Clemson vs. LSU: A Look to the Over?

LSU Tigers vs. Clemson Tigers Preview

So the team that went 11-2 against the spread vs. FBS opponents this season, and is 10-1 against the spread in their last 11 bowl/playoff game appearances….is the underdog?! Dabo Swinney’s bulletin board gets fuller by the minute. The power rankings say to take Clemson, while the eye test says to take LSU. Let’s try to make a compelling case to cheer for both teams and give a look to the over…

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Event: (283) Clemson Tigers +5 vs. (284) LSU Tigers (o/u 67.5)
Date/Time: Monday, January 13 at 8:00 p.m. EDT

We are in an age of college football where elite offenses are nearly impossible to slow down. The skill position athletes that teams like LSU, Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State are attracting are NFL-ready as freshmen. Great offenses are simply overpowering good defenses.

LSU scored 37+ on Florida, Alabama, Texas A&M, Georgia and Oklahoma. Four of those teams rank in the top-40 in defensive efficiency. Ohio State scored 56 on Michigan, then 34 and 38 against Wisconsin in their two meetings. Both of them are in the top-10 in in yards per play allowed. Clemson scored 40+ against ten opponents this season. Alabama was involved in seven games that saw 69+ points.

Between Trevor Lawrence, Tee Higgins and Travis Etienne with Clemson and Joe Burrow, Clyde Edwards- Helaire and Justin Jefferson with LSU, there’s enough offensive talent in this game to fill an all- conference team. LSU’s offense has generated 49 plays of 30 yards or more this season. Clemson’s offense has created 43 such plays. LSU’s defense has given up 28 plays of 30 yards or more.

Auburn is the only team that’s come close to slowing down LSU’s offense this season. LSU leads the country in points per game, is second in yards per play and second in points per play. Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow is averaging 10.9 yards per pass attempt. That’s right…A first down every time he attempts a pass.

Don’t be fooled by the final score of the Clemson-Ohio State game. It fell ten points shy of the total, but there were 49 first downs and 933 yards of offense. Both teams averaged over 5.0 yards per carry on a choppy field that caused a lot of problems for both sides. Don’t be fooled by Clemson holding Alabama to 16 points in last year’s title game. The Crimson Tide had 23 first downs and 443 yards of offense. Alabama gained 172 yards in their final four drives and didn’t score a single point. Pretty hard to do.

Dating back to the end of last season, the over is 11-5 in LSU’s last 16 games. There should be some more offensive fireworks in the Superdome on Monday night. We are looking at over 67.5 to conclude the college football season.

A few trends, courtesy of The Gold Sheet:

  • Clemson went 11-2 against the spread vs. FBS opponents this season.
  • Clemson is 10-1 against the spread in their last 11 bowl/playoff game appearances.
  • Dating back to the end of last season, LSU is 12-4 against the spread in their last 16 games.
  • Underdogs are 5-0 against the spread in the College Football Playoff championship games.

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