Wednesday College Basketball Odds, Pick, Predictions: LSU Tigers vs. Florida Gators Betting Preview
Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images. Pictured: Darius Days (LSU)
- No. 12 LSU hits the road to take on to take on Florida, which desperately needs a victory in SEC play.
- The Tigers have won two in a row and have lost just one game this season, while the Gators have dropped two straight and are 9-5.
- D.J. James explains why the value lies on the better team.
LSU vs. Florida Odds
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
The LSU Tigers hit the road to Gainesville, Florida for an inter-conference matchup with the struggling Gators.
Florida has dropped two in a row against Alabama and Auburn, while LSU recently defeated Tennessee and Kentucky in Baton Rouge.
The Tigers have the top defense in the country, according to KenPom’s Adjusted Defensive Efficiency metric, while the Gators’ offense has been lackluster as of late.
With its ability to defend at a high level, LSU should be able to win as a short road favorite.
LSU is a top-10 program. The Tigers rank fourth in NET, ninth in KenPom and sixth on Bart Torvik. Their defense has propelled them to the top of the SEC, and their only loss at the moment was a blunder at Auburn.
Florida is not nearly as strong as LSU on the defensive end. LSU has the third-best effective field goal percentage on defense and turns opponents over more than a quarter of the time.
The Gators cough up the ball 19.1% of the time, so this looks like a poor mixture for Florida. In addition, the Tigers defend both the arc and inside well — at 26.6% and 42.6%, respectively.
Eric Gaines and Xavier Pinson are relentless on defense — averaging over two steals per game apiece — while the Tigers have five other players averaging at least one.
This is next to unheard of, and since Colin Castleton and Tyree Appleby average at least two giveaways per game, this could get ugly early. The Tigers have the antidote for any type of offense the Gators plan to run, even if they get hot from downtown.
LSU also rebounds better than the Gators, particularly on offense. The Gators rank 222nd in defensive rebounding, so this will permit many second scoring opportunities each time down the floor for the Tigers.
Outside of Castleton, the Gators do not have the rebounding abilities that the Tigers have. Castleton averages 9.2 boards each game, but no other Gators average more than five.
Darius Days, Tari Eason and Efton Reid could smother the Gators’ posts on the glass. Since LSU obviously has more depth down low, it should get plenty of opportunities to kick the ball out for a 3 or put up more shots in general.
The Gators also excel on the defensive end. They turn over their opposition 24.2% of the time. This is not necessarily as often as LSU, but they do rank in the top 20 in this metric.
LSU has its own issues — it turns the ball over 19.6% of the time. Pinson and Gaines both turn over the ball at least three times per game, so the guard advantage will not be as great for LSU. The Tigers will, however, still be able to put pressure on Castleton in the post.
Florida also puts pressure on the perimeter with its guards. The Gators only allow 29.9% of opponent 3s to fall, which indicates that neither team will be too strong from outside in this one.
Myreon Jones, Appleby and Brandon McKissic match up well with the Tigers’ guards, so it will be an interesting battle to see who can get the ball successfully inside more often.
LSU vs. Florida Betting Pick
LSU should have a defensive edge in this game. Neither team is much more dominant offensively, but LSU has a slightly better defense in almost all categories.
The Tigers also have a rebounding advantage and a bit more depth in their posts. If they overwhelm Castleton, this will eliminate the Gators’ main offensive threat.
This should allow them to cover the number on the road. Take LSU at -1.5 and play it to -3.
Pick: LSU -1.5 (Play to -3)
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