LSU won the national championship last season and saw quarterback Joe Burrow as not only a Heisman recipient but also a No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, so how are the Tigers poised to do this upcoming season? SI's Bill Enright is joined by gambling analyst Frank Taddeo and LSU Reporter Glen West to discuss 2020 LSU prop bets.
Read the full transcript below:
Bill Enright: The LSU Tigers won the national championship during the 2019 season. What are they going to do in 2020? Let's break it down with Glen West, who covers LSU and also Frank Taddeo, who is our gambling insider here at Sports Illustrated. Glenn, I'll start with you. When you win a national championship and half your roster ends up leaving and going to the NFL, including Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow, it's kind of hard to have similar success in the next season, yet what are you expecting from the Tigers in 2020?
Glen West: Yeah, I mean, you just hit it on the head, really. This is a team is coming off one of the more successful seasons we have ever seen from a college football team. They lost 14 players to the draft. They lost 20 players overall. So, I think there's a bit of hesitancy as far as kind of what people expect this team to do next season, especially now with no spring practice. I think that with a new quarterback in Myles Brennan, a new offensive line, they've got to replace four starters on their offensive line, new running back, a new slot receiver, new tight end. I mean, new everything with this roster on offense. That doesn't even get to some of the defensive players that they have to replace in Grant Delpit and K'lavon Chaisson.
So, there's a lot of holes with this team right now that have kind of gone unanswered throughout the spring. There's certainly a lot of understanding as to why this team is kind of projected to maybe take a little bit of a step back. I happen to think there'll be a 9-10 win team this year, which is, you know, after a championship year when you have so many players losing, you want to back that up with a very good season. It doesn't have to be a championship season but I think LSU is certainly in that kind of 9-10 win range I think this year.
Bill Enright: All right, so Glen brought up the 9-10 win range. Frank, let's go over to you to find out what the sportsbooks are saying when it comes to the projected win total for the Tigers in 2020.
Frank Taddeo: Yeah, Glen, more or less nailed it. That's exactly the number that the oddsmakers have right now because they have the LSU Tigers within a season win total listed at 9, slightly juiced to the over at odds of minus $1.21. I think that the real value, Bill, for this team lies in repeating as SCC champions at odds of 6 - 1. Now, if we look closer at this, we know that obviously, Glenn pointed out, they are losing a plethora of players, almost 20 players from last season. That's an immense amount. However, the teams that are listed above them, Alabama, they have a new quarterback in Matt Jones and Georgia. That's the real head-scratcher here for me in this market. I mean, they have a transfer quarterback coming in right now, and he's going to expected maybe to even have limited practices due to the coronavirus pandemic and maybe shortened opportunities for summer practices.
So for me, the value lies in them repeating as SCC champions at odds of 6 - 1. They're the clear value in that market and that's the best value I think I could find on this team as opposed to maybe having to go to 18 to 1 in their college football overall championship number. I'm not so sure that I want to get involved in that market with Clemson and Ohio State looking very strong. So for me, the real value: 6 to 1 repeat as SCC champions, Bill.
Bill Enright: All right, great analysis from both Glen and Frank, I appreciate you guys. Plenty more gambling in you can find it all from Sports Illustrated by heading on over to SI.com/gambling.