LSU will begin what it hopes is a run to the College Football Playoff as a solid favorite for its battle with Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon at a supposedly neutral Lambeau Field in Green Bay. But the pesky Badgers might enjoy that role, considering they’ve won five times outright in their last 11 spots as underdogs, going 8-3 against the spread in the process.
Point spread: Tigers opened as 10-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. (Line updates and matchup report)
College football pick, via Odds Shark computer: 31.0-27.5 Tigers
Why the LSU Tigers can cover the spread
The Tigers return 16 starters this season from a team that went 9-3 last year, and rate among the favorites to both win the SEC and make the CFP. Eight starters are back on offense, led by Heisman candidate Leonard Fournette, who ran for nearly 2,000 yards last year and 22 touchdowns, quarterback Brandon Harris and three of the big cats on the offensive line.
Eight starters are also back from a defense that held foes to 347 yards per game last year.
LSU almost parted ways with head coach Les Miles late last season, so perhaps he’s out to prove that would have been a huge mistake.
Why the Wisconsin Badgers can cover the spread
Coming off a 10-win campaign of a season ago, which included a bowl victory over USC, Wisconsin returns 11 starters this season. Five starters are back on offense, anchored by three along the offensive line, and that doesn’t include running back Corey Clement, who missed most of last season to injuries. Meanwhile, six starters are back from a defense that limited opponents to just 269 yards and 14 points per game last year.
The Badgers lost three games last year, but actually came nearly two plays from going 11-1.
The Tigers could be monsters on a national level this season with Fournette and that defense. And while Wisconsin is almost always underrated, the Badgers wilted against another SEC power, Alabama, in last season’s opener. Wisconsin also has to replace its longtime starting quarterback Joel Stave, and its defense is breaking in a new coordinator. The tundra at Lambeau is far from frozen this time of year; the smart money here lies with LSU.
Wisconsin is 4-2 ATS in its last six games.
The total has gone under in eight of Wisconsin’s last 11 games.
LSU is 5-1 ATS in its last six games as a favorite.
All point spread and betting line data courtesy of Odds Shark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Odds Shark on Twitter and YouTube for injury information, line movement updates and more game analysis, and get the free odds tracker app.
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Source: Bleacher Report -SEC Football