LSU vs. TCU betting odds, preview and prediction

Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

LSU has been tough on the road, but lame as a favorite. So what do you make of the LSU vs. TCU odds that have the Tigers sitting as 4-point road chalk?

Not every Week 1 college football game is a massacre waiting to happen, accompanied by a huge point spread. While many teams open their 2013 betting campaigns with a cupcake, others get right into the meat of their season menu. A Top-25 clash between LSU and TCU is one of the best Week 1 battles and is attracting more wagering interest than most games.

The 2013 Cowboys Classic pits the No. 20 Horned Frogs against the No. 12 Tigers Saturday night at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. LSU, one of six SEC schools among the top dozen betting choices on BCS future odds lists, is currently a 4-point favorite, according to OddsShark.com. LSU finished last season with a 10-3 SU and 5-8 ATS record, dropping regular-season contests to Florida and Alabama and then losing their bowl game to Clemson.

The Tigers lost a fair amount of talent to the NFL draft this offseason, but there is no shortage of elite prospects waiting in the wings. While the defense has been excellent for years, the Tigers are hoping to improve on offense this season under new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.

LSU's three losses last year came by a combined 13 points; a bit more of a spark on offense could have been the difference. They ride an 8-1 SU (6-3 ATS) road streak into this game. However, they are just 2-7 ATS in nine recent games as a favorite.

The Horned Frogs struggled in their first season in the Big 12 last year, going 7-6 SU and 5-8 ATS. It wasn't just the move to a new conference that led to TCU's struggles.

Losing star QB Casey Pachall to a suspension after a DWI and starting running back Waymon James to injury hurt the flow on offense. TCU still managed to hold its own on defense in the offense-driven Big 12, and with Pachall and James returning this year the offense should be able to help carry the load this season.

While both offenses should be better in 2013 than they were last year, this Saturday's matchup will be all about defense. LSU was 7-5 on the UNDER last season and TCU was 8-4 on the UNDER. Both teams play a strong, physical defense and points should be hard to come by in this one.

With that in mind, the four points could come into play for TCU; Casey Pachall is good enough to make some big plays on offense, and the defense should be able to hold its own against LSU.

The Tigers may eventually grind out the SU win, but look for TCU to keep it close.

PICK: TCU +4.0 | Matchup report

More from SB Nation:

The prettiest, smartest college football preview collection anywhere, by Bill Connelly

Why we love college football: a beautiful SB Nation longread

• Bama-Oregon title game, plus all 34 other bowl projections

• The conference megapreview series begins: Big Ten | SEC

Today’s college football news | Manziel meets NCAA | Saban’s annual national title complaint

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.