Market Bullish on LSU Tigers in Brian Kelly's First Season
John David Yonke
Brian Kelly begins Year 1 in Baton Rouge with high expectations. He was brought in to win and preferably to win now. BetMGM’s Sportsbook Data Insights reveals that the market has reacted positively to LSU’s chances in 2022 and is bullish on the Tigers in the futures market.
BetMGM SportsBook LSU Win Total Insights
LSU Win Total 7.5 –> 6.5
Over 6.5 = Most Tickets
3rd Highest Handle
Bettors are confident in LSU notching at least seven wins, with 76% of tickets and 54% of the handle coming in on OVER 6.5. The total was initially released at 7.5 but moved down one full win to 6.5, prompting a load of action to come in on the OVER.
Since this is currently one of the most popular bets on the board, it begs the question: are bettors onto something with this one?
There’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding a team that returns only 11 starters from a year ago.
First off is the question of who starts at quarterback? Kelly has three options: Myles Brennan, Jayden Daniels, and Garrett Nussmeier. It sounds like this battle will rage into camp and possibly into the season, so there’s little clarity. Daniels has the most experience after starting three years at Arizona State and seems to fit new offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock’s system as a mobile quarterback. He’s far from a shoo-in to win the job, as Brennan has been waiting his time, and Nussmeier is arguably the most talented of the trio.
Whoever wins the quarterback battle should have several weapons to throw to, led by Kayshon Boutte, who Kelly pointed out at SEC Media Days as a playmaker that must have the ball in his hands as often as possible. The running back room is mainly unproven, but John Emery is a former five-star recruit who returns to the fold as the assumed starter after missing last season due to academic eligibility questions.
A strong front seven led by Ali Gaye, BJ Ojulari, and Mike Jones will be the strength of a defense that needs difference makers to emerge in the secondary.
Kelly was brought to town because he wins, and he does so consistently. He won at least ten games in six of his last seven seasons with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and was able to reload time after time. A year ago, the Irish faced a demanding schedule while ranked near the bottom of the country in returning production. They were counted out by many, but Kelly made the difficult look mundane in churning out an 11-1 regular season. With a talented but unproven roster, he’ll need to pull off a similar feat in Baton Rouge.
The schedule sets up with four out-of-conference games the Tigers have to be confident in coming away victorious (vs. Florida State Seminoles, vs. Southern Jaguars, vs. New Mexico Lobos, vs. UAB Blazers). They’ll likely have to handle business in those four games to notch the OVER, as they’d still need three more wins in the SEC portion of the schedule for bettors to cash their tickets.
Kelly joins the Tigers in a year in which they need to reload, which he’s proven capable of doing. This team is talented enough to win any game on the schedule. Bettors are banking on him churning out yet another winning team in 2022, and the logic is sound, which is why our verdict is to buy on the Tigers OVER.
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