LSU Tigers vs. Louisville Cardinals Odds - Free Citrus Bowl Pick

Date: 
December 31, 11:00 AM EST
Location:
TV:

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
LSU -3
Total: 
59.5

The SEC’s LSU Tigers and the ACC’s Louisville Cardinals face off against one another in this season’s Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl in Orlando to get things started on New Year’s Eve. All the action from Camping World Stadium is set to get underway at 11 a.m. (ET) and the game will be broadcast nationally on ABC.

LSU vs. Louisville Game Overview

LSU was tied with Auburn in the SEC’s West Division at 5-3 straight-up in conference play as part of an overall record of 7-4. The Tigers went 5-6 against the spread and the total stayed UNDER or ended as a PUSH in nine of their 11 games. They closed out their regular season with a 2-2 record both SU and ATS after losing to Alabama and Florida at home while beating Arkansas and Texas A&M on the road.

Leonard Fournette split time with Derrius Grace as the lead back in the Tigers’ rushing attack due to injuries and this potent duo went on to combine for 2,092 rushing yards on 286 attempts. LSU’s rushing offense as a whole was ranked 20th in the nation with an average of 238.1 yards per game. Look for Grace to carry the load in this matchup with Fournette listed as out with an ankle injury. The Tigers’ defense was ranked 17th against the run; giving up an average of 121.8 yards a game.

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Louisville got tripped up in its final two games this season as a double-digit favorite in SU losses to Houston on the road and Kentucky at home. The Cardinals were 9-3 SU on the year with an even 6-6 record ATS. They failed to cover in four of their last six games and the total stayed UNDER in three of their last five contests. Going back over Louisville’s last 17 games, the total has gone OVER the closing line in 12 of those outings.

It is no big secret that Lamar Jackson was the key to the Cardinals’ success this season. So much so, that the 2016 Heisman Trophy Award winner accounted for 3,390 yards and 30 touchdowns passing the ball to go along with a team-high 1,538 rushing yards and 21 scores on the ground. There still has to be some concerns with a Louisville defense that gave up a combined 119 points in three previous losses this year.

LSU vs. Louisville Game Betting Trends

  • The Tigers have failed to cover in four of their last five bowl games, but they are 7-3-1 ATS in their last 11 games played in the month of December. The total has gone OVER or ended as a PUSH in seven of their last nine nonconference games.
  • The Cardinals are 5-2 ATS in their last seven postseason games in a bowl and they are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games against the SEC. The total has stayed UNDER or ended as a PUSH in their last four neutral-site games.
  • This will be the first meeting between these two teams.

LSU Tigers vs. Louisville Cardinals Prediction

I like the Tigers to get the SU win in this matchup as a far more consistent and predictable team. The Cardinals may have more star power led by Jackson at quarterback, but this team, as a whole, is far too unpredictable when it comes to playing in high-profile games such as this year’s Citrus Bowl.

That being said, my “best bet” pick in this one is the OVER on the current 59.5-point total line. I see both teams having success on offense in what should be a true shootout over all four quarters of play.

Free Pick: 
Take the Over 59.5

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