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LSU and Alabama opened separated by 24 points in the Vegas lines this week.

Is Alabama really 24 points better than LSU right now?

Nick Suss

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24: Redemption

According to the most recent Las Vegas odds, Alabama is currently a 24-point betting favorite to beat LSU. Which is a hard number to look at and not have a lot of thoughts.

On the one hand, it’s Alabama versus LSU. No one should ever expect a blowout. Alabama hasn’t beaten LSU by 24 points since 2002, and LSU hasn’t bested Bama by a margin that large since 1997. Even in Alabama’s active six-game winning streak, the Tide’s average margin of victory is 11 points.

Alabama has throttled teams this season. The Tide have only won one game by fewer than 17 points. But it’s worth noting that the one close win, a 27-19 victory over Texas A&M, was Alabama’s only conference game against a team with more than one SEC win. This isn’t to minimize Alabama’s successes. Nick Saban’s team has been the obvious best team in the country all season.

But blowing out a team such as LSU is hard. Mississippi State did it, but LSU wasn’t the same team a month ago it is today. Since that game, the Tigers have allowed more than 24 points in one game, and that was a 26-pointer. It’s going to be tough to blow out LSU by that much just because it involves scoring more points than it usually gives up.

Shutting out the Tigers probably shouldn’t be hard for Alabama. Jeremy Pruitt’s defense is holding opponents to fewer than 10 points per game. But still. LSU is coming off a 40-point performance and put up 27 against a stout Auburn unit.

The Tigers shouldn’t be favored to win. Fans should keep tempered expectations against a dominant squad such as Bama. But the spread shouldn’t be 24 points. That almost certainly will come down, right?

But how long do I have to wait?

Gary Danielson might’ve let it slip Saturday, but the SEC made it official Monday.

Alabama versus LSU will be a primetime kickoff. Again. CBS will carry the game in primetime with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m. CT. Brad Nessler and Danielson will be on the call. Alabama has defeated LSU six times in a row dating back to the 2012 Sugar Bowl when the Tide topped the Tigers for a BCS Championship.

The winner of this game will be in the driver’s seat for the SEC West crown, with the winner needing to win out to head to Atlanta for the conference championship game. If LSU wins, Alabama will need the Tigers to lose one SEC game to reach the title game. If Alabama wins, LSU will need the Tide to lose three times. Which probably won’t happen.

Watch the tapes

I took a deep dive into the LSU-Ole Miss tape Monday, looking at every time Derrius Guice touched the ball to figure out what made the back so dominant against the Rebels. What resulted was one of my favorite film studies of 2017, one you can read by clicking here.

I don’t want to spoil the story for you, but I will give you one taste of the content with a diagram I drew up:

lsu

Catching up with the ‘croots

LSU is on bye this week, but recruiting news never sleeps. Here’s a taste of some of the content you might’ve missed over the last few days from SEC Country’s LSU recruiting guru Sam Spiegelman:

Programming note

Tuesday is media day for LSU’s men’s and women’s basketball teams, so Will Wade and Nikki Fargas will both have their chances to take the podium and preview the seasons ahead. Expect preview content throughout the week as both teams try to improve from their finishes last season.

Notably, Wade will have to put his spin on his Tigers being voted to finish last in the SEC at SEC Media Days. The ranking makes sense. LSU finished at the bottom of the conference last season and lost its leading scorer to the NBA. But optically, it’s not a great look for a first-year coach of a team he’s trying to recruit into becoming a powerhouse.

Be sure to follow our Twitter accounts at @SECCountryLSU, @nicksuss and @bigahickey for updates from the day’s proceedings.

LSU in the Fall Classic

Game 1 of the World Series between the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers is Tuesday night at 7:09 p.m. CT. Two former LSU baseball players will be on active rosters: Astros infielder Alex Bregman and relief pitcher Will Harris.

Bregman is hitting .190 with 2 home runs this postseason, while Harris has allowed 1 run in 2 innings. To celebrate Bregman and Harris’ chases of a World Series ring, LSU commissioned some billboards in and around Houston.

Houston is already an LSU town. College football and baseball fans alike know this. This billboard is just icing.

Today in made-up holidays

Just when you thought made-up holidays couldn’t get vaguer, Oct. 24 rolls around.

According to the folks at NationalDayCalendar.com, Oct. 24 is “National Food Day.” So, if you didn’t plan on eating Tuesday, you might want to rethink your stance. Because on this day we celebrate food, the most universally loved and agreed upon thing known to man.

So, yeah, eat food. That’s the only way you can celebrate this one. Have fun with it. Eat things that taste good, or things that are good for you. Maybe both. I don’t know. Just eat. It’s a holiday.

Miss a previous edition of the Bayou Bengal Briefing? Find every one of SEC Country’s daily LSU football columns right here.