Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, November 8, 2019 at 12:03 PM
IT'S #2 LSU AT #3 'BAMA IN THE "GAME OF THE CENTURY" AND WE HAVE THE PREVIEW PLUS, KEY SPREAD STATS TOO ...
THE NFL WEEK 10 REPORT: RAIDERS ROAR, BEAT CHARGERS 26-24
Never mind that the #2 LSU Tigers haven't beaten the #3 Alabama Crimson Tide in their past eight head-to-head meetings. This LSU team plays with a take-no-prisoners approach with an offense that ranks second nationally in passing (averaging 377.6 yards per game) and fourth in overall offense ... heck, when has it been in our lifetime that a Bayou Bengals bunch averaged nearly 47 ppg?
Ahh, but 'Bama is the 6.5-point betting favorite in this epic SEC clash and it's the Crimson Tide who has worn the national crown five times in the last 10 years. Want stats for this here-and-now season? Alabama's ranks fifth nationally in passing (338.6 ypg) and averages a haughty 48.6 points a game. Time to get it on in Tuscaloosa!
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On Saturday, it's ... #2 LSU (8-0, 4-0) at #3 ALABAMA (8-0, 5-0) - 3:30 p.m., CBS
Let's cut right to the proverbial chase here when it comes to this "Game of the Century":
It's expected that Alabama southpaw QB Tua Tagovailoa (ankle) will set foot on the field here but his fancy-dan stats (averaging 309 yards a game passing with 27 TDs and 2 INTs) may mean nothing if / when he gets reinjured here and then you'll be getting an up-close-and-personal look at a dude named Mac Jones (38-of-54 passing for 472 yards with 4 TDs /1 INT this year).
Okay, so Alabama head coach Nick Saban and Company are keeping fingers crossed that Tagovailoa will stay in once piece here - but you better believe hat the make-or-break guys in uniform for the Tide are named Jerry Jeudy, DeVonta Smith and Henry Ruggs III - those uber-talented wide outs have gobbled up 121 receptions and they've scored 23 touchdowns this year and don't be surprised if this is their "finest hour".
Obviously, on the flip side here is LSU slinger Joe Burrow (2,805 yards passing with 30 TDs and 4 INTs) - he's our Jim Sez frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy, remember - and gotta believe his top trio of pass-catchers - that's Justin Jefferson (55 receptions, 9 TDs), Ja'Marr Chase (749 yards receiving with 9 TDs) and Terrace Marshall Jr. (333 yards receiving with 7 scores) - will be field-flippers here or else the roadies will be in trouble here.
If LSU coach Ed Orgeron's gang packs a punch on "D" here - the Tigers have held half of their foes to 14 points or less this season - then the Mardi Gras gang has a legit shot for the upset. Prediction: If 'Bama scores 30+ points here, it wins a ninth straight in this rivalry.
Spread Notes - Alabama has covered five of its last six games against LSU but note the Tigers are 7-2-1 spreadwise overall dating back to late last year.
#4 PENN STATE (8-0, 5-0) at #17 MINESOTA (3-6, 1-5) - 12 p.m. ET, ABC
Hey, it's already been a big week for the Big 10 with Ohio State snagging that #1 spot in the first CFP rankings but whatta scene it's gonna be in the Twin Cities with a rush-resistant Penn State team (see second-best rush defense in the land while allowing 68.4 ypg) battling run-heavy Minnesota (the Golden Gophers average 204 ypg on the ground). The Nittanies already have won road games at Maryland, Iowa and Michigan State this year and if James Frankin's crew can snuff RB Rodney Smith (889 yards rushing) and Company here, then 6.5-point fav Penn State will be rocking-n-rolling on the road again.
Spread Note - Penn State's 21-12 ATS (against the spread) against fellow Big 10 teams the past three-plus years.
MARYLAND (3-6, 1-5) at #1 OHIO STATE (8-0, 5-0) - 12 p.m. ET, Fox
The last time the O-State Buckeyes were favored by 40+ points? Go back to 2017 and you'll see the Buckeyes were 41-point favorites on two occasions (versus UNLV and Illinois) and the 'Eyes didn't cover either of those two tilts. Just sayin'! Ohio State boss man Ryan Day surely will have his Heisman Trophy-filled team ready for this Big 10 bash but how long will we see QB Justin Fields (24 TD passes / 1 INT)?
Spread Note - The Ohio State Buckeyes roll into this clash on a seven-game pointspread winning streak and take note that the 'Eyes have covered five of their last six home games dating back to late 2018.
#5 CLEMSON (9-0, 6-0) at N.C. STATE (4-4, 1-3) - 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC
Have a feeling that the defending national champion Clemson Tigers will be in an ornery mood here after getting "dissed" by the CFP rankings folks - again, it doesn't mean a thing when you consider that a perfect season by Dabo Swinney's squads means a fifth consecutive playoff berth.
Spread Note - Clemson enters this prime-time bash with a nifty 6-3 pointspread mark here in 2019 and overall the Tigers are 22-12-2 ATS since the start of 2017 (that's a .647 winning rate).
NFL WEEK 10
The Oakland Raiders are alive and well in the AFC playoff chase ... the silver-and-black's now 5-4 SU (straight-up) and the upcoming sked looks friendly with a home game against Cincinnati, a road game at the lifeless New York Jets and home tilts against Tennessee and Jacksonville sandwiching a Week 13 trip to Kansas City.
Wait a sec, could the soon-to-be-Las Vegas-bound Raiders be 9-5 heading into the final two weeks of play? We kid you not as this Raiders' crew intercepted LA Chargers' slinger Philip Rivers three times and sacked 'em five times in last night's rollicking 26-24 win and don't look now but rookie RB Josh Jacobs - the best running back the Raiders have had in more than a decade - is gonna be a star in this league.
NOTE: There's NFL Week 10 previews in the next Jim Sez.