Auburn vs. LSU Odds, Picks: First-Half Line to Take
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Matt McMahon (LSU)
Auburn vs. LSU Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
The visitors come into the matchup with wins in five of their last six, which includes a 4-1 start in SEC play.
Meanwhile, the hosts have struggled since starting conference action with a victory. They have lost four straight to sit at 12-5 overall and 1-4 in the SEC.
These two programs need a victory for different reasons, and I think we should have a great contest at the Maravich Center.
Which Auburn team do we get on this trip: the one that lost at Georgia by double digits or the squad that beat Washington and Ole Miss?
Regardless of the road woes, head coach Bruce Pearl’s program is finding a way to grind out results, which is extremely important before the backend of the SEC schedule.
To end the year, Pearl’s team still has to play No. 4 Alabama and No. 9 Tennessee twice each to go along with trips to Texas A&M and Kentucky.
Auburn has been able to pick up wins due to its work on the defensive end of the floor, where it’s top-20 in AdjD (18th), EFG% (9th) and 3-point defense (3rd), according to Bart Torvik.
This is also the same team that’s 39th in opponent 2-point shooting percentage, so LSU will find it difficult to consistently create good shots.
If there’s one way to score on Pearl’s squad, it’s by crashing the offensive glass, as Auburn is outside the top 250 in defensive rebounding.
It was an area where Mississippi State was able to rack up 17 second-chance points, and you have to figure LSU will look to exploit this, as well.
Life under new coach Matt McMahon got off to a fast start, as the Tigers won 12 of his first 13 games at the school. But LSU has since dropped four straight to lower expectations in his debut season.
It also doesn’t help when the team isn’t competitive in those losses, with the Tigers losing at Alabama over the weekend by 40 and to the Aggies by 13 a few games earlier.
However, one player who has not disappointed this year has been forward KJ Williams, who ranks inside the top seven in the SEC in both scoring (18.0 PPG) and rebounding (7.2 RPG).
He also averages 2.6 offensive rebounds per contest, which will be key in taking advantage of one of Auburn’s big weaknesses.
Auburn vs. LSU Betting Pick
LSU has been great at starting games at home this season, and I’m backing that to happen again here.
So, my best bet is to play the home team on the first half moneyline or with a spread of +3.5 or better in the first 20 minutes.
In its 10 contests at home, McMahon’s team has been leading at halftime in nine of those games, including both opportunities in the SEC against Florida and Arkansas.
Meanwhile, Auburn was losing in both conference games away from home against Georgia and Ole Miss.
LSU is just as good as both of those schools.
If you are looking for an additional option, you could also look to bet the Bayou Bengals to be the first team to reach 15 points as they have won the race to 15 in all 10 home games.
Pearl’s squad is 3-4 in this same bet on the road, including losing both in SEC play.
I don’t see any value in betting the full game, but I think the home underdog can be competitive in the opening half.