Since it’s something people really enjoy reading about, the CBS Sports website publishes an NFL Mock Draft and keeps updating it. And last I looked, Joe Burrow, the quarterback for the LSU Tigers, who had, according to some reports, been ticketed for the fifth round at the season’s outset, was projected as the #1 selection, to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Maybe this was upsetting to the Miami Dolphins, whose management seemed to be trying oh-so-hard for the cherished top spot. But they would be encouraged to know that even with the #4 pick, they still got the man Burrow will oppose on Saturday – Tua Tagovailoa of the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Those are the starting pitchers (more than likely) for what will be the Game of the Century, at least until January’s national championship game. It will take place on Alabama’s home field, Bryant-Denny Stadium, at 3:30 PM ET, televised on CBS.
And while BetAnySports customers are watching it, they can place wagers in real-time through the facilities of Sports Betting Ultra.
Here are the odds on this game, infused with reduced juice:
Alabama Crimson Tide -6 (-105)
LSU Tigers +6 (-105)
Over 63 points (-102)
Under 63 points (-108)
So how did Burrow rise so far so fast in the draft pecking order? Well, there’s a lot of stuff written about it already, but probably the simplest answer is that he finally got with some professional coaching at the quarterback position and got himself in a scheme that was relatively “pro-style,” with the proviso that such a term could mean many things these days. In this particular instance, we are talking about the RPOs, or “run-pass options” that a number of teams are playing, and the guy who has been able to install this offense and fit it snugly into Burrow’s skill set is Joe Brady, a former New Orleans Saints assistant who came on board as a “passing game coordinator” and will probably wind up with a head coaching gig out of this.
We’re not putting the knock on other coaches, but let’s face it – at Ohio State, Burrow’s first stop, coach Urban Meyer had a spread option offense that does not necessarily prepare quarterbacks to play in the NFL. And at LSU, they’ve had an offense in recent years that, once you got past the running of Leonard Fournette or Derrius Guice, was more or less caveman-style.
But you see that they have produced great athletes at the wide receiver position (Odell Beckham, Jarvis Landry, DJ Chark and a number of others on NFL rosters), so if they could just modernize the approach with a QB who could exhibit some accuracy, they could really have something.
And they do.
And now they have an offense that ranks #4 in the nation in yardage, #1 in pass success rate and #1 in completion percentage. Burrow, who is now the -125 favorite at BetAnySports to win the Heisman Trophy, has thrown for 10.8 yards per attempt, with 30 TD’s and just four interceptions. And LSU is #1 in the nation in the Associated Press poll.
We’re not all that sure how often they’re going to run the football (they’ve done it 47.5% of the time, which is 99th in the country), but Clyde Edwards-Halaire (5.9 ypc) is more than adequate to take advantage of a “surprise” element from that standpoint.
Listen – these guys topped 500 yards against the likes of Texas, Florida and Auburn. They averaged 10.6 yards PER PLAY against the Gators, a team generally known not to lay down on defense. And here’s something important to remember: LSU is the top red zone team in the nation, having scored points on 43 of 44 trips, including 34 touchdowns.
Alabama recruits so well that it is always going to have a talented defense. But it is not as “elite” as LSU has seen in recent seasons. They’ve surrendered 459 yards to South Carolina and 477 to Ole Miss. And in case you’re still under the impression that these guys slow down EVERYBODY, consider that when facing very capable offenses in the last three games of the 2018 season (Georgia, Oklahoma, Clemson) Nick Saban’s stop unit burned for over 1400 yards and 106 points.
So we’re kind of okay in looking very favorably at LSU’s chances to eclipse the team total of 28.5 points at BetAnySports, where you can find props on Saturday’s game, plus team totals, halftime bets, great payouts on exotics, as well as reduced juice to give you better odds. Also, after the game has kicked off, you will be able to access Sports Betting Ultra to make real-time wagers…………. Get your account opened with a debit card, credit card, person-to-person transfer or the virtual currency of Bitcoin, which is fast and easy with their automated system and NEVER incurs a transaction fee!
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