LSU is a minus-13 point favorite over struggling Arkansas (2-7, 0-5 Southeastern Conference), which is the highest the Tigers (7-2, 4-2 SEC) have been favored against a conference opponent this season.
It's hardly unexpected. The Razorbacks have lost its SEC game by an average of 18 points, and its scoring defense is tied for 101st nationally with 33.7 points allowed per game.
This is a chance for the LSU offense to really open up — something the over/under is unclear on forecasting, with the total predicted points hovering around 48½. That's the lowest predicted total in an Arkansas game this season.
On a chilly Saturday night in Fayetteville, Arkansas, LSU can't get surprised by a Razorbacks program on pace to record the most losses in it …
It could be that there are doubts remaining for the Tigers offense and its quarterback, Joe Burrow, who has thrown four interceptions and no touchdowns in the last four games.
Or it could be there is confidence in LSU's 11th-ranked scoring defense (16.7 points allowed per game) to dominate an Arkansas offense that has thrown the fourth-most interceptions (15) in Division I football.
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There may be a lot of points on the table in this matchup, but get used to it with Rice coming to town the following week, said Michael Riordan, a business partner at Right Angle Sports, a handicapping service.
Riordan said LSU will be favored by more than 40 points against the Owls (1-9).
But perhaps most interesting of all: If LSU beats both opponents, as expected, what are the odds that the Tigers make the College Football Playoff if they also beat Texas A&M in the regular season finale?
1. Accentuate the positive
Riordan referenced playoff projections from FiveThirtyEight, a statistical analysis website, that said LSU currently has a five percent chance of making the playoffs, a 10 percent chance if they win out.
"LSU has a strong resume with high quality wins and would be near the top of the heap of teams with two losses," Riordan said. "But the real struggle is needing teams like Georgia, Michigan, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, and Ohio State to lose."