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Old 01-13-2020, 08:22 AM
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If you're betting LSU, here are five prop picks you need to take in the CFP Championship
Jason Logan

Clyde Edwards-Helaire picked up 325 receiving yards between Week 9 and the SEC title game, helping the Tigers average 45 points per game in that span.

The LSU Tigers have plenty of supporters heading into Monday’s CFP Championship Game against the Clemson Tigers. In fact, the belief in the Bayou Bengals has taken the spread for the national title game and run it up from LSU -3.5 to as high as -6.

If you’re among the masses shouting “Geaux Tigers” - and not “Go Tigers” - with a ticket on LSU in hand, you’ll want to look at these prop and derivative picks for Monday’s matchup.

They’re all tied to aspects of the game vital to Louisiana State’s championship hopes. Good luck!

LSU -0.5 FIRST QUARTER

Louisiana State is at its best when it kicks in the door and does damage right out of the gate.

The Tigers traded touchdowns with Oklahoma before closing out the first quarter with a 21-7 lead in the Peach Bowl. Against Georgia in the SEC Championship, LSU only needed six minutes to find the end zone and held a 14-0 lead after one frame. And, versus Alabama, the Tigers jumped out to a 10-0 lead and were ahead 10-7 after 15 minutes of action.

Clemson’s defense has been especially stingy in first quarters, allowing an average of just 2.1 points in the frame on the year. However, the Tigers (Clemson, that is) have softened a bit in recent opening quarters, giving up a touchdown to Virginia in the ACC title game and watched Ohio State run out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter of the Fiesta Bowl.

Clemson knows it can’t afford LSU to find a rhythm and get ahead on the scoreboard early, which would force the reigning national champs to pass more and turn away from a run-heavy playbook – which is likely their best “defense” against the LSU offense.

If the Bayou Bengals can buckle Clemson’s knees early on, LSU will have its opponent right where it wants it.


TREVOR LAWRENCE UNDER 52.5 RUSHING YARDS

When Clemson does drop back to pass against a dangerous LSU secondary, Louisiana State can’t let the Tigers off the hook by allowing QB Trevor Lawrence to create something out of nothing when plays break down.

Lawrence sparked Clemson’s comeback against the Buckeyes with 107 yards on the ground, including a 67-yard touchdown run. He’s only gone over this 52.5-yard total just three times all season, but they’ve all gone in the past five games, so Lawrence absolutely has his legs under him.

Louisiana State did a good job containing Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurt to 43 yards rushing on 14 carries (thanks in large part to forcing the Sooners to play from behind) but did get rolled by Ole Miss dual-threat QB John Rhys Plumlee for 212 yards on the ground in Week 12.

Keep Lawrence contained and don’t let him make magic on broken plays.


CLYDE EDWARDS-HELAIRE OVER 50.5 YARDS RECEIVING

Edwards-Helaire gave Tigers backers a scare in the Peach Bowl, injuring his hamstring in practice a week before the game. And while he was healthy enough to play against Oklahoma, he was limited in action, carrying the ball just twice for 14 yards.

Edwards-Helaire has looked healthy in practice leading up to the CFP Championship, which is good news for LSU bettors. Not only was CEH one of the best running backs in the country down the stretch – posting 686 yards rushing in the final five regular season games – but he became a top target in the passing game as well.

He has 399 yards receiving on 50 grabs and LSU’s offense has been extra explosive when he gets thrown in the mix. He picked up 325 of those receiving yards between Week 9 and the SEC title game, helping the Tigers average 45 points per game in that span, which includes games versus Auburn, Alabama, Texas A&M and Georgia.

If CEH can get loose versus Clemson and break off some big gains after the catch, LSU offense will be extremely tough to figure out.


JUSTIN JEFFERSON OVER 8.5 RECEPTIONS

Joe Burrow was the star of the Peach Bowl, but the effort put in by Justin Jefferson should not be discounted. The Tigers junior WR caught 14 balls for 227 yards through the air, with four of those grabs going for touchdowns.

If Ja'Marr Chase is LSU’s No. 1 receiver, then Jefferson has emerged as a verified No. 1-A after catching fire – and everything else – down the stretch of the regular season. He’s scored a touchdown in five straight games (nine total in that span) and has led the Tigers to receiving in both postseason matchups, with 115 yards on seven receptions against UGA.

Clemson is the top-ranked passing defense in all the land but has given up some bigger gains in its past two outings: allowing Ohio State to throw for 320 yards through the air in the Fiesta Bowl and giving up 283 yards passing to Virginia in the ACC Championship.

Clemson will have to pick its poison when it comes to LSU’s receiving options – Chase, Jefferson, TE (and son of Randy) Thaddeus Moss – and Jefferson enters with the hot hands.


JOE BURROW OVER 27.5 COMPLETIONS

Louisiana State winning the CFP title doesn’t hinge on Burrow having a huge day, but it sure as hell would be easier if he did.

The Heisman winner is absolutely burning up opposing defenses and saved his best two performances for the postseason: completing 28 passes for 349 yards and four TDs versus Georgia and connecting on 29 passes for 493 yards and seven TDs against Oklahoma.

As mentioned, Clemson has given very little to opposing passers all season, holding 11 foes to 17 completions or less including six opponents to single-digit completions. They did allow 24 completions for 236 yards in a Week 2 win over Texas A&M and watched both Virginia and Ohio State complete 30 throws in the previous two games.

Burrow has topped this 27.5-completion total six times this season, including five times in LSU’s last seven outings. Books have his Over/Under passing yards at 365.5 for the title game and given his average of about 14 yards per completion, you’re looking at 26 estimated completions versus Clemson.

If Joey Heisman can do two better against this Tigers secondary, then it should be a good day for “Burreaux” and LSU.
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