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LSU tries to turn the Tide on former coach Saban

Nick Saban won a national title for LSU, bolted for the NFL, then popped up next door at Alabama, which makes him a well-loved and well-reviled character in Baton Rouge.

So when LSU hosts Alabama Saturday, they have their sights not just on an SEC title but on derailing their former coach’s march to another national crown. And the oddsmakers figure Alabama can do it, installing them as 3.5-point road favorites.

No. 1 Alabama -3.5 (9-0) at No. 15 LSU (6-2) O/U 47.5 (Click here to get the best number on your favorite team)

The Crimson Tide can clinch SEC’s West Division and earn a shot in the SEC championship game with a win at LSU. The Tide have the nation’s fourth ranked defense and they will have to stop Tigers RB Charles Scott (889 yds 11 TD) to be successful in this game.

Tide QB John Parker Wilson is not the focal point of the offense, but his two best games of the season have come against teams ranked in the Top 25. LSU is 2-2 after starting the season 4-0. LSU has won the last five games between these two teams and Alabama has not won in Baton Rouge since 2002.

The line has not budged during the week, indicating money is pouring in equally on both sides. Of note, the total has been bet down to 47 after opening at 50, indicating bettors expect a low-scoring defensive battle.

No. 8 Oklahoma State (9-1) at No. 2 Texas Tech -3 (9-0) O/U 69.5

This game will be all offense, as the Red Raiders have the nation’s top-ranked passing offense while the Cowboys have the nation’s 5th ranked rushing offense. For the Cowboys to be successful in this game, they have to run the ball well and keep Heisman front-runner Graham Harrell off the field.

The Cowboys are 4-3-1 ATS this year the Red Raiders are 5-2. Both these offenses can light up the scoreboard, so the Over is a good pick, even when the number is posted at 70 like it is at {URL=http://www.oddsmaker.com/refer.php?ID=barscope}OddsMaker.com. {/URL}But beware – the total opened at 75 and has been bet down.

NFL odds

Buffalo Bills (5-3) at New England Patriots -4.5 (5-3) O/U 43

First place in the AFC East is at stake in this game. The Bills are 5-3, but they have not beaten a team that has a winning record. The Bills secondary will be tested, as the Patriots are opening up their offense and throwing downfield more, as Matt Cassel becomes more comfortable under center.

The Bills can show they are a legit playoff contender with a win in New England this Sunday. Both teams are 4-4 ATS this year. The Patriots are tough to beat at home and the Bills may not be as good as their record indicates. Take the Patriots to cover the spread.

New York Giants (7-1) at Philadelphia Eagles -3 (5-3) 43.5

The Giants can really take control of the NFC East with a win this Sunday in the City of Brotherly Love. The Eagles recently got RB Brian Westbrook back, as that is huge for their offense.

Both teams rank in the Top 10 in both offense and defense. If the Eagles lose this crucial home game, it will be an uphill battle to make the playoffs. For the Eagles to win this game, they have to get to Eli Manning, who looks like he is the better QB in the Manning family this year.

Both teams are 6-2 ATS this year. This is a must win game for the Eagles and they are at home, so look for them to beat the Giants and cover the spread. If you think this will be a high-scoring game, the lowest total we can find for you is at BetOnline.com where it sits at 42.5. [custom:betonline]

College football bettors who want to increase their odds of winning can ask the advice of our expert handicappers as well. Click here for {URL=http://www.oddsshark.com/Free-Picks}free college football picks and paid packages{/URL} from the experts at DocSports.com.