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Game of the Year: No. 1 LSU Tigers at No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide

It’s only the game of the century: LSU at Alabama on Saturday night in the most anticipated game perhaps in decades. It’s the nation’s two most dominant teams, two best defenses by far, the first time ever that two SEC teams have faced off in the regular season as No. 1 and No. 2 and the first time since 2006 that the nation’s two top-ranked teams have met in the regular season. Oh, and the winner will be favored to run the table and win the SEC’s sixth straight national championship. Other than that there’s not much on the line.  Bama has opened as 4.5-point online betting favorites on WagerWeb.com.

These teams have split the last four seasons and have played some memorable games. Nothing compares, though, to Saturday’s showdown in Tuscaloosa. They’ve been the two best teams in college football all season, but only one will walk away unbeaten. If everything falls just right, it could be the first of two epic meetings between the schools this season.

Les Miles’ Tigers sit atop the national polls, earning the lofty spot with marquee routs of Oregon (40-27), Florida (41-11) and most recently, defending national champion Auburn (45-10) on October 22nd. LSU has won each of its games thus far by double figures.

Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide have positioned themselves to play for a second national title in the last three years. Alabama has won each game by double figures, including statement wins at Penn State (27-11), home against Arkansas (38-14) and at Florida (38-10). The Tide, who were also idle a week ago, were last in action on October 22nd, making light work of Tennessee at home (37-6).

Alabama only gives up 6.9 PPG, which leads FBS schools. LSU allows 11.5 PPG, good for 3rd in FBS. And both average almost exactly the same amount of points on offense.

Statistically, Alabama has the edge — but has only faced one Top 25 offense in Arkansas. The Tide is leading the nation in rush, pass efficiency, total and scoring defense. Alabama has given up only six offensive touchdowns all season while allowing 359 rushing yards through eight games.

LSU’s defense also ranks in the top 5 in the major statistical categories. Though their stats are not as impressive as Alabama’s, their opponents have been. LSU’s defense has definitely faced bigger tests, mainly because of nonconference games against No. 6 Oregon and No. 24 West Virginia. The Tide’s opponents have average rankings of 87th in scoring offense and 95th in total offense; LSU’s stand at 66th and 75th, respectively.

Alabama’s closest game thus far has been a 16-point victory at Penn State; LSU’s 13-point wins over Oregon and at Mississippi State pass for the Tigers’ nailbiters. LSU has trailed for just 6 minutes, 33 seconds this season and hasn’t been behind since the second quarter of the opener against Oregon. … The only other times Alabama and LSU have entered their November game unbeaten were in 1972 and 1973. … LSU is off to its best start since opening 9-0 in 1973. The Tigers have won 16 straight games at night, including six in a row on the road. The last p.m. loss was to No. 1 Florida at Tiger stadium in 2009. … Somewhat slow-starting Alabama has outscored opponents 243-25 in the final three quarters. by Wagerweb

Sportsbook Advisor Take: This is going to be a great game. The “experts” think Bama should be favored by as much as 7 points. But we beg to differ. We went against LSU early in the season and were wrong about them and they made believers out of us. We like LSU plus the points.

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Saturday, November 5th, 2011 College Football Betting 2011

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