Alabama at LSU - 11/5/22 College Football Picks and Prediction

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The Alabama Crimson Tide will head to Baton Rouge and take on the LSU Tigers this Saturday night from Death Valley on ESPN. The First Saturday in November has become the ultimate midseason classic over the years. These two schools carried the SEC through the late 2000's into the 2010's with their anticipated matchups, and physical brands of football. Alabama holds a lopsided 55-26-5, but the Saban Bowl always generates good, contested action.

Alabama is 7-1 after taking down Mississippi State in Week 8. Bama bounced back from the rare midseason loss by silencing Mike Leach’s Air Raid, nearly shutting them out en route to a 30-6 win. Alabama is scoring 43.1 points per game, while passing for 274.4 yards per game (58th), and rushing for 211.1 yards per game (35th). The Bama defense allows 16.6 points per game.

Bryce Young returned after capturing the 2021 Heisman Trophy award and he hasn’t disappointed. An iconic fourth-quarter drive versus Texas kept the Tide clean early, and despite an injury, Young remains a top-two quarterback in the country. After going for a career-high 455 yards in the classic with Tennessee, Young tossed a pair of touchdowns in the bounce back win over Mississippi State. Young has thrown for 1,906 passing yards with 18 touchdowns to three interceptions, while adding three scores on the ground.

Jahmir Gibbs has really got it going since the start of SEC play. The junior back mirrors former SEC great Alvin Kamara, and he should be the next Alabama product to grace an NFL backfield. The Georgia Tech transfer dashed for a career-high 206 yards and two scores in the road win over Arkansas, and he scored three times in Knoxville versus Tennessee. Gibbs should surpass last season’s total this weekend, and he leads the Tide with 672 rushing yards and six scores, while catching a team-lead 31 passes for 301 receiving yards and three touchdowns.

It’s been a collective effort at wideout for Alabama after losing Jameson Williams and John Metchie to the NFL. There aren’t any Julio Jones’, Jerry Jeudy’s, or Devonta Smith’s around this season, but Ja’Corey Brooks has really come along since the start of SEC play. Brooks set a season-high with 117 yards and two scores versus Vandy, and he scored in the two following games against A&M and Tennessee. Brooks leads Bama with 376 receiving yards on 21 receptions, while Georgia transfer Jermaine Burton has posted identical numbers, with 20 catches for 306 yards.

LSU improved to 6-2 after defeating Ole Miss at home in Week 8. The Tigers followed up an impressive win in the Swamp with a strong second half en route to defeating the Rebels by 25 points. LSU scores 35.1 points per game, while passing for 266.9 yards per game (73rd), and rushing for 183.3 ypg (76th). The LSU defense allows 21.2 points per game.

Jayden Daniels has found a home in Baton Rouge and he’s putting it all together. The Arizona State transfer came in with Brian Kelly, and after working out early natural growing pains, the junior quarterback has become a real threat in the SEC. Daniels played well in his debut versus Florida State, but he broke out with his performance in the Swamp against their rivals Florida. Daniels punished the Gator defense throwing for a season-high 349 yards, tossing three touchdowns, and rushing for three more. He followed that up with another stud outing against Ole Miss, totaling 369 yards from scrimmage, and amassing five total touchdowns (2 pass, 3 rush). Those are Heisman worthy performances, and Daniels is now up to 1,812 passing yards with 12 touchdowns to one interception, and a team-leading 524 rushing yards with nine rushing scores for the season.

Jonathan Williams found a role in October when Armoni Goodwin went down. Williams eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the first time in his career against Florida, and he scored last time out in the win over Ole Miss. Williams now leads the backfield with 305 rushing yards, while Goodwin, who returned versus the Rebels, has 254 yards and five touchdowns. Kayshon Boutte draws the headlines for the wideout group, as he definitely looks like the great LSU receiver. The junior pass catcher has put an early season dispute with Coach Kelly behind him, and he’s beginning to flourish and flash. Boutte recorded 115 yards in the win over the Gators, and he’s up to 27 catches for 288 yards on the season. Malik Nabers is coming alive himself, and after surpassing his 2021 total last time out, he leads LSU in receptions (36) and receiving yards (455).

Alabama is 5-3 against the spread this season, with a 1-2 record on the road. LSU is 5-3 against the spread this season, with a 4-2 record at home. The under is 5-3 in the last eight matchups.

This is a testament to how deep the SEC is. Alabama and LSU were the faces of the conference for an extended period of time prior to Georgia’s recent dominance, even playing a record three times in one season. This rivalry has seen better days, but here’s a change for Brian Kelly to cement his mark in the SEC. The former Notre Dame coach has endured his fair share of growing pains, but his team is starting to peak at the right time.

Timing is key when approaching this matchup. Alabama hasn’t looked like slouches by any means, to some they’ve even looked better than Georgia. The Tide have their eyes on a trip to Atlanta, but they can’t fall victim to overlooking here. 

Meanwhile, no one is expecting LSU to win this game, and they’re streaking right now. You can’t throw the Tennessee game away, but Brian Kelly’s team has been one of the best in the country since Week 3. LSU has Death Valley and an emerging talent at quarterback in their favor. Those two factors may warrant spotting them the points here, but there’s more.

“This is why I came to LSU”, quoted Brian Kelly in reference to this matchup.

This game simply means more. The Alabama/LSU matchup has a chance to restore some glory, and Brian Kelly has a chance to make a statement to the SEC, letting everyone know he’s here. Handing Bama a loss here will all but tarnish any CFB Playoff hope they have, while even pushing LSU into a potential SEC-title spoiler spot. No one sees LSU right now, but that could change Saturday night. 

Spot the Tigers the points here, as LSU could potentially usher in an era with an unseen win here.

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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