LSU vs Alabama: Preview, predictions, betting odds and live stream


No. 2 LSU vs No. 4 Alabama

The LSU Tigers head to Tuscaloosa this weekend for the latest chapter in their heated rivalry with the Alabama Crimson Tide: a primetime matchup at Bryant-Denny Stadium featuring Heisman Trophy contenders, elite run defenses and a pair of national title contenders.

The inclusion of one-loss Alabama in the top-four of the season’s first College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday sent certain members of the media and non-SEC fans into an uproar. With a top-four showdown between the Tide and the Tigers looming on Saturday, the cries of SEC bias will be able to be put aside next week. At least momentarily.

Related: Breaking down the initial College Football Playoff rankings

This weekend’s contest in all likelihood will remove the loser from current slate of teams set to advance to the College Football Playoff. Such a loss is hardly a death sentence, however.

With a loss, Alabama would face a tremendous uphill climb to find their way back into the top-four and advance to the College Football Playoff. But when it comes to the Crimson Tide, anything is possible. Just ask LSU fans about 2012 BCS National Championship.

As for the Tigers, a loss would be much easier to recover from. A single loss to a top contender in Alabama would be nothing more than a minor blemish on the Tigers’ resume, and an SEC Championship Game appearance would not be out of the question.

A win, on the other hand, removes each team’s biggest obstacle standing between them and the College Football Playoff.

LSU’s Leonard Fournette and Alabama’s Derrick Henry will lead their respective teams in pursuit of a crucial victory. Each running back is a key figure in the Heisman Trophy race, with Fournette holding on to his status as the clearcut frontrunner heading into Saturday.

These top-tier running backs will face their toughest test of the season, though, as they go up against two of the best run defenses in the country. With this potential stalemate between the tackles, a breakout performance at the quarterback position could be the difference.

Will LSU end its four-game losing streak to Alabama, or will the Crimson Tide further establish their dominance in the series?

Saturday’s high-profile clash of SEC titans will provide the answer.

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Details for LSU vs Alabama are below:

Date: Saturday, November 7th
Start Time: 7:00 p.m. CT
Location: Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Stadium: Bryant-Denny Stadium
TV Info: CBS
Live Stream: SEC Live
Radio: LSU Tigers Radio NetworkAlabama Crimson Tide Radio Network
Ticket information: For LSU ticket info click here. For Alabama ticket info click here.

Keys to Victory


Avoid lapses on special teams.

It is no secret that the Tigers have been atrocious on special teams this season, something that cannot continue if they have any hope of defeating Alabama on Saturday. The Bayou Bengals gifted Florida 14 points as a result of miscues in the third phase of the game, and it nearly cost them. If such errors occur against the Crimson Tide, it will be nearly impossible to recover from.

Another aspect of the game that will be crucial the Tigers is the play of the secondary.

LSU’s defensive backs have struggled with giving up big plays through the air this season. Given Alabama’s lethal rushing attack, led by Derrick Henry, the Crimson Tide can be expected to find production on the ground. Even though the Tigers rank sixth in the nation in run defense.

As a result, LSU must be solid in its pass defense.


The biggest keys for Alabama on Saturday will be to force Brandon Harris to make mistakes, and not allow Leonard Fournette to break off big gains.

Harris has been virtually flawless for LSU in 2015. The sophomore quarterback has experienced a breakout season, compiling 12 total touchdowns with zero interceptions on the year. His ability to make plays with both his arm and his legs has made him a dark horse first team All-SEC candidate.

The Crimson Tide will need to step up in the secondary and force Harris into making some uncharacteristic mistakes in order to give themselves an edge.

As for Fournette, Alabama certainly has the elite run defense necessary to slow him down. They rank third in the country with 78.5 rushing yards allowed per game, by far the best in the SEC. Due to Fournette’s big play ability, however, that may not be enough.

Fournette has recorded a run of greater than 60 yards in four out of seven games this season, a major reason behind his prolific rushing numbers. If he is able to gash the Alabama defense for large gains on Saturday, it could be too much for the Crimson Tide to overcome.

Betting Odds

Point Spread: LSU +6.5

O/U: 47.5

Money Line: LSU +217

Next: LSU vs Alabama: Storylines for a classic in the making


As so many of the meetings between LSU and Alabama have in recent years, Saturday’s contest is going to come down to the wire.

Expect a back-and-forth contest with several lead changes. The Crimson Tide will take a lead into the fourth quarter, but Fournette delivers his Heisman moment with the game on the line, breaking off a long touchdown run late to give the Tigers a narrow victory.

Final Score: LSU 24, Alabama 20