LSU football is in an unprecedented place right now. The Tigers were supposed to be a mediocre six-or-seven-win football team in the midst of a rebuild. Nearly the entire staff was let go and a plethora of players left. Brian Kelly was named head coach after an extensive search, and while he didn’t have a stellar first recruiting class, he crushed it given the circumstances.
All of this is to say that not many people had high hopes for LSU during Kelly’s first season in Baton Rouge. However, the Bayou Bengals are currently sitting at 4-1 overall (2-0 in Southeastern Conference play) after five weeks. A win at Jordan-Hare Stadium has the Tigers flying high after winning their fourth consecutive game and overcoming a large deficit.
Suffice it to say, LSU is incredibly difficult to predict right now. The Tigers haven’t played particularly well in a couple of their wins, but they’ve gotten the job done regardless. If all of the pieces can fall into place at the same time their ceiling is quite high. However, a long losing streak isn’t exactly off the cards either. All of this uncertainty culminates in each week’s betting lines.
LSU football vs. Tennessee: Betting lines seeing some movement
The spread was seemingly changing every day ahead of the Bayou Bengals’ trip to Auburn. LSU opened up as a -6.5 favorite and the line reached as high as -9.5 at one point. The betting odds locked right before kickoff with the visitors as -8.5 favorites. It’s rare to see this much movement before a big game like the 2022 Tiger Bowl.
It didn’t take long for it to happen to LSU again though.
The lookahead line for the Tigers against Tennessee (before the LSU/Auburn kickoff) on FanDuel was the Volunteers -4.5. Following LSU’s win on the Plains, the line for this weekend’s contest officially opened up at Tennessee -3.5. It shifted on Monday night to the visitors -2.5 in Tiger Stadium, but now it’s back up again. As things stand on Wednesday afternoon, the Volunteers are favored by a field goal against LSU.
This means one of three things.
The most likely explanation is that the half-point put on the Tigers swayed bettors to put their money in one place. The trickiest lines in football to bet on are -2.5, -3.5, -6.5 and -7.5 because they’re all within half a point of a traditional method of scoring. This could explain FanDuel’s updated odds changing to LSU +3 in the middle of the week.
Another possible explanation is that bettors and oddsmakers alike are stumped by the Tigers. They’re an incredibly hard team to predict right now, especially after their performances in the wins over Auburn and Mississippi State. The next few games will define LSU’s season, but this Tennessee game is especially important to Vegas. As things stand, there is no telling how the Bayou Bengals will respond against a Top 10 team.
Lastly, oddsmakers could have gotten some information about a potential change to the depth chart. Be it an injury, a return to action or anything in between, Vegas is usually the first to know when important news about the roster drops.
Any of these three scenarios could explain the drastic changes in the LSU-Tennessee line over the last couple of days. The spread is worth keeping an eye on as we inch closer to Saturday. As of right now, it’s set to be a wildly unpredictable day at Death Valley on Saturday.