LSU Tigers Win Total: o/u 8.5
Two years ago, the LSU Tigers set the College Football world on fire with their record-setting offense, and many called the team the greatest college football team of all time. Unfortunately for the Tigers, that type of success comes with a big red target on your back, and sustaining success can be harder than obtaining it in the first place. Coach O and his team had a disappointing 2020 season finishing 5-5 and battled attrition and opt-outs throughout the year. LSU will try to bounce back after a hangover season and have the talent in the locker room to return to the national spotlight.
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At UCLA (9/4)
The Tigers travel across the country to play Chip Kelly’s Bruins in week one. Bovada has the Tigers as a 4 point favorite on the road, but this game could truly go either way. Senior quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson is back for another season and has proven himself a dynamic playmaker in Kelly’s offense. A young LSU team should improve as the season goes on, so getting UCLA on the road in week one makes this game more dangerous than it may appear on paper.
At Ole Miss (10/23)
Lane Kiffin’s team projects to be a thorn in many teams’ sides, especially when trying to defend them. Quarterback Matt Corral started to find his groove in year one under Kiffin, and if history has proven anything, it’s that Kiffin’s offenses can light up a scoreboard on any given weekend. Corral could be a sleeper pick for the Heisman trophy as sportsbooks have him outside the top ten odds (+3000 BetUS, +2200 Bovada). The Rebels could catch the Tigers looking forward to a matchup in Tuscaloosa and pull off the win in the Grove.
At Alabama (11/6)
Despite this matchup favoring the Tide in nine of the last ten meetings, this game is annually circled by not only SEC fans but the national viewers as well. Joe Burrow and company took down Alabama in 2019, but the Tide got revenge in a big way last season. Alabama will be breaking in new starters as well as a new coordinator on the offensive side of the ball, but by November, the team should have found some rhythm.
Bet Online currently has Alabama as a three-touchdown home favorite for the November matchup.
Not highlighted, but the Tigers also host Florida and Texas A&M in Death Valley throughout the year, along with the rest of their division. The schedule sets up as one of the more difficult ones in the nation for Coach O and his squad.
Hard to argue that any team felt the impact of 2020 attrition more than LSU. 19 starters from the national championship team moved on, and players like Jamar Chase and Tyler Shelvin decided to opt-out before the start of the shortened 2020 season. During the year, wide receiver Terrace Marshall opted out prior to the game against Alabama, as did freshman tight end Arik Gilbert shortly after.
Fast forward to 2021, Marshall was drafted by the Carolina Panthers, and Gilbert is now a Georgia Bulldog. It seems that the Tigers are starting to put a lid on some players leaving Baton Rouge, but more bad luck hit recently with the news of projected starting quarterback Myles Brennan suffering a broken arm that required surgery. The reins have been turned over to sophomore Max Johnson, who saw limited action last season behind Brennan and split reps with now Auburn quarterback TJ Finley.
Kayshon Boutte steps up to be the next great LSU wide receiver and hopes to provide some dynamic playmaking ability to help bring the offense back to 2019 levels. Boutte could be joined by highly rated cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. who has been rumored to get some work with the Tigers offense. Sportsbooks may want to adjust betting lines as Stingley’s play as a corner garnered some possible “defense for Heisman” buzz (see below), and some work as a two-way player would certainly boost his betting odds to be the first Heisman winner to primarily play defense since Michigan great Charles Woodson.
Under 8.5 wins. Sportsbooks seem to be in agreement, even if the odds are a little skewed. BetUS has the line at 8.5 wins with the under returning even money. Bovada has the same betting line, but the under odds are set at -130.
College football pundits seem to be bullish on the Tigers, with some calling them underrated following the preseason polls ranking the Tigers 13th nationally. The schedule still lays out in a difficult fashion for LSU and some of the games that would have been considered cakewalks in the past now look to be more competitive as the Tigers try to regain their balance after their .500 season in 2020.
Derek Stingley Jr. Heisman Trophy Winner
Bovada and BetOnline don’t currently have odds for Stingley listed, but BetUS has the junior cornerback at +5000 to win the trophy, equal odds to the Tigers quarterback Max Johnson. As mentioned above, if Stingley can see some reps on the offensive side of the ball and as a returner, it could boost his stock and chances to be a finalist in New York this December.
LSU SEC Champion
Winning the SEC West (+1000 Bovada) would likely require the Tigers to run through Alabama in Tuscaloosa and finish off the regular season with a win over Texas A&M in Death Valley. To take it a step further and win the SEC, LSU would likely need to get past SEC East favorite Georgia.