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Injury & Suspension News for Oklahoma vs LSU: Point Spread Still LSU -14 with Edwards-Helaire Nursing Hamstring Injury

Brady Trettenero

by Brady Trettenero in College Football

Dec 27, 2019 · 1:10 PM PST

The Oklahoma Sooners take the football field
Oklahoma will be without three suspended players for the Peach Bowl against LSU. Photo by John Silks (Wikimedia Commons).
  • Oklahoma will have three players suspended for the Peach Bowl
  • LSU could be without their top running back, Clyde Edwards-Helaire
  • How are the odds moving based on the latest news?

Oklahoma will be without three suspended players for the Peach Bowl against LSU in Atlanta on Saturday, Dec. 28 (4:00 PM EST).

The Tigers are still being listed as two-touchdown favorites in the LSU vs Oklahoma odds despite their top running back nursing a hamstring injury.

How is the line shifting with the latest injury/suspension news?

Updated LSU vs Oklahoma Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Oklahoma (#4) +14.0 (-110) +400 Over 75.5 (-115)
LSU (#1) -14.0 (-110) -600 Under 75.5 (-105)

Odds as of Dec. 27.

Oklahoma Players Suspended 

Oklahoma defensive end Ronnie Perkins, running back Rhamondre Stevenson, and wide receiver Trejan Bridges have all been suspended and will miss the Peach Bowl. Coach Lincoln Riley didn’t offer an explanation for the suspension, but said they will be out of the lineup for the game.

The big news here is the suspension of Perkins. He’s done a tremendous job rushing the passer this season, racking up 38 tackles (13.5 for loss) and six sacks in 12 games. The suspension to Stevenson is also notable, as the Sooners are now down to only two healthy running backs on scholarship (Kennedy Brooks and T.J. Pledger).

The suspension to Bridges shouldn’t be too big of a concern, as the Sooners have nine other wide receivers who have recorded at least 100 receiving yards this season. The run game goes through QB Jalen Hurts, so it’s really just the Perkins injury that could impact the odds.

Edwards-Helaire Is Questionable For LSU

The big news surrounding LSU entering the game revolves around their top running back. Clyde Edwards-Helaire suffered a hamstring injury on Dec. 17 and is questionable to play on Saturday. Edwards-Helaire leads LSU with 1,290 rushing yards, while no other player on the team even has 300 rushing yards.

LSU’s offense mainly rests on the arm of Heisman-winner Joe Burrow and the Tigers’ elite passing game. Given Hurts’ ability to run the ball, LSU not having its top running back would be a major blow. I’m taking Burrow over Hurts in a shootout, but betting the Tigers to cover a 14-point spread against Oklahoma without their top running back is a risky bet.

Even if Edwards-Helaire is able to play, he’ll likely be limited to some extent.

Updated Line Movement

LSU opened as -9.5 favorites at most sportsbooks, but the line quickly jumped up up -12.5 with early bettors hammering the unbeaten Tigers. The line then shifted up to 13.5 and has settled around -14 at most sportsbooks. The total has also gone up to 75.5 points with oddsmakers liking the possibility of a shootout.

The main reasons the line isn’t jumping even more in LSU’s favor is because of Edwards-Helaire’s unknown status and the Oklahoma suspensions being overcomable. The Sooners always seem to face adversity in the playoff and Jalen Hurts is no stranger to the spotlight, especially in Atlanta.

There are also bettors laying the points with Oklahoma because they feel the Sooners are getting undervalued and/or LSU is being overrated. While it’s a fairly meaningless stat, it’s worth noting that Heisman winners are 5-6 in their last 11 bowl games. Everything Joe Burrow has done this season indicates he’s capable of reversing that trend. What the tougher challenge will be is reversing a 3-8 ATS trend for Heisman winners in Bowls.

Betting Analysis

The Tigers are favored in the 2020 National Championship Odds and have proven they deserve to be such heavy favorites in the CFP semi-final. The line has settled around  -14, but you can still get LSU at -13.5 and even -13 at some sportsbooks.

The Oklahoma suspensions are a blow, but Edwards-Helaire’s injury for LSU is  just as or even more significant. Joe Burrow was going to go off on this defense no matter who plays, and Oklahoma still has their top two offensive players fully healthy in Hurts and CeeDee Lamb.

Edwards-Helaire is looking like he’ll play, but it’ll probably come down to the wire. If you’re going to lay the points with the Tigers, try and get confirmation that he’s in fact playing before making your bet.

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