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LSU quarterback Joe Burrow (9) hands the ball off to LSU running back Tyrion Davis-Price (3) in the first half against Georgia Southern, Saturday, August 31, 2019, at LSU's Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.

Record books were cracked open. Handicappers and historians were called. No one could quite figure out just when, oh when, oh when, a top 10 LSU team was favored on the road against a top 10 opponent.

The question went the opposite way too: When could anyone remember when a top 10 Texas was an underdog at home?

"Never," a reporter who covers the Longhorns opined (probably accurately) this week.

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Michael Riordan, a business partner at Right Angle Sports, a handicapping service, didn't have a hard-fast answer either.

All that was known was that it was indeed true: No. 6 LSU (1-0) was a 6.5-point favorite in some places over No. 9 Texas (1-0).


Riordan points to LSU's defense, a unit that was No. 1 in S&P+ rankings — a predictive formula created by ESPN's Bill Connelly that factors a team's recent history, production and recruiting.

As a team, LSU is ranked No. 3 behind Alabama and Clemson in the S&P+ overall rankings, and Texas is ranked No. 23 — far below the ranking it received from voters for the AP Top 25.

"At this point, there is a clear divide between what the human polls expect out of Texas and what predictive models in general are expecting," Riordan said. "The truth likely lies somewhere in the middle of the computer models and the humans in this case."

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Why the divide?

Texas still has the burden of proof when it comes to its young and unproven talent. 

"If Texas can plug in their highly touted recruits and hit the ground running, they may live up to their human poll Top 10 ranking," Riordan said.

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But as far as betting against Texas coach Tom Herman as an underdog, Riordan said, it's buyer beware.

Herman is 13-2-1 against the spread dating back to his time coaching at Houston, and he's been 8-2-1 since taking over Texas in 2016.

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Email Brooks Kubena at