danny Etling hasn't been asked to throw the ball all that often, though when he has, he's been effective lately. Derrius Guice is coming off of a 276-yard game against Ole Miss, but for the most part, he had been bottled up all season long.

The real key is going to be dealing with Alabama's defensive line. This isn't the best front seven in Saban's coaching tenure, but the Tide are holding teams to just 2.4 yards per carry this season. LSU absolutely cannot think about an upset if it can't average at least 3.5-4.0 yards per tote against the Crimson Tide. Good luck with that.

LSU vs. Alabama Free Picks

With each passing week, it's becoming more and more crystal clear that Alabama has the team to beat in the nation. The Crimson Tide might be beatable when they have to play against a team like Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, or Clemson or Ohio State or Oklahoma or one of teams of the sorts in the College Football Playoff.

For now though, there is no comparison. Jalen Hurts and Damien Harris are leading one of the very best offenses we've ever seen in the SEC, and LSU's defense isn't going to be up to this challenge.

For as well as the Bayou Bengals have played in recent weeks and for as close as this rivalry has been in recent years, we suspect a crimson avalanche is set to come down and take LSU out of the national spotlight as quickly as it propelled itself into it.

College Football ATS Pick: Alabama -20 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Alabama 34, LSU 7