CFB rivalry game best bets: Lay the chalk with Alabama over LSU
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We kicked off our college football coverage last month by diving into the Games of the Year, which are typically posted before the season to give gamblers a chance to bet those contests during the summer.

As some of the biggest matchups of the campaign, rivalry games are cut from the same cloth, with numbers given well in advance for the betting public.

Let's go over the openers that immediately stick out.

Alabama at LSU (+3)

The eventual champions upended Alabama at home last season, and the Crimson Tide will get a shot at revenge in Week 10.

After reading ESPN's Bill Connelly's piece on Alabama quarterback Mac Jones, I think the passer is undervalued while replacing Tua Tagovailoa. Jones was pretty damn good in flashes last year, and two of the top returning receivers in the country are helping him.

I've been low on LSU all offseason, so it makes sense to keep doubling down here.

Pick: Alabama -3

Texas at Oklahoma State (-2)

This was like picking between two children because I'm high on both teams in 2020. But if you're telling me this line implies these two schools are essentially even on a neutral field, you're a liar.

Oklahoma State was one of the luckiest programs in the country in 2019. The Cowboys won eight regular-season games, but they played like a 6.1-victory team based on second-order win total.

Both squads should be markedly better than 2019 considering the returning production, but I make Texas roughly a 6.5-point favorite on a neutral field, meaning this line is a couple of points too high.

Pick: Texas +2

Penn State at Nebraska (+3.5)

I have a feeling I'm going to be on Nebraska more than I'd like in 2020, but I love what Penn State is offering. Head coach James Franklin won 11 games during essentially a transition year in 2019, and now he's assembled the pieces for a deep run.

Although I've placed the Nittany Lions significantly higher in ratings, I also like playing the spot here. Nebraska gets Ohio State in The Shoe the week before, while Penn State is in Indiana.

Pick: Penn State -3.5

Tennessee at Oklahoma (-8.5)

Can you blame the public if Tennessee is one of the sleepers it loves? The Vols closed out 2019 with some serious momentum, winning their last six games. Tennessee also returns more than half its production from last season offensively and defensively.

But this game presents both a player and coaching mismatch, with bloodbath written all over it. Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley is 4-2 against the spread versus nonconference, Power 5 opponents since taking the job, averaging just shy of 40 points per game.

Believe me, there will be weeks when Tennessee is undervalued. But in the Volunteers' first true test of the 2020 season, the Sooners should roll.

Pick: Oklahoma -8.5

Alex Kolodziej is a betting writer for theScore. He's a graduate of Eastern Illinois who has been involved in the sports betting industry for 12 years. He can quote every line from "Rounders" and appreciates franchises that regularly wear alternate jerseys. Find him on Twitter @AJKolodziej.

CFB rivalry game best bets: Lay the chalk with Alabama over LSU
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