Two years ago, LSU produced one of college football’s greatest teams. Built around Joe Burrow, the awe-inspiring collection of talent ran through the SEC and the College Football Playoff like the pros they were destined to be. However, the year after losing all that Sunday talent, LSU took a step back and suffered a painful 5-5 campaign driven by underclassmen.
Coming into 2021, coach Ed Orgeron expects a bounce-back season, captained by either of what he calls “championship quarterbacks.” Two new coordinators for the 2021 season exemplify the urgency in Baton Rouge.
Here’s what to expect for the upcoming season.
Regardless of whether it’s the veteran Myles Brennan or Max Johnson, the sophomore and son of former NFL QB Brad Johnson, LSU fans shouldn’t expect another coming of Joe Burrow. “I don’t know if we’re going to see another Joe Burrow,” said Orgeron.
The head coach still expects the consistency of 2019. “Whether or not Max, Myles or Garrett [Nussmeier] can run it like Joe, I’m not expecting that,” said Coach O. “But I want to see the same type of plays, I want to see the same type of adjustments that were so successful for us.”
BetMGM sees the Tigers as the eighth most likely national champions at +3500 odds. That gives them the fourth shortest national title odds in the SEC behind Alabama (the +250 favorite), Georgia (the +500 third choice), and Texas A&M (+3000). Clemson (+450), Ohio State (+600), Oklahoma (+800), and Iowa State (+2500) are also above LSU on the futures board.
Johnny Avello, director of race and sportsbook operations at DraftKings, has seen some action on LSU’s title bets. “I don’t know if I would call it anything significant, but we’ve taken some money on them,” Avello told Louisiana Sharp. “They’re 35-to-1 to win the championship, and there certainly is some money that has come in on them.”
With the short odds on the favorites like Alabama and Clemson, people are finding value with LSU’s relative long odds. “Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Georgia — you know they’re all gonna draw money, but they’re so short in price that people look around for better value,” Avello added. “And after those five teams, LSU is in the top 10, so 35-to-1 feels like a legitimate price, and there’s people been out there playing ‘em.”
LSU Season Win Total
DraftKings has LSU’s regular-season win total at 8 (O -140, U +120). Avello, though, is expecting a bounce-back season for the Tigers.
“5-5 is probably one of the worst seasons you’re going to see from a team like that,” he said.
The Vegas-based bookmaker isn’t too concerned about the lack of experience at quarterback. “Both are formidable. Either one of those guys could do a good job, and whoever gets the starting role, I’m sure the other guy will get some action,” he said.
As for the season win total Avello has a hard time not seeing LSU at least flirting with double-digit wins. “McNeese State, Central Mich, Louisiana Monroe — that’s three wins right there. To be honest with you, I think they’ll go past that (8 wins). I expect this team probably to win nine games this year; 10 or 11 would be a great year. But I think they can do nine.”