Underdawgs: LSU faces huge odds to upset No. 1 Georgia in the title game
Published Friday December 2, 2022 7:24 am
The boys out in the Las Vegas desert did it for him, loud and clear, with no ulterior motive.
The odds against the Tigers, who upset the No. 1-ranked and undefeated Bulldogs, are long and high — 17.5 points, according to ESPN oddsmakers.
That gives LSU a 17 percent chance of taking home the conference trophy, according to their website.
It’s not the biggest chance a team has ever faced in the 31st round of the SEC championship game, but it’s close.
And an LSU win Saturday at Atlanta’s Mercedez-Benz Stadium would be by far the biggest upset in the game’s history.
Florida was a whopping 24-point favorite against Arkansas in 1995, the game’s fourth edition, and the Gators lived up to it with a 34-3 shellacking.
The Gators were 21.5-point underdogs to Alabama in 2016 when The Tide eventually won 54-16.
Do you already see a trend?
The line for Saturday — and it could change — would make LSU the third-greatest underdog to ever play in the game.
Florida was an underdog with 17.5 points in both 2015 and 2020, both times against Alabama.
LSU can assume that none of these were runaway routes. You don’t get a trophy for covering these spreads, although it can sometimes ease the pain for certain factions of the fandom.
Florida lost 29-15 in the 2015 game. Nothing to be ashamed of. But the 2020 Gators, the same team that upset LSU at the infamous “thrown shoe game” in Gainesville a few weeks earlier, gave Alabama quite a scare before the eventual national champion survived a shootout and a furious UF comeback and 52 won. 46
LSU already owns a piece of the biggest point-spread excitement in SEC championship game history.
But that was just the seven-point line the Tigers faced in their first game in 2001 under Nick Saban against Tennessee.
It was one of the rare times the game really cost an SEC team, as the Vols would have made it to the national championship game under the old Bowl Championship Series system.
But backup quarterback Matt Mauck came off the bench for the injured Rohan Davey and propelled the Tigers to a 31-20 win.
Alabama was also a seven-point underdog in 1999 when it defeated Florida 34-7.
The odds makers are generally on point.
The odds are undoubtedly full this week after LSU lost to Texas A&M as a 10-point favorite last week.
Perhaps surprisingly, there were 11 double-digit spreads in the SEC title game.
The favorites are 11-0 – although five covered their wide ranges.
LSU is 5-1 – straight, as they say – in their six previous appearances.
The Tigers were part of the only “push” in the game’s history, beating Tennessee 21-14 as a seven-point favorite in 2007 — when the line hits the final lead on the nose.
LSU has been favored on all but that first appearance against Tennessee, including seven on their most recent trip in 2019 when Joe Burrow put on a show in a 37-10 win over Georgia.
But they were also a 2.5-point favorite against the Dawgs in 2005, Les Miles’ inaugural season, when they suffered their only loss, 34-14.
LSU was favored by three in 2003 when they defeated Georgia 34-13 and by 12.5 in 2011 when the Tigers defeated the Bulldogs 42-10.
Against the odds
How the underdogs fared in the SEC championship game:
Year, Favorite, Result, Won, Covered
2022, Georgia to 17.5, LSU vs. Georgia, ?, ?
2021, Georgia at 6.5, Alabama 41, Georgia 24, no no
2020, Alabama to 17.5, Alabama 52, Florida 46, Yes No
2019, LSU at 7, LSU 37, Georgia 10, yes yes
2018, Alabama at 11, Alabama 35, Georgia 28, yes no
2017, Auburn at 2.5, Georgia 28, Auburn 7, no no
2016, Alabama to 21.5, Alabama 54, Florida 16, Yes Yes
2015, Alabama to 17.5, Alabama 29, Florida 15, Yes No
2014, Alabama to 14.5, Aabama 42, Missouri 13, Yes Yes
2013, Missouri at 2, Auburn 59, Missouri 42, no, no
2012, Alabama at 7.5, Alabama 32, Georgia 28, yes no
2011, LSU to 12.5, LSU 42, Georgia 10, Yes Yes
2010, Maroon by 3.5, Maroon 56, South Carolina 17, Yes Yes
2009, Florida at 5, Alabama 32, Florida 13, no no
2008, Florida to 10, Florida 31, Alabama 20, yes, yes
2007, LSU of 7, LSU 21, Tennessee 14, Yes Push
2006, Florida at 3, Florida 38, Arkansas 28, yes yes
2005, LSU at 2.5, Georgia 34, LSU 14, no no
2004, Maroon to 14.5, Maroon 38, Tennessee 28, Yes No
2003, LSU at 3, LSU 34, Georgia 13, Yes Yes
2002, Georgia at 8, Georgia 30, Arkansas 3, yes, yes
2001, Tennessee of 7, LSU 31, Tennessee 20, no no
2000, Florida to 9.5, Florida 28, Auburn 6, Yes Yes
1999, Florida at 7, Alabama 34, Florida 7, no no
1998, Tennessee from 14, Tenn. 24, Mississippi State 14, yes, no
1997, Tennessee of 7, Tennessee 30, Auburn 29, yes no
1996, Florida to 14.5, Florida 45, Alabama 30, Yes Yes
1995, Florida to 24, Florida 34, Arkansas 3, Yes Yes
1994, Florida at 7, Florida 24, Alabama 23, yes no
1993, Florida at 4, Florida 28, Alabama 13, yes yes
1992, Alabama at 10, Alabama 28, Florida 21, yes no
, 23-7, 13-16-1