In the current line for the BCS National Championship Game, undefeated LSU is a 2.5-point underdog against Alabama, a team it beat a little more than two months ago.
The over/under of 40 is incredibly low for a college game, but it makes sense given that these are the nation’s top two defenses.
What follows is a breakdown of the game, with news, notes, quotes and anecdotes to help you make your bets.
Keep in mind: The “edge” is merely a suggestion, and not something I will be personally playing, although there might be some on a particular day that I do. If you are betting on every college football game, you’re either a drunk, a degenerate or both.
Follow along on Twitter at @beyondthebets, where I’ll occasionally post games that I’m on.
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LSU VS. ALABAMA, 8:30 P.M. ET
OPEN: LSU -1 | CURRENT: Alabama -2.5 | OVER/UNDER: 40 | TV: ESPN | Bet It Here
SUMMARY: As much as we loved some of the shootouts in bowl game matchups like Baylor-Washington, Wisconsin-Oregon and Stanford-Oklahoma State, this game is projected to be of a far different variety. The nation’s best two defenses square off in a rematch of a game that LSU won 9-6 in overtime in Tuscaloosa on Nov. 5. The Tigers are looking for their third BCS championship, while Alabama is in search of its second.
THE SKINNY: Sure, everyone’s making a big deal about the defensive studs on each roster, but let’s not forget that these teams both ranked inside the top 20 nationally in points per game. LSU topped 35 points in 11 of its 13 games, while Alabama did so in eight of 12 games.
One matchup of interest is the Alabama linebackers against LSU’s stable of running backs. The Tigers use a number of different backs, leading Crimson Tide defensive coordinator Kirby Smart to admit he’s “scared to death” that his linebackers could get fatigued.
“At the end of the day, they’re fresher,” Smart told the Birmingham News. “Your linebackers have tackled them 30 times. They’ve (each) been tackled four or five times. We’re not changing linebackers when they’re changing backs.”
With one more win, LSU would complete an impressive undefeated season that would include two wins over Alabama along with victories against Oregon, West Virginia, Arkansas and Georgia.
And that would be enough to put the Tigers at the top of list of all-time great teams, quarterback Jordan Jefferson told the Baton Rouge Advocate: “I think we will go down as the greatest team.”
EDGE: Early bettors jumped all over Alabama as an underdog and — even though I’ll be staying away from this one — I like Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide to get revenge in the rematch.