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Alabama vs. LSU: Prediction, pick, odds, point spread, line, football game, live stream, kickoff time

The SEC West rivalry game between No. 1 Alabama and LSU set for Saturday night in Death Valley was at one time expected to be a defining matchup in the race for the division title, but nothing has gone as planned in the 2020 college football season. The Tigers have fallen on hard times after claiming the national title last season, but they would love nothing more than to win their second straight in this rivalry and play spoiler in Alabama’s quest for the College Football Playoff.

It’s going to be a tall order against this version of the Crimson Tide, who are hellbent on making it back to the playoff after missing out last year. With them, they bring one of the most potent offenses in the country and potentially three Heisman Trophy contenders in quarterback Mac Jones, running Najee Harris and wide receiver DeVonta Smith. Plus, Nick Saban will be back on the sidelines after battling his own case of COVID-19 and missing last week’s game against Auburn.

Can the Tigers play spoiler in this heated rivalry or will the Tide continue their run back to the SEC Championship Game and the College Football Playoff? Let’s take a closer look at the storylines to follow and matchups to watch before making some expert picks both straight up and against the spread.

Storylines

Alabama: The offense has gotten all of the buzz, but have you seen the Crimson Tide play defense lately? They have notched 26 tackles for loss over the last four games and gave up just 3.84 yards per play in November. This all while leading the SEC in opponent red zone conversion percentage at 47.83%. It’s going to be fascinating to see what Saban and defensive coordinator Pete Golding dial up against a Tigers offense that has been all over the place this season. There are stars galore on offense, but the emergence of tight end Jahleel Billingsley has been one of the more surprising storylines to develop during the latter half of the season. He caught five passes for 111 yards and one touchdown over the last two games after catching just one pass in the other six this season. If Alabama wasn’t scary enough, it’s finding new weapons as the season progresses.

LSU: The Tigers posted their best defensive performance of the season last week when they held Texas A&M to 3.76 yards per play and allowed Kellen Mond to complete just 11 of his 34 passes. Is that the start of a trend or a wet weather anomaly that should be viewed as such? Coach Ed Orgeron better hope that it’s the former, otherwise it’ll be a long night. Why? It’s unlikely that the Tigers, with an offensive line that can’t block and either T.J. Finley and Max Johnson taking the snaps, will be able to keep up in a shootout. To compound issues, star wide receiver Terrace Marshall opted out of the remainder of the season this week.

Viewing information

Date: Saturday, Dec. 5 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Tiger Stadium — Baton Rouge, Louisiana
TV: CBS | Live stream:  CBSSports.comCBS Sports App (Free)
OTT: CBS Sports App (Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast)

Alabama at LSU prediction, picks

Latest Odds:Crimson Tide -28.5

This is a massive spread, but don’t worry about it. Lay the points and enjoy the offensive show that Alabama will put on Saturday night in prime time. Saban’s crew is averaging 48.5 points per game this season, and has topped the 40-point mark in seven straight contests. This LSU team not only can’t keep up, but will struggle to get to double digits. Pick: Alabama (-28.5)

Author: Barrett Sallee / CBS Sports
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