College Basketball Odds, Pick, Prediction: Texas A&M vs. LSU (Wednesday, January 26)
Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images. Pictured: Darius Days (LSU)
- Two high-level defensive teams go head-to-head in Baton Rouge as No. 19 LSU takes on Texas A&M.
- The Tigers have lost three games in a row while the surprising Aggies have lost two straight.
- D.J. James dives into this SEC affair and offers up his top betting pick.
Texas A&M vs. LSU Odds
|Texas A&M Odds|
+100o / -120u
+100o / -120u
Both the LSU Tigers and Texas A&M Aggies have struggled as of late. LSU comes into this matchup on a three-game losing streak, while the Aggies are on a two-game losing streak.
Each of these teams have an elite defense and could make some offensive improvements, to say the least.
Given the volatility of each team’s offensive performances, and with a couple of potential key pieces out for LSU, the total is the play here.
Texas A&M is essentially winning the games it should be winning. Its only resume-building victories have come against Notre Dame and Arkansas. Otherwise, every other opponent the Aggies have defeated is ranked 116th or lower, according to KenPom.
Still, the Aggies have a top-35 defense. They can defend both inside and outside — 46.3% from 2-point range and 30.7% from 3-point range.
They also force their opponents to turn the ball over 25% of the time. This will come in handy because LSU turns the ball over at a 20.6% clip.
Marcus Williams, Quenton Jackson, Andre Gordon, Henry Coleman III and Wade Taylor IV all average at least one steal per game. This essentially covers the starting lineup for the Aggies. They can attack at every position, and this will cause havoc, especially in the Tigers’ backcourt.
Eric Gaines and Xavier Pinson (questionable) both turn it over more than three times per game. This is something to look out for in this matchup because it could get sloppy.
However, the Aggies rank 106th in free-throw-attempts/field-goal-attempt (FTA/FGA) ratio, so they will not necessarily be pushing the pace. If they do, they will not hit many free throws.
In fact, they rank 343rd in free throw percentage at 64.5%. LSU will send opponents to the line, but this does not infer any success for the Aggies.
For the Tigers, they have a similar issue. They do push the pace (91st in Adjusted Tempo, per KenPom), but they rank 215th in FTA/FGA.
They rank sixth in turnover rate on the defensive end (25.6%), so they will force Texas A&M (18.9% offensive TO rate) into tough situations.
On the other hand, LSU defends both the 3-point line (26.5%) and interior (44.3%) well. Texas A&M does not necessarily thrive in either department, so this is another edge to the under.
That said, LSU only shoots 32.2% from downtown itself. The Aggies limit opponents outside, as noted above, so the Tigers will have to find success inside the arc to manufacture points.
Tari Eason is their go-to option. Coleman III would match up well with him for the Aggies, and if Darius Days (questionable) misses the game, the Tigers do not have many alternative scoring options down low.
Lastly, neither team has a rebounding advantage. Both can crash the glass on the offensive end but have trouble with defensive rebounding. This does not look like an edge for either side.
Texas A&M vs. LSU Betting Pick
It’s hard to envision a case where the over hits in this game. Neither team ranks in the top 100 in Offensive Efficiency (KenPom) and both are elite at defending.
They also both turn the ball over at an alarming clip. Neither shoots very well and neither can make free throws.
LSU should win this game, but the total is far too high for defense-first programs.
Take the under in this game at 127.5 and play it to 125. With Pinson and Days questionable for the Tigers, they will not have many alternative offensive options. Eason should be locked down in this one.