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Preseason college football lines: Texas vs. LSU

The champs invite the Longhorns to Death Valley for an early season clash

Ja’Marr Chase of the LSU Tigers is tackled by A.J. Terrell of the Clemson Tigers after a 56-yard pass from Joe Burrow during the second quarter of the College Football Playoff National Championship game at the Mercedes Benz Superdome on January 13, 2020. Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

After each team takes on a very winnable game at home in Week 1, one of the most compelling matchups of Week 2 in college football 2020 is the Texas Longhorns and the LSU Tigers. This is the put up or shut up year for what has been building in Austin, and how can LSU maintain their dominance after losing so many players from one of the best college football teams ever assembled.

Let’s take a look ahead of the matchup.

Texas Longhorns vs. LSU Tigers

When and where

September 12th
Time TBD
Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, LA

Spread

LSU -5.5

Money Line

Texas +170
LSU -210

Why the line is what it is

You’d think the defending national champs would have a bigger edge at home against a Texas team that has yet to put it together under Tom Herman. But LSU lost a ton of players to graduation and the NFL Draft, not just Joe Burrow. They will be in reload mode, but the depth that has been recruited to Baton Rouge is certainly capable of winning right away.

Myles Brennan takes over at quarterback, with tons of weapons to get the ball to including wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, who decided to return to campus in a bit of a surprise. And there’s tons of depth to follow the departed Clyde Edwards-Helaire at starting running back including Chris Curry, Tyrion Davis-Price, and John Emery.

On the other side Sam Ehlinger returns at QB for the ‘Horns after 3663 yards passing and 677 yards rushing, and Keaontay Ingram at RB (5.9 yards per carry, 853 yards last season), but this should be the year the back-to-back Top 3 recruiting classes for the burnt orange in 2018 and 2019 need to start paying dividends. Especially along the offensive and defensive lines.

Why it might change

Texas is a bit thin at wide receiver, and LSU might be up front defensively. If either team can make a major acquisition or two via the transfer portal, it would push the line. But with the Covid-19 crisis, the activity in the portal is certainly less than what was projected heading into the season.

But if there are teams who can get key contributors, it’s two of strongest brands in all of college athletics.

Where the value is now

Do you really want to bet against LSU at home in their first big game after winning the national championship? The only thing that stopped the constant celebrating in all of Louisiana since January 13th was coronavirus, as native son Ed Orgeron guiding one of the best teams ever was an unbelievable stories in sports last year. We’ll take the Bayou Bengals in Death Valley, and we’ll take them by a lot if this is a night game.

Hey ESPN: please, please make this a night game. There’s no place on earth for college football (and tailgating) better than LSU at night.

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