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Cotton Bowl Betting – LSU Tigers Will Do Battle With The Texas A&M Aggies

Posted by Blake Frazier on 1/4/2011 10:05:35 AM
cotton bowl betting

The Texas A&M Aggies haven’t enjoyed the same level of success the LSU Tigers have experienced over the past several years. The 2011 Cotton Bowl is a moment of truth.

NCAA football betting: LSU Tigers vs. Texas A&M Aggies

Online Betting Odds: LSU -1

Why To Bet On LSU

LSU Head coach Les Miles entered the 2010 season on the hot seat in the eyes of many LSU fans. After posting a 10-2 record that included wins over the Florida Gators, Alabama Crimson Tide, Mississippi State Bulldogs, and West Virginia Mountaineers, Miles’ seat has cooled. Posting a 10-win season in one of the strongest years for the SEC West was no small feat. LSU pulled off its surprising season by winning close game. Late-game heroics (or mistakes by the opposition) helped the Tigers beat the North Carolina Tar Heels, Tennessee Volunteers, Florida and Alabama. LSU’s recipe for success is to run the ball with running back Steven Ridley (1,042 yards, 14 touchdowns) and rely on its stingy defense to keep opponents out of the end zone.

The Tigers finished the season ninth in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 17.8 points per game. Six times they held their opponents to 14 points or less and won all six of those games. LSU’s defense figures to match up quite well with a Texas A&M offense that has disappeared at times. The Aggies were held to just nine points by both the Missouri Tigers and Nebraska Cornhuskers, but did manage to win the Nebraska game. If the Tigers can successfully corral the Texas A&M rushing attack and force the Aggies to beat them through the air, they will come away with the victory and cap a surprisingly good season for Miles.

Why To Bet On Texas A&M

After losing several games early in the season, Texas A&M finished the 2010 season with a bang. The Aggies made a change at quarterback, going with the steady Ryan Tannehill over the turnover-prone Jerrod Johnson, and the results were better than anyone would’ve imagined. With Tannehill under center, the Aggies won their final six games, including wins over Oklahoma, Nebraska, and rival Texas. Tannehill and the Aggies’ offense will challenge the LSU secondary early and often. Tannehill averaged 225 yards per game in his six starts, throwing 11 touchdowns and just three interceptions.

If the Aggies get mistake-free play from Tannehill, they too can rely on a defense that is stout against LSU’s strength. The A&M defense finished the season 15th in the nation against the run, allowing just 117 yards per game. LSU also sports one of the nation’s most ineffective passing attacks. The Tigers averaged 155 yards per game through the air. Quarterback Jordan Jefferson was held below 100 yards passing in seven games. Considering LSU’s relative inability to throw the ball effectively, if the Aggies get out to any kind of lead, or LSU cannot manage to get Ridley going on the ground, it could be a long day for Les Miles and his offense. Tannehill’s precision passing, as well as the balance that 1,000-yard rusher Cyrus Gray provides, will help keep A&M in the game and pressure LSU’s offense to keep up.

How The Game Will Play Out

LSU’s stifling defense will pressure Tannehill as much as any opponent on the Aggies’ schedule has all year. Look for LSU to play its typical low-scoring, ball-control style and come away with a narrow victory in the fourth quarter.

LSU Texas A&M Betting Pick: LSU

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