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2005 LSU Tigers Handicapping Review


By Tom Wilkinson


LSU entered the 2004 campaign in which they were coming off a National Championship season in which they went 12-1 straight up and 10-2 against the odds. The one thing that sports bettors could count on from the Tigers in 2004 was that they would be overvalued and likely due for a significant market correction. Still, with the aura of being a defending National Champion, and a “name brand” team, LSU figured to be at the top of many sports bettor’s lists of football picks each week.

LSU’s lack of value was evident right from the start of the 2004 season, when they hosted a decent Oregon State team that was coming off a bowl season and expecting more post season action for 2004. LSU was posted as an outrageously high 17.5-home chalk and barely escaped with a 22-21 win only because Oregon State kept blowing point after touchdown attempts. Few sports bettors wanted the Bayou Bengals in their next game as 40-point home chalks against Arkansas State, which they covered in a 53-3 win.

Up next was LSU’s first big-time high profile SEC game as they traveled to Auburn and were installed as 1-point dogs, pushing the game in a 9-10 loss. Upon returning home, LSU was installed as a whopping 31-point home chalk against Mississippi State, which was too high a price for most members of the sports handicapping community. LSU won 51-0. LSU now stood at 3-1 straight up and 2-1-1 against the odds.

The Tigers now entered the meat of their schedule with a brutal test of back-to-back road games at Georgia and Florida. LSU’s lack of sports handicapping value was quite evident at Georgia, where they were installed as only 2.5-road dogs against the undefeated SEC favorites and lost 16-45. They proved to be a much better value as 3.5-point dogs at erratic Florida, where they got a nice 24-21 bounce back win.

At this point LSU returned home and into the sports handicapping role that they had excelled at so far in 2004, that as big home chalk. It was absurd that they were laying 24-points to Troy, who was en route to a bowl, and LSU barely hung on 24-20 and then beat Vanderbilt 24-7 as 23.5-point chalks. They faired better as 7.5-point home chalks in a 26-10 win over Alabama but failed as 20.5-point home chalks in a 27-24 win over Ole Miss. LSU closed out 2004 with a 43-14 pasting of Arkansas as 3.5-road chalks.





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