LSU Betting Odds Preview
LSU came up short last year in its attempt at a repeat SEC championship and a second straight BCS title game appearance, losing close, tough games to Florida and eventual champion Alabama. The goal for the Tigers this season, and every season, is beating the other beasts of the SEC and getting back to playing in the Big Game in January. However, LSU has some holes to fill on defense this fall, and a tough schedule.
LSU started 5-0 last year, but there were a couple indications things weren't quite right. The Tigers struggled to beat a bad Auburn team, then (as 44-point favorites) actually trailed Towson late into the second quarter before pulling away. LSU then lost a tough game at Florida 14-6. The Tigers recovered, though, to win close games over South Carolina and Texas A&M, but in what turned out to be the most important game of the year they gave up a late touchdown and lost at home to Alabama 21-17.
The Bayou Bengals finished with three victories to close out the season, but all that got them was a trip to the Chick-fil-A Bowl, which they lost to Clemson 25-24. So basically LSU came within two touchdowns of a perfect season. But the Tigers, always highly regarded by sportsbooks and bettors alike, only went 5-8 ATS last year, 3-5 in SEC play, and 4-6-1 ATS as favorites. This year LSU returns eight starters on offense, including QB Zach Mettenberger (who looked great in that loss to Alabama), a pretty good RB combo, last year's top four receivers, and three along the offensive line.
But only four starters return on defense, none on the front line, so there's work to do on that side of the ball. Besides the usual top-10 recruiting class the Tigers also brought in OC Cam Cameron to upgrade the passing game, which produced just 278 total yards through the air in the losses to the Gators and Clemson. As for this year's schedule, LSU opens with an interesting matchup, taking on TCU at Cowboys Stadium, and later has to play at Georgia and at Tuscaloosa. But the Tigers do get Florida and A&M in Death Valley, and they miss South Carolina.
SEC Championship Odds at 5Dimes as of July 29
South Carolina +500
Texas A&M +850
Mississippi State +10000