Troy Trojans vs. LSU Tigers
Date and Time: Saturday, September 30, 2017, 7 p.m. ET
Location: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA
Opening College Football Odds: LSU -19.5
Troy vs. LSU TV Coverage: ESPNU
The Tigers struggled just a bit against Syracuse in a 35-26 victory, yet they should still be lauded for beating a team from a Power Five conference that has a good chance of making a bowl game this year.
We’re not sure that Ed Orgeron did himself any favors with the way he handled his quarterbacks in that game against the Orange. He elected to pull Danny Etling in the third quarter on three straight drives for true freshman, Myles Brennan. Etling came back in the game after Brennan threw an interception and led the team down the field for the clinching touchdown drive that put the game away. But now, it brings up a lot of questions as to who the starting quarterback for this team is going forward.
Regardless, the Tigers aren’t playing like a team right now. They’ve got a tremendous collection of talent and will have a lot of players on this field that are playing on Sundays in another year or two. That said, Coach O has yet to really put this “team” concept together, and it’s showing in its results.
Troy isn’t a team that you probably know much about, but the fact of the matter is that this is one of the best teams in the Sun Belt this year. After going up to Boise at the start of the season and putting a fright into the Broncos, the Trojans have taken care of business against Alcorn State, New Mexico State and Akron, albeit relatively unimpressively.
That said, Brandon Silvers can throw the ball all over the yard, while this defense ranks in the top 30 in the nation in both total defense and scoring defense. It’s relatively tough to run the ball against a front seven that has a ton of experience in its rotation, and we suspect that even the Bayou Bengals are going to struggle to get Derrius Guice loose.
Betting Trends of Note
Even though the Trojans are 3-1, they’ve got the worst ATS mark in America right now at 0-4 ATS. They’re 0-6 ATS in their last six dating back to last season.
That said, this is a team that excels in spots as underdogs all the time. The Trojans got unlucky not to cover the +10.5 spread at Boise State, but it left no doubt last year in its two biggest non-conference games against Southern Miss (37-31 win as 9.5-point dogs) and Clemson (30-24 loss as 34.5-point dogs). Troy is 4-1 ATS in its last three seasons against teams from Power Five conferences, and this is a team that has put a real scare in some big boy clubs over the years.
Troy vs. LSU Free Picks
LSU is going to win this game, but it isn’t going to be easy from the get go. Etling’s confidence has to be shot after getting benched in the midst of a good game he was having against Syracuse, and it wasn’t his fault that his defense couldn’t get off the field for him, particularly in that first quarter.
The Trojans aren’t going to stop fighting no matter the situation, and they aren’t going to get their doors blown off. They’ve come into places Tiger Stadium and Camp Randall and Death Valley and walked out with respectable results each time, and we suspect that this isn’t going to be any different. Between Silvers throwing the ball all over the place and Jordan Chunn having an impact on the ground and as a receiver, there are enough weapons here to keep Troy in this one the whole way.
College Football ATS Pick: Troy +19.5 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: LSU 31, Troy 13