LSU vs. Auburn: Betting Odds, Preview, Matchup Stats and Prediction

OddsShark.comFeatured ColumnistSeptember 18, 2012

BATON ROUGE, LA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Zach Mettenberger #8 of the LSU Tigers calls a play during the game against the Idaho Vandals at Tiger Stadium on September 15, 2012 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  LSU Tigers defeated the Idaho Vandals 63-14.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

With their 3-0 start to this season, the LSU Tigers are on the path toward another potential showdown with Alabama.

But they are 1-5 in their last six trips to Auburn and face an even tougher uphill climb to cover the point spread, which was settling in around -20 at most shops tracked by Tuesday.

"Historically, this has been an under play when these SEC Tigers meet here, but Auburn is historically bad this year, hence the huge spread," analyst Jack Randall said in an interview today.

Indeed, the matchup report shows that six of the past eight clashes of these SEC rivals have played under the total since 1996.

The defending SEC champions from LSU begin their conference campaign with their first road trip of the year, a visit to Auburn Saturday night (7 p.m. ET, ESPN).

LSU is 3-0 after dispatching of North Texas (41-14), Washington (41-3) and Idaho (63-14). The Tigers couldn't cover the spread as 44-point favorites over the Mean Green, but they covered 23 points against the Huskies and 42 points against the Vandals.

So spotting Auburn 20 points is actually the smallest number LSU backers have encountered this year. They are 8-2 ATS in 10 recent games as double-digit chalk.

With its three victories over a light non-conference schedule, LSU has moved from No. 3 in the preseason AP poll to No. 2. But in the USA Today poll, the Tigers have fallen from No. 1 to No. 2.

Auburn, meanwhile, is off to a 1-2 start and it could have been 0-3. They are also 0-5 ATS in their past five games as an underdog, according to's college football odds database.

The Tigers dropped their season opener to Clemson 26-19, then lost at Mississippi State 28-10. Last week Auburn got its first victory, but it took overtime to beat Louisiana-Monroe 31-28.

The Tigers, as 14-point favorites, struggled with the Warhawks all day Saturday. They gave up the first touchdown of the game and didn’t take a lead until scoring on a jump-ball TD pass on the final play of the first half.

Auburn scored the first TD of the second half to go ahead 28-14 and was driving for a another when it lost a fumble deep in L-M territory. The Tigers then allowed the Warhawks to score twice in the fourth quarter to send the game to OT. Auburn won by blocking a field goal, then kicking one of its own.

Louisiana State returned 13 starters this season, including seven on offense and four along the offensive line, from a team that went 13-1 last year. Auburn, meanwhile, has 15 starters back, including nine on defense, from a team that went 8-5 last season.

Last year LSU beat Auburn 45-10, covering as 20-point favorites at Death Valley. 

Free Pick: LSU is bent on returning to the BCS, and needs not just wins, but convincing wins. Auburn, meanwhile, just hasn't shown much this year. So we'll give the points and go with Louisiana State here. (courtesy of