When this line was released Sunday, Auburn actually was a 1- or 2-point favorite. Bets quickly streamed in on LSU, and in betting parlance, the line “jumped the fence,” meaning the underdog and favorite switched roles.
The reason for the dramatic shift (LSU -2½) could be as simple as bettors impressed with TJ Finley’s fill-in performance at quarterback in LSU’s rout of South Carolina. Especially when compared with Auburn’s 30-22 loss to the Gamecocks just the week before. In addition, Auburn lost a top offensive lineman when right guard Brandon Council suffered a knee injury and was declared out for the season.
Whatever the reason, LSU quickly became the favorite to win a fourth consecutive close game against its fellow Tigers. The teams’ past four games have been decided by five points or fewer, with LSU winning the past three. The other significant line movement from this game was on the point total, which has risen from its opening point of 62 on Sunday as high as 65 in some places.
LSU’s defense has left much to be desired several times this season, and three of its four games have gone well over 65, but the same isn’t true for Auburn, which hasn’t played one game with as many as 65 combined points, even last week against all-offense, no-defense Ole Miss.
What’s more, if the game goes over that 65 total, it would very likely be the highest-scoring game in the 119-year history of this series.
LSU beat Auburn 45-21 in 2015 in Baton Rouge for a total of 66 points; none of the other 53 games in the series history even have gone as high as 60 points.
So settle in for what oddsmakers think will be a close, historically high-scoring affair on The Plains.
PICK OF THE WEEK: San Diego State -7½ at Utah State (8:30 p.m., CBSSN)
THIS SEASON: 3-1 ATS