College Football Picks Football

FILE - In this Oct. 26, 2019, file photo, LSU quarterback Joe Burrow (9) scrambles in the first half of an NCAA college football game against the Auburn, in Baton Rouge, La. For the first time in college football history, there will be two games matching teams of at least 8-0 on the same day, according to ESPN Facts and Info. In Tuscaloosa, Alabama, LSU and the Crimson Tide will play the first regular-season game matching AP Nos. 1 and 2 since 2011 _ when No. 1 LSU beat No. 2 Alabama 9-6 in overtime. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File) ORG XMIT: NY162

The inevitably electric environment that will rock Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa when No. 2 LSU and No. 3 Alabama kick off Saturday afternoon is one of the deciding factors in why the Crimson Tide are six-point favorites.

"This game would look completely different if this were in Tiger Stadium," said Michael Riordan, a business partner at Right Angle Sports, a handicapping service. "Just because home field is so important in general and both teams have great home field advantages."

Riordan said if this game were played in Tiger Stadium, it's likely that the game would have even odds or perhaps LSU would be a one-point favorite.

It's an indication of how evenly matched bettors think LSU and Alabama are, and Riordan says no one is buying that Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will be unable to play "despite (Nick) Saban's quotes suggesting he is a game-time decision."

There are also Heisman bets on the line, and if LSU's Joe Burrow outduels Tagovailoa, it seems the award would be his to lose since he is already on his way to breaking every single-season passing record in school history.

"This game could put Burrow for sure in the driver's seat with a win and college playoff appearance if they finish the deal after this week," Riordan said. "Long way to go, though."

It is a long way for Matt Porter, a now-folk betting hero who put $50 on Burrow back when he had 200-to-1 odds to win the Heisman. If Burrow wins on Dec. 14, Porter, a former LSU student, pockets $10,000 on his original $50 bet.

At one point, Porter was offered $3,800 to cash out on the bet, but he's stood pat.

That's the right decision, said Riordan, who said Porter shouldn't settle for anything less than $4,200.

For further insurance, Riordan suggested that since Alabama is the favorite this week, perhaps Porter should consider playing Tagovailoa at 4-to-1 odds for a small percentage of his possible wager wins as a partial hedge bet.

But that would test Porter's loyalty.

Wouldn't it?

Email Brooks Kubena at bkubena@theadvocate.com.