Auburn has long been considered a multi-score favorite over LSU this season, and neither of the teams' wins over FCS opponents last weekend did much to alter the betting line.
When lines first opened in May, Auburn was a minus-12 favorite.
Now, No. 7 Auburn is a consensus minus-10.5 favorite over No. 12 LSU in Saturday's game at 2:30 p.m. at Jordan-Hare Stadium, and that has little to do with any of LSU's offensive issues or unannounced personnel absences in a 31-0 win over Southeastern Louisiana.
"Unless something highly unusual takes place, it's rare that you would upgrade or downgrade a team based on how they play against an FCS team — at least an overmatched one," said Michael Riordan, a business partner at Right Angle Sports, a handicapping service. "Even though LSU failed to cover the spread against Southeastern (minus-40), you basically have to give them a pass. It's a largely pointless game, with an inevitable outcome, wedged in between big nationally televised games against perennial powers.
"Now, if LSU turned in a performance similar to the one Florida State had against Samford (a 36-26 win after trailing 13-0), then that's a different story."
Auburn's 63-9 win over Alabama State last week wasn't highly unusual, either.
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So, essentially, bettors are evaluating LSU-Auburn based on each of the teams' Week One wins over Top 10 opponents. Clearly they felt Auburn's 21-16 win over then-No. 6 Washington was more impressive than LSU's 33-17 win over then-No. 8 Miami.
Part of the risk with LSU, Riordan said, is that the passing issues that came up against Miami did not resolve themselves against Southeastern. Junior quarterback Joe Burrow was 11-of-24 passing (45.8 percent) against Miami and 10 of 20 (50 percent) against Southeastern.
"The offense that was considered mediocre coming in may still be so," Riordan said, "And now, it's facing Auburn's (defense), which limited Washington's much better offense."
What LSU rivalry has more nicknamed games than Auburn? The problem with this series is holding the list to just five. (LSU leads 29-22-1):