LSU vs Louisville Free Citrus Bowl Pick, 12-31-2016
FREE Citrus Bowl Pick
LSU Tigers vs Louisville Cardinals
Time: December 31st, 11:00am EST
Current Odds: Louisville +3, 59.5
Citrus Bowl Prediction by Ethan Alexander of Sports Investor Central
The 2016 Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl features the 20th ranked LSU Tigers will grapple with the 13th ranked Louisville Cardinals at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida. Both of these teams had college football playoff hopes at the start of the season and had legitimate shots but some inconsistent play lead to some hiccups along the way. Oddsmakers have the Tigers favored by -3 points despite facing the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner, Lamar Jackson.
LSU decided to part with long time coach Les Miles after the team started the season 2-2. They promoted Ed Orgeron and the team went 5-2 the remainder of the season. Under Miles the team averaged 21 PPG and under Orgeron they averaged 28 PPG. Top NFL Draft prospect, Leonard Fournette, will not play in the Citrus Bowl but he has been in and out of the lineup all season. It gave way to Derrius Guice who rushed for 1249 yards and 14 touchdowns. Guice took over where Fournette left off.
LSU’s defense has played spectacular, most notably holding the Crimson Tide to 10 points. The issue was that the offense wasn’t strong enough to complement their defense. The Tiger’s defense allows 16 PPG and 323 total yards per game. Both stats rank them among the top defenses in college football. They may be facing one of their biggest challenges this season and containing Heisman Winner Lamar Jackson.
Louisville was one of the darlings of college football early on in the season but this team seemed to run out of steam down the stretch, losing their final two games. A lopsided loss to Houston and an unforgiving loss to Kentucky dashed the Cardinals hopes of landing in a New Year’s Day bowl.
Lamar Jackson was the Heisman winner this season enters this game completing 57.6% of his passes for 3390 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions while rushing for an additional for 1538 yards and 21 touchdowns. Jackson accounted for 51 touchdowns for this offense that averaged 45 PPG which ranked 2nd in the country.
The Louisville defense is giving up 23.3 points per game with 110 rushing yards and 206.3 passing yards per game. It’s my opinion that some weaker competition may have fluffed some of these defensive statistics and games vs Clemson they let up 42 points, 36 to Houston and 41 to Kentucky. This is still a good defense and they were good at stopping the run this season which is a key part of the LSU offense.
This should be a fantastic game between a very good offensive Louisville team and a very good defensive LSU team. I think the rest did this Louisville team good and now that the Heisman race is no longer distracting this team, Lamar Jackson and the offense will play to win.
LSU is 1-4 ATS their last 5 bowl games and while the Cardinals are just 1-4 ATS their last 5 games overall, they have gone 5-2 ATS their last 7 bowl games. I like taking the points in this matchup and the Cardinals offense will take care of business and win this game straight up.
LSU vs Louisville Citrus Bowl Pick: Louisville +3