While there are plenty of different ways we can spend our Saturday afternoons, taking in a good old fashioned SEC slugfest is always an appealing choice. Coincidentally, that just happens to be an option here in Week 3 of the college football regular season.
LSU takes a trip to rival Auburn for a late Saturday afternoon kickoff that shapes up to be one of the week’s more interesting matchups. Both schools are currently ranked in the Top 12, and this is one of those games of the week which will likely inspire a chain reaction in next week’s polls.
Without further adieu, let’s dig in to the upcoming battle of the Tigers.
LSU @ Auburn, 3:30 PM EST, CBS
- LSU +10 (-105)
- Auburn -10 (-115)
- LSU +330
- Auburn -400
- Over 45 (-102)
- Under 45 (-118)
LSU vs. Auburn pick:
Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama will be the backdrop for this meeting of the #12 LSU Tigers and the #7 Auburn Tigers. This one slides into the late afternoon slot on CBS, and we can easily make a case for this one being the most anticipated matchup of the entire afternoon slate.
Visiting LSU has opened up the season with a pair of convincing wins. First up was an impressive 33-17 victory over the Miami Hurricanes on Labor Day evening. Miami came into that one ranked as the #8 in the country to make the victory all the more noteworthy.
Senior RB Nick Brossette was the star of the show, as he toted the rock 22 times for 125 yards and 2 TDs. The stout Tigers defense held the Hurricanes to 3 points through three quarters, forcing 2 picks and getting to the quarterback 4 times along the way.
The following week, LSU welcomed neighboring Southeastern Louisiana to town and proceeded to have their way with the Lions. Brossette had himself a day once again, carrying the ball 19 times for 137 yards and hauling in one pass for a 12-yard gain to boot.
Junior QB Joe Burrow threw for 151 yards and 2 TDs, and added on 20 rushing yards and another score on the ground for good measure. The defense was able to force 3 turnovers and generate 5 sacks in the 31-0 laugher.
Through two weeks, Auburn has found itself in one extremely competitive game and one rout. The competitive one took place on the opening Saturday of the season when they took on the Washington Huskies on a neutral field in Atlanta.
It was an exciting matchup that was tight through the final stanza. Junior QB Jarrett Stidham threw for 273 yards and a score, while junior RB Kam Martin led the rushing attack with 22 carries for 80 yards. The Tigers defense was strong on the day with 5 sacks and 2 turnovers as Auburn walked out with a 21-16 victory.
Auburn had a much easier go of things in Week 2. The Alabama State Hornets came to town, and they were thoroughly dominated. Tigers RBs combined for a staggering 429 rushing yards and 6 TDs as Auburn cruised to a 63-9 victory. The stout defense forced 4 turnovers and produced 4 sacks during the game.
These two schools first met way back in 1901, a 28-0 victory for Auburn. All told, they have met 52 times, and LSU holds a 29-22-1 series edge. Over the past decade, LSU has had Auburn’s number more often than not.
Since 2008, Auburn is 3-7 straight up and 5-5 ATS against LSU, while the Over/Under is an even 5-5. LSU has been victorious in two of the past three years, and the Over has come in twice over that span. Last year, LSU picked up a 27-23 victory on its home turf, a game which featured a projected total of 46 points.
The total is in the same range this year at 45 points. Interestingly, for the past three years the projected total for the annual meeting has ranged between 44 and 46 points. Auburn is a big 10-point home favorite for this one.
You have to go back to 2013 to find a spread that reached double digits for this matchup. In that game, LSU was a 17-point home favorite and walked out with a 35-21 victory. All spreads between the two teams since that point have been 7 points or less.
Looking ahead to the rest of the month, LSU closes out September with home dates against Louisiana Tech and Ole Miss. For Auburn, home dates with Arkansas and Southern Mississippi are up next.
Through two games, these schools appear to be very evenly matched. LSU has outscored opponents by a total of 64-17, while Auburn is up 84-25 0n the year. Brossette has been a focal point of LSU’s offense, while Auburn has found success with a committee approach in the backfield.
The school has three backs that have run for more than 100 yards through two games. Stidham has the edge on Burrow in passing yardage so far, but both have thrown for two touchdowns. Collectively, both clubs are second in the nation for getting to the QB with nine sacks each.
Future odds further demonstrate how close these two schools are in terms of talent this year. Auburn currently has odds of 30/1 to take down a national title, while LSU checks in at 40/1. For the SEC crown, Auburn is at 5/1, while oddsmakers give LSU a 15/1 chance.
This shapes up to be a tough hard-nosed affair that could easily come down to the final quarter. Auburn has a slight edge in talent this season, and that could be enough of a difference to pull out a victory at home. However, the gap is not so large that LSU can’t cover a double-digit spread against a key rival.
Auburn wins straight up, but LSU plus the points is our choice.