- The LSU Tigers are 2.5-point road favorites over the Auburn Tigers on Saturday, October 31st (3:30 pm EST)
- The defending champs are off to a disappointing 2-2 start, but are fresh off a 52-point outburst vs South Carolina
- See below for analysis, odds and a betting prediction
We expected an unpredictable college football season in 2020, but not many people can honestly say they foresaw neither LSU or Auburn being ranked after eight weeks. Both programs are off to disappointing starts, but have the chance to turn their seasons around this weekend.
LSU (2-2) will travel to Auburn (3-2) on Saturday (Oct. 31st, 3:30 pm EST), and are currently 2.5-point favorites over its SEC rival.
LSU vs Auburn Week 9 Odds
|LSU Tigers||-2.5 (-120)||-150||Over 65.5 (-105)|
|Auburn Tigers||+2.5 (-103)||+115||Under 65.5 (-117)|
Odds taken Oct. 27th at DraftKings
The defending champs are fresh off their best performance of the season, blasting South Carolina 52-24. Auburn meanwhile, got past Ole Miss 34-27 in Week 8, to earn its third victory of the season.
Has LSU Turned the Corner?
After opening the season with two losses in its first three games to Mississippi State and Missouri, LSU righted the ship in Week 8 against the Gamecocks. They put up a season-best 52 points, gaining 541 yards and a whopping 29 first downs.
Student section is chanting TJ Finley’s name.
He’s 17 of 21 for 265 yards and 2 TDs with another on the ground.
Deserved. Best debut by a true freshman LSU quarterback in history, I’m sure.
— Cody Worsham (@CodyWorsham) October 25, 2020
Freshman TJ Finley stepped in for the injured Myles Brennan, and threw for 265 yards, while accounting for 3 TD. Brennan is already back in practice this week, but his status for the Auburn game is not known. Finley certainly proved he’s capable of leading the offense, but Brennan was off to a special start.
QB Passing yards per game
1. Dillon Gabriel UCF 439
2. Mac Jones Alabama 379.50
3. Myles Brennan LSU 370.7
4. Brady White Memphis 354
5. S Buechele SMU 342
6. Kyle Trask UF 332
7. Zach Wilson BYU 328
— Hany Girgis (@SanDiegoKnight) October 20, 2020
Through just three games, he’s already racked up 1,112 passing yards and 11 TD. He was one of the few LSU players playing at an elite level, and his absence would be a big hit against a talented Auburn team.
LSU’s Defense Will Give Nix Fits
On the other side of the ball, LSU’s defense racked up five sacks and seven tackles for a loss versus South Carolina, and could cause Auburn QB Bo Nix a lot of problems on Saturday.
Good Stop, D! pic.twitter.com/GmzIq7NSkY
— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) October 25, 2020
LSU boasts the third highest graded pass rush in the nation according to Pro Football Focus, and Nix has shown he’s hyper sensitive to pressure. This season, the Sophomore is the 59th ranked passer under pressure by PFF’s metrics, out of 66 qualified quarterbacks. In case you think five games is too small of a sample size, his performance last season under duress was even worse.
**BREAKING** Jayce Horn is named The Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week.
— Vizor Carolina (@VizorSportsSC) October 18, 2020
Nix ranked 81st out of 90 qualified QB’s in adjusted completion percentage under pressure, and has been sacked 29 times in 18 career games. Auburn lost starting lineman Brandon Council last week against Ole Miss, which is just another reason Nix and company could struggle on Saturday.
Back LSU if Brennan Plays
This game actually opened Auburn -1, but that number didn’t last long. Bettors came in hot on the defending champs pushing the line all the way up to LSU -3.5 at some online sportsbooks. The line has since settled around 2.5-3 depending on where you place your bets, but I wouldn’t be rushing to bet LSU until we get some clarity about the quarterback situation.
Ed Orgeron asked if there will be any controversy at quarterback.
“There might be on y’all part. I can feel it. Y’all are yearning for it … Won’t be any on our part.”
Myles Brennan is still the starter. #LSU
— Brody Miller (@BrodyAMiller) October 25, 2020
Yes, Finley impressed in his debut, but only Alabama’s Mac Jones had a better passer rating than Brennan in the SEC prior to his injury. He ranks third in the nation in passer grade on throws 20+ yards downfield, and played the final three quarters against Missouri with a torn abdomen, and still racked up 430 yards and 4 TD.
OH MY, @MylesBrennan ? pic.twitter.com/S5JFJ6DDrv
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) October 10, 2020
He’s a warrior and I wouldn’t back LSU without him.
Pick: LSU -2.5 (-120) *Only is Brennan plays.