Arkansas vs LSU Odds, Picks: First-Half Bet to Make
Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images. Pictured: Ricky Council IV (Arkansas)
Arkansas vs LSU Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
The Razorbacks have only lost one contest this season and enter this matchup winners of seven straight.
Meanwhile, the Tigers also come into conference play with the same record (11-1), picking up wins in their last six.
This is a really tricky trip for the Hogs, and I think the home team will be a tough out.
Coach Eric Musselman guided his squad to the Elite Eight last season, and he has the roster to make another deep run in March.
In the non-conference slate, the Razorbacks picked up wins over Louisville and San Diego State in the Maui Invitational to go along with a victory over Oklahoma in the Crimson and Cardinal Classic.
The only blemish came in Hawaii against then-No. 10 Creighton.
Musselman’s team has been very stout defensively, ranking inside the top 50 in adjusted efficiency (11th), effective field goal percentage (42nd) and opponent 3-point % (33rd).
The Hogs are also ninth in the nation in forcing turnovers and 24th in defensive rebounding, so they are securing extra possessions and holding opponents to one trip.
Offensively, Arkansas is led by junior guard Ricky Council IV, who averages 18.3 points per game. The Wichita State transfer was voted the American Athletic Conference Sixth Man of the Year last year, and he's now proving his worth as a starter for the Razorbacks.
Meanwhile, Musselman could be without two key contributors in Trevon Brazile (11.8 PPG) and Nick Smith Jr. (12.8 PPG) due to injuries, which is not what the Razorbacks need in their first true road game of the season.
After the dismissal of Will Wade due to NCAA violations, LSU fans wondered how long it would take new coach Matt McMahon to make the Tigers competitive again.
Some would say he's already achieving that.
However, McMahon has taken advantage of one of the softest schedules in the country (351st out of 363, according to KenPom). This includes a stretch featuring nine of 12 games against Quad 4 opponents.
LSU does have one of the top transfers in the nation in senior KJ Williams. The forward came with McMahon from Murray State, and he's made an instant impact with the Tigers.
Williams is 32nd in the NCAA and first in the SEC in PPG (19.3), while he's also fifth in the conference in rebounds per game at 8.3.
Guard Adam Miller is the other player who averages double figures, with 13.5 points a night.
Arkansas vs. LSU Betting Pick
I wasn’t expecting to back LSU in any capacity in this matchup, but the injuries and situational spot for the visitors have changed my thought process.
However, I’m not looking at the full-game lines for my play.
So, my best bet is to play the Tigers on the first-half moneyline once the line comes out. I like any number you can get that's plus money.
For starters, I always look to fade a team that's playing its first true road game, like Arkansas is here. The Razorbacks have also had slow starts away from home this season, and this is a spot where I see it happening again.
In contests outside of the state of Arkansas, Musselman’s squad has gone 2-2 in the opening halves, with an average margin of -1.
Meanwhile, LSU owns a +8.9 average margin in the first half at home this season, and the Tigers have only trailed at halftime in one game at the Maravich Center.
This is the hardest test yet for McMahon's squad, but the Hogs missing two key contributors will make this a shaky start for the visitors.