College Basketball Odds & Pick for Alabama vs. LSU: Bet the Surging Tide As Road Underdog
Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Herbert Jones.
- Alabama looks to maintain its impressive undefeated SEC record on Tuesday night against LSU.
- The Tigers have a dynamic duo in Cam Thomas and Trendon Watford and are just one game back of the Crimson Tide.
- Mike Randle explains why he is taking the Crimson Tide as road underdogs in Baton Rouge.
Alabama vs. LSU Odds
Alabama has become the team to catch in the race for the SEC title.
The Crimson Tide are off to a perfect 6-0 start in conference play, already with impressive road wins over Tennessee, Kentucky and Auburn.
Head coach Will Wade’s LSU Tigers have also found success, although it has been more under the radar. LSU is 10-2 overall with a 5-1 SEC record, their only blemish being a close loss at Florida.
Can the Tigers even up the race for the SEC regular-season title, or can the Crimson Tide grab an impressive fourth straight conference road win?
Both teams look to score, with LSU (86.1) and Alabama (80.1), and these two have combined for at least 166 points in each of the past three matchups. This has also been an even matchup during Wade’s time in Baton Rouge, with both teams winning three of their six matchups.
The Tigers have been led by sensational freshman Cam Thomas. The 6-foot-4 freshman guard averages 22.1 points per game while shooting a clutch 89.5% from the free-throw line.
He is balanced by 6-foot-9 forward Trendon Watford. The versatile sophomore has per-game averages of 18.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.2 steals. Watford has scored 20 or more points in seven of his 11 games, including the Tigers’ last three contests.
This year’s LSU team is the strongest 3-point shooting group assembled during Wade’s four-year tenure. The Tigers have three players shooting at least 40% or better from deep, including Watford and juniors Javonte Smart (45.9%) and Darius Days (40.4%).
The Tigers also specialize in offensive rebounding, a staple of Wade teams. Days ranks among the best in the nation with an average of 2.8 per game.
However, Alabama has defeated an impressive gauntlet of teams in SEC play. Aside from the aforementioned trio of wins, the Crimson Tide are coming off a dominant point 90-59 win over Arkansas, despite playing without starter Jordan Bruner (knee). The 6-foot-10 Yale transfer is averaging 7.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.2 blocks in just 21 minutes per game.
The Crimson Tide’s metrics inside conference play have been elite. They have been shooting 39.4% from 3-point land against conference opponents, but their defensive numbers are even more impressive. Head coach Nate Oats’ team is holding opponents to just 41.9% from inside the arc and 25.9% from beyond it. Both are best marks among SEC competition.
Alabama was fortunate to have leading scorer Herbert Jones return from a wrist injury much faster than expected. He provided 13 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals in the win over Arkansas on Saturday.
Alabama loves to push the pace and has the depth to support that style. It has nine players who average over 14 minutes per game, which should allow it to compensate for Bruner’s absence.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Alabama sits at 9-4-1 against the spread but has covered an incredible seven consecutive games.
Alabama is simply too hot right now to bet against, especially for an LSU team that struggles on the defensive boards. Look for Alabama’s staunch 3-point defense to frustrate the Tigers while it attacks the LSU defense off the dribble.
The Crimson Tide have too many offensive weapons for LSU, a team that just allowed 80 points at home to a sub-standard South Carolina offense.
As of writing, the Action Network App shows LSU receiving 50% of the bets and a whopping 80% of the money. That could allow the line to move even more favorably to Alabama. I’ll take the Crimson Tide as a slight road underdog and expect them to win outright.
I would wait to watch the line and gladly take another point just as a safety.
Pick: Alabama +1.5.