Texas Bowl Aengus Picks: Two different Styles on Tap as LSU Clashes with Red Raiders in Texas
Monday, December 28, 2015
by Aengus Moorehead

Texas Bowl Aengus Picks: Two different Styles on Tap as LSU Clashes with Red Raiders in Texas

LSU Tigers vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders

Tigers: 8-3 SU,5-6 ATS
Red Raiders: 7-5 SU,7-5 ATS
9:00 PM ET, Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Where: NRG Stadium, Houston, Texas

The Story
One thing is certain, points galore is a given when the LSU Tigers prepare to meet the Texas Tech Red Raiders in a game which features two of the most prolific offenses in the nation.

Indeed, both defenses will have their hands full in this one. What Texas Tech has to offer is the 125th overall defense in college football as they allow 531.4 total yards per game as well as 124th in rushing defense as they give up 267.7 rushing yards a game. 

What they lack on the defensive part of the game, the Red Raiders certainly make it up on offense as they feature the nation’s second-ranked offense in terms of points, total yards, and passing yards per game this season. 

The good news for the Red Raiders is that they will face an LSU side that’s faltering on the offensive end of late. The Tigers enter this Bowl meeting having failed to score 20 points in four consecutive games for the first time in Les Miles’ tenure.

After starting the season 7-0, many were wondering whether the Tigers had it in them to launch a creditable College Football Playoff bid. Those playoff dreams, however, went up in smoke, as the Tigers stumbled to three consecutive losses that all but doomed their title aspirations.

Texas Tech (7-5, 4-5) enters the game as a program ready to get back to prominence in the Big 12 under third-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury. In the 2000s, Mike Leach made the Red Raiders a consistent 8- and 9-win program, including an 11-win campaign in 2008.

The same air-happy type of attack used under Leach has been deployed by Kingsbury, making Tech one of the most exciting and dangerous teams in the nation to watch with their quick-strike offense.

A fantastic bowl team over the years, Texas Tech has won four straight, six of the last seven after losing the 2006 Cotton Bowl to Alabama, and nine of the last 11. On the opposite side, LSU has to still get past the Music City clunker against Notre Dame last season. 

MyBookie.ag has the LSU listed as 7-point favorites and the game's total is sitting at 73½.

On the NCAA Football Moneyline odds at BetOnline LSU are at -275.

LSU Tigers vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders Early Odds & Betting Lines

Gm# Team
247 Texas Tech
248 LSU

Live College Football Bowl Odds & Scores - Click here

Texas Tech was a 48-45 winner in its last match on the road against Longhorns. They covered the -1-point spread as favorites, while the total score of 93 sent OVER bettors to the payout window.

Last time out for LSU, they were a 19-7 winner as they battled Aggies at home. LSU covered in the match as a -7-point favorite, while 26 combined points moved the game UNDER for totals bettors.

LSU Tigers vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders NCAAF Betting Odds & Trends

LSU is 8-3 SU in its last 11 games

Texas Tech:
Texas Tech is 10-5 ATS in its last 15 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Texas Tech's last 5 games

The Reality:
Leading the way for Texas Tech is DeAndre Washington who has been a beast for Texas Tech all season, racking up 1,455 yards on the ground this campaign. He ran for 421 yards and four touchdowns over Texas Tech’s final two games.

Texas Tech helmsman Patrick Mahomes is one of only six passers in the history of FBS national college athletic association football to have passed for 4,000 yards and run for over 450 yards in a season.

In addition, Mahomes is one of only five quarterbacks to throw for over 4,000 yards, rush for 450 yards, throw 30 or more touchdown passes and rushed for 10 touchdowns in a year. Mahomes is the youngest player in history to accomplish the feat. Mahomes threw for 4,283 yards with 32 touchdowns against 14 interceptions and averaged 357 passing yards per game.

Jakeem Grant (1,142 yards, 95.3 per game) leads a corps of receivers that features six players with over 300 yards receiving on the year. The key to this game for Texas Tech will be offensive tempo. The Red Raiders will look to wear out an LSU defense that has dealt with serious out of sync concerns.

There were points this season where opponents’ up-tempo attacks caused LSU’s defense to falter in the second half, which is one of the main objectives of Tech’s approach. Half of Texas Tech’s explosive plays (39 of its 81 that covered 20-plus yards) came in the second half of games. Some 60 percent of the explosive plays LSU’s defense surrendered this season (21 of 35) came in the third or fourth quarters.

The Red Raiders are fourth-worst in the FBS in scoring defense, allowing a whopping 42.6 points per game this season. They struggled mightily, in particular, against ranked opponents, giving up mind-boggling averages of 62.8 points and 677.3 total yards.

For the Tigers to grab the win, they will need star running back Leonard Fournette to step up his play. He averaged 193.1 rushing yards per game and 7.7 per carry with 15 touchdowns during LSU’s 7-0 start but his performances tapered off during the Tigers’ three-game skid. Fournette was held to just 230 yards in that span, including 31 on 19 carries against the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Nearly as bad as Texas Tech’s defense is LSU’s passing attack. The Tigers have a ton of talent on the outside, but sophomore Brandon Harris has been inconsistent getting the ball out. LSU averages 173 passing yards a game, relying heavily on the rushing attack for offensive production.

Harris completed 53.1 percent of his passes for 1,904 yards and 12 touchdowns against five interceptions. In the receiving end, Malachi Dupre and Travin Dural accumulated for 1,135 yards and nine touchdowns.

The Tigers’ defense is a unit that has been gritty pretty much all season as they are 21st overall in defense (342.5 yards allowed per game). LSU will look to get pressure on Mahomes off the edge with Lewis Neal (team-high eight sacks) and Arden Key (five sacks). Safety Jamal Adams leads the Tigers with four interceptions.

The result:
Fournette is key here. If he is on his game and delivers a heavy dosage of yards, which will evidently occur against a wretched Texas Tech defense, this will keep the Red Raiders’ offense watching the game from the sideline. Texas Tech will score at will when on the field but LSU’’s offense should do the same while controlling the clock. Take LSU -7 and the under 73½ .

NCAA College Football Bowl Prediction and Pick: LSU -7 at BetOnline



brandon harris - deandre washington - jakeem grant - jamal adams - kliff kingsbury - leonard fournette - lsu tigers - malachi dupre - mike leach - patrick mahomes

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