LSU Could Be Underdogs in Most of Remaining Games

LSU enters Saturday’s road clash with Auburn as an 8.5-point favorite as of Wednesday, according to both DraftKings and FanDuel. However, LSU could find itself as an underdog for most of its remaining contests.

Following three straight double-digit wins since a narrow loss to now-ranked Florida State in Week 1, LSU is not expected to struggle against Auburn. Without looking at their remaining opponents, fans might assume that even in a tough division like the SEC West, LSU would surely enter several more games this season as the favorite. After all, the three highest-ranked opponents on the remaining schedule (Tennessee, Ole Miss and Alabama) all have to travel to Tiger Stadium.

Still, there’s a good chance that of their eight remaining games this season, the Tigers will only be favored against Auburn this weekend and UAB on November 19.

This is despite the fact that while LSU is currently unranked, the Tigers are No. 12 according to ESPN’s SP+, while ESPN’s Football Power Index has them No. 7.

There are no shortage of opportunities for LSU to grab voters’ respect over the next two months, as six of this team’s final seven games are going to be tough.

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LSU’s Remaining Schedule Includes Five Ranked Teams

After Auburn this weekend, the remaining SEC opponents for LSU – and their current AP rankings – are:

    • No. 8 Tennessee
    • Florida
    • No. 14 Ole Miss
    • No. 2 Alabama
    • No. 20 Arkansas
    • No. 17 Texas A&M

The fact that Florida, which was ranked until Saturday’s loss at Tennessee, may be the “easiest” remaining SEC game for LSU speaks to the difficulty of the Tigers’ road ahead. Whether Auburn pushes LSU this weekend or not, the degree of difficulty will ramp up soon for a team that won its last three games by a combined score of 134-33.

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Who else will LSU be favored against besides Auburn and UAB?

After this weekend, The Tigers will get one reprieve from the SEC West gauntlet down the stretch, as they host Conference-USA foe UAB on Nov. 19. Expect LSU to be a heavy favorite, to say the least, in that one.

Below is a look at each SEC opponent and whether the Tigers will be favored.

Home vs. Tennessee, Oct. 8

The Vols are idle this week. They’ll travel to Baton Rouge as a well-rested, top-10 opponent, so expect the line to favor Tennessee by a touchdown or more. In addition to being No. 8 in the AP poll, Tennessee is No. 8 per SP+ and No. 12 per FPI.

At Florida, Oct. 15

Four games into the season, Florida (SP+ No. 44, SP+, FPI No. 45) is a hard team to figure out. The Gators impressed in Week 1, when they beat a then-top-10 Utah team. They have since lost to Kentucky and Tennessee. While UF rallied late against the Vols, it lost 26-16 to the Wildcats, failing to score after halftime. At the moment, it’s hard to predict what the line will be, but LSU is certainly not a lock to be favored in The Swamp.

Home vs. Ole Miss, Oct. 22

We’ll know a lot more about Ole Miss (SP+ No. 6, FPI No. 11) after it faces Kentucky this weekend. The Rebels have gotten off to a strong start against a soft early schedule, though they did struggle against Tulsa last week. Even at home, the Tigers will almost certainly be getting points against Lane Kiffin’s team.

Home vs. Alabama, Nov. 5

Alabama (SP+ No. 1, FPI No. 1) looked vulnerable against a Texas team that has since lost to Texas Tech, but the Tide feel like a lock to remain in at least the Top 10 until their visit to LSU. The question is whether the Tigers will be a single- or double-digit underdog.

At Arkansas, Nov. 12

The Razorbacks (SP+ No. 28, FPI No. 42), like Florida, started the season with a big win, knocking off Cincinnati. But after a close win over Missouri State in Week 3 and a loss to Texas A&M in Week 4, it’s unclear whether Arkansas can challenge the top teams in the SEC West. While LSU would certainly be the road underdog if these teams met this weekend, it’s hard to predict who will be favored when they meet in mid-November.

At Texas A&M, Nov. 26

Few teams have had a more eventful start to the season than the Aggies (SP+ No. 22, FPI No. 33). After a disastrous early-season home loss to Appalachian State, Texas A&M made a change at quarterback and posted wins over then-ranked Miami as well as Arkansas. The preseason Top 5 Aggies play at Alabama on Oct. 8 and host Ole Miss on Oct. 29, which will reveal how far they’ve come from the App loss. While plenty will change between now and Nov. 26, penciling in A&M as the home favorite against LSU makes sense at the moment.

LSU Likely Underdogs in Most of Remaining Schedule

Tennessee, Ole Miss, Alabama and Texas A&M are all virtual locks to be favored against LSU. That leaves road games at Florida and Arkansas as the only other remaining match-ups, besides UAB and Auburn, in which LSU has a good chance to be favored.

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

About the Author

Tyler Everett

Tyler Everett has been a sportswriter since joining the student newspaper at his alma mater, NC State, back in 2008. He's covered sports and sports business for a number of newspapers and websites, including the Denver Broncos, Charlotte Observer, High Press Soccer and Sports Business Journal, where he currently works full-time.