A 10-game conference-only schedule for the Southeastern Conference has created quite a few lesser-played matchups, and Saturday’s battle of the Tigers is one of them. Missouri and LSU have only faced one another twice before, in Death Valley in 2016 and once in the 1978 Liberty Bowl. Neither team is particularly familiar with the other and the circumstances only got crazier this week as Hurricane Delta heads toward the Gulf Coast, forcing the game to move from Baton Rouge, La. to Columbia, Mo. and start nearly nine hours earlier.
The Bayou Bengals enter the week at 1-1, with a season-opening loss to the Mississippi State Bulldogs, while their Tiger counterparts are winless with losses to the Tide and the Volunteers. After winning the National Championship with a Heisman Trophy winner at quarterback in 2019, LSU returned only four starters on both sides of the ball for 2020. Not only did the offense replace its top-two receivers, superstar running back and Joe Burrow, but the defense saw equal amounts of turnover and had to adjust to a new system under first-year coordinator Bo Pelini. The growing pains and lack of experience on both sides of the ball was evident in Week 1 but LSU found a groove in Week 2 against a truly awful Vanderbilt bunch. Quarterback Myles Brennan put up 682 yards and seven touchdowns in the first two games but has shown inconsistencies, while the run game has been slow and steady.
Experiencing change of its own, the Missouri program welcomed former Appalachian State head coach Eli Drinkwitz to Columbia during the offseason. Not only did he inherit a middle-of-the-road roster, he began the year with Alabama and a top-15 Tennessee team. Tough draw. Though the Tigers are still figuring out their quarterback situation, neither Shawn Robinson nor Connor Bazelak have played so badly that their team can’t function around them. Running back Larry Roundtree III is averaging 4.7 yards per carry and has the ability to carry this Missouri team on his back, should the offensive line allow.
Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming
You can watch this game Saturday, October 10th at 9:00 ET on the ESPN, or you can stream it via the ESPN app.
Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends
Point spread: No. 17 LSU (-13.5) vs. Missouri
Point Total: Over/Under 54
Money line: No. 17 LSU (-590), Missouri (+410)
- Missouri is 1-8 against the spread in its last 9 games
- LSU is 5-1 against the spread in its last 6 games
- The total has gone Over in 14 of LSU’s last 20 games
- The total has gone Under in seven of Missouri’s last eight games
The Best Bet
This could be a game that LSU uses to make a statement. However, with the game moving from down the street to nearly five hours away by plane, the coaches, staff and players have had to shuffle their preparation schedule around very last minute. Additionally, Missouri has not played as badly as the early season scores may indicate. Between the unique circumstances surrounding the game and LSU’s slow start to the year, the cards are as favorable as they can be for Missouri to get its first win of the season. However, the talent gap may be too large to overcome. Either way, Drinkwitz’s team should keep this one close down the stretch.
Pick: Missouri +13.5
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL). Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (NH/CO) or 1-800-BETS OFF (IA). 21+ (18+ NH). NJ/PA/WV/IN/NH/IA/CO/IL only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.