LSU, Fournette look like College Football’s National Champions

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Alright everybody, the wait is finally over. The sportsbooks have had pointspreads posted for this week’s games the past two months and we’ve all been discussing who will win, and why.

They make a dramatic splash stretching out from Thursday night to Friday, Saturday and culminating with two isolated night games on Sunday and Monday. Yes, this should definitely quench our thirst for real football, and of course betting.

Before I offer up a few plays on games I’ve had my eye on for a few months, let’s discuss a team I expect to do very well this season.

I’m not really going out on a limb by suggesting LSU will win the SEC at 5-to-2 odds, but there are plenty of Alabama supporters who think of the thought as crazy. The big day of recognition will come Nov. 5 at Baton Rouge when defending champ Alabama visits LSU, showing as a 2.5-point favorite at the South Point sportsbook in their early lines.

I’m going to take crazy-up even one notch further and suggest the Tigers not only win that game and the SEC, but also run the table on the way to capturing the National Championship on Jan. 9 at Tampa.

Apparently, there are quite a few bettors that have the same feeling as LSU has dropped from 15-1 to win the title at Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook down to 8-1.

So what’s to like about LSU this season? Quite a lot actually.

The Tigers have 18 starters returning from last season and I firmly believe junior QB Brandon Harris is going to be the reason they get over the hump. After racing to a 7-0 start last season, they lost their next three, starting with a road game at Alabama. It was a learning experience all the upperclassmen took in well and will use to their advantage this season.

The Tide has been very fortunate with inexperienced QB’s doing just enough to not lose games the past two seasons, but I think it catches up with them this year, or at least in the LSU game. Alabama could still be one of the final four teams, but with two losses – yes, Tennessee likely takes them down Oct. 15 – they’ll be out of contention.

The Tigers have a rather easy schedule despite being from the almighty SEC. Their toughest games are at home (Mississippi and Alabama) and they’ll have to find ways to traverse through winnable road games at Auburn, Florida, Arkansas and Texas A&M where they’ll be at least a 6-point favorite in each.

They also don’t have to play SEC East favorites Tennessee and Georgia, or at least until the conference title game.

LSU also has that feel-good story behind them with their play possibly being able to up-lift a ravaged city under water. The nation will be rooting for Baton Rouge. In college ball, that stuff matters – the players respond well to it, and LSU had the talent to go all the way already, so the emotional push doesn’t hurt.

The situation just makes them more attractive.

I’m hard pressed to see Clemson and Oklahoma not making the final four. I’d love to see Stanford make it, but the Pac-12 gauntlet is too tough. With the suggestion LSU will make it, that leaves us with the top Big-10 candidate, which will probably come down to Michigan at Ohio State on Nov. 26.

Michigan could be undefeated by that time if they win at Michigan State (Oct. 29) while the Buckeyes might have one loss already coming at Oklahoma (Sept. 17). I see Ohio State building momentum all season and J.T Barrett eventually getting handed the Heisman by a slight margin over LSU RB Leonard Fournette.

Barrett is currently 12-1 to win the Heisman at the Westgate with Fournette at 5-1. Clemson QB Deshaun Watson is the 9-2 favorite followed by Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey at 5-1.

Geaux Tigers, and give the city of Baton Rouge some kind of heeling process that sports remarkably manage to assist in.

Playoff predictions: (Westgate odds) 1. Clemson (7/1) 2. LSU* (8/1) 3. Oklahoma (10/1) 4. Ohio State (8/1) *LSU beats Ohio State in Championship Game.

This week

LSU -9.5 vs. Wisconsin at Lambeau Field: Wisconsin allowed only 13.7 ppg last season, but seven of those defensive starters are gone. The Badgers offense was troubled as well and they return only four starters and one of them isn’t the QB. This team is going to struggle early on to score, which has me looking at them UNDER the total often in their first seven games.

This game is being played in Green Bay, but over 25,000 LSU fans will be on hand so let’s just call it Lambeaux Field for the day. There’s no real edge in the number, but look for LSU to control the game in all facets with a score like 27-6. Take LSU (-9.5) and UNDER (44.5).

More selections

GEORGIA -2.5 vs. N. Carolina.

OKLAHOMA -10 vs. Houston.

NOTRE DAME -3 at Texas

OLE MISS +5 vs. Florida St.

Twitter: @MicahRoberts7

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