No. 16 LSU Tigers at UCLA Bruins (FOX)
Saturday, Sept. 4 at 8:30 p.m. ET; Rose Bowl Stadium; Pasadena, Calif.
Line: LSU -3; Over/Under: 65
Moneyline: LSU -145; UCLA +125
It’s crazy that the Georgia Bulldogs are the ones trying to take the next step under Kirby Smart but Ed Orgeron of the LSU Tigers is the one on the hot seat a year removed from winning the national title. Tennessee football would do anything to be able to replicate Orgeron’s success.
Last year, the Tigers disappointed everybody, stumbling to a 5-5 record. Now, there is a lot of talk about this being a program on the decline, and the loss of Steve Ensminger as an offensive coordinator has analysts more skeptical of what he could do this year.
On the other hand, the UCLA Bruins seem like a program on the rise under Chip Kelly. After a rough start, they went 3-4 last year in all Pac-12 play but lost all four games by one possession. This seems like the year in which that offense finally turns the corner, and that combined with Orgeron’s hot seat is why this is expected to be a game.
LSU has always performed best under Orgeron with his back against the wall. That will show up here, as the Tigers dominate UCLA. They will prove their offense is fine despite the transitions, and as a result, this team will pull away in a shootout. Take LSU to cover on the road while the game hits the over.
LSU: 41 UCLA: 34 (LSU-3; Over 65)