The college football teaser odds season comes to a close when the LSU Tigers take on the defending national champion Clemson Tigers in the CFP title game in New Orleans on Monday night.
Oddsmakers have Louisiana State set as a 5.5-point favorite for the National Championship. If you’re betting on the college football odds for LSU vs. Clemson, here are the angles and edges to factor into your handicapping.
No ordinary Joe
Joe Burrow is having a historic season in Baton Rouge and can complete it with a victory in the CFP title game. The former Ohio State transfer won the Heisman Trophy after leading LSU to an undefeated campaign, a victory over Georgia in the SEC title game, and a record-breaking performance in the Peach Bowl to punch the Tigers’ ticket to Monday’s finale.
Burrow has torched many of the top passing defenses in the country during the Tigers run through the SEC. He was able to put up big numbers in wins over Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Auburn – all of which rank Top 50 in defending the pass.
Now, Burrow and this LSU aerial attack take on the top pass defense in the country. Clemson gives up only 151.5 yards passing per game while limiting opposing quarterbacks to a 51% completion rate, with just nine passing touchdowns against versus 19 interceptions.
That said, Clemson has fattened it stats on weak ACC opponents and did give up bigger passing totals in its two postseason games, allowing Virginia to complete 30 passes for 283 yards in the conference title game and watching Ohio State also connected for 30 completions for 320 yards.
The Tigers did continue to win the turnover war, with five total interceptions in those final two games. Burrow has 55 passing touchdowns to just six interceptions on the season and hasn’t thrown a pick since Nov. 16.
Bettors got a good idea of how much Clemson’s stop unit is stuffed with false finishes due to its weak ACC schedule after falling behind 16-0 to Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. The Tigers needed a dramatic comeback to overcome that early hole and while they tightened the bolt in the second half of the CFP semifinal, Clemson did give up their most yards all season.
In order to slow down LSU’s offense, which finished the season ranked tops in yards per game and third in points per game at 47.8, Clemson will have to be patient and methodical with the football. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence could find himself throwing shorter passes and handing off considerably more to star running back Travis Etienne, in an effort to stretch their possessions and leave little clock time for Louisiana State.
Etienne rushed for more than 1,500 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2019, while also catching 32 passes for 396 yards and four more TDs this season. Louisiana State could find themselves in trouble if Clemson rolls out a lot of run-pass option offense, geared between Lawrence and Etienne.
Louisiana State allowed only 120.3 yards on the ground per game but because it held such large leads in most outings, opponents were forced to abandon the run early. If Clemson can keep LSU from running away on the scoreboard early, Etienne could have a huge day.
The Over/Under betting total for the CFP Championship is set at 69.5 points. Louisiana State comes into this game with a 9-5 Over/Under record on the year, and with this game being played in New Orleans some are considering it a home stand for the Bayou Bengals, who went 4-3 O/U at home this season. Clemson is 6-8 Over/Under on the year, going 1-1 O/U in neutral-site games and 1-4 O/U on the road.