LSU vs. Alabama College Basketball Betting Odds & Predictions: Crimson Tide the Smart Pick in SEC Rematch (February 3)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: James Rojas.
- The Alabama Crimson Tide host the LSU Tigers on Wednesday night in SEC action.
- The Tide dominated LSU in their first meeting of the season with a record shooting performance.
- Will they run it back, or can LSU get revenge?
LSU vs. Alabama Odds
LSU travels to Alabama on Wednesday night for one of the more compelling rematches of the season.
On Jan. 19, the Crimson Tide blowtorched the Tigers, 105-75, in Baton Rouge. Alabama broke its own SEC record with 23 3-pointers while shooting 54% overall from beyond the arc.
Alabama is now coming off a surprising 66-61 loss at Oklahoma against a short-handed Sooners team. The Tigers have lost three of their last four games after starting the season 10-2.
Can LSU exact revenge in Tuscaloosa or will Alabama deliver another dominating performance?
Alabama’s shooting performance against LSU was a surprising outlier. While the Crimson Tide are a fantastic shooting team, the Tigers have been strong all year at defending the 3-pointer.
Despite the brilliant performance by Alabama, LSU still ranks 52nd overall in 3-point defense (30.5%).
In SEC play, the Tigers rank third-best at 32%. If the game against the Crimson Tide is excluded, LSU has allowed opponents to shoot just 28.2% (72-of-255) from deep over its past nine games. A repeat performance from deep by Alabama is very unlikely.
The weakness of LSU is in the interior. In their losses to Kentucky and Texas Tech, the Tigers were outrebounded, 87-60. Alabama will again be playing without 6-foot-10 forward Jordan Bruner, who is recovering from meniscus surgery. In the Crimson Tide’s 66-61 loss at Oklahoma, they lost the battle on the glass 42-34.
LSU ranks among the top 60 teams in offensive rebounding percentage, led by Trendon Watford (7.1 rpg) and Darius Days (7.9 rpg).
However, the Tigers will be without Days for several weeks after he hurt his knee in LSU’s 76-71 loss to Texas Tech. The loss of Days is critical for the Tigers, who also recently lost guard Charles Manning to the transfer portal.
The Tigers’ bench is very thin, scoring just two total points in the loss to the Red Raiders.
With Days unavailable, look for the scoring load to fall on freshman Cameron Thomas (22.3 ppg), sophomore Watford (17.3 ppg), and junior Ja’Vonte Smart (15.5 ppg). All three players will need to score and avoid foul trouble, a tough task against the Crimson Tide.
This is the wrong time to be facing Nate Oats’ team, as the frustration from the Oklahoma loss has likely lingered.
The Sooners played without starting point guard Austin Reaves and senior guard Alondes Williams, but Alabama put forth one of its worst efforts of the season with 16 turnovers while shooting just 64% from the free-throw line.
The Crimson Tide’s defense should again limit the short-handed Tigers. Alabama still holds superb defensive metrics, ranking seventh overall in adjusted defensive efficiency and 26th overall in effective field goal percentage allowed.
Oats relies on a versatile group of scorers led by sharp-shooting John Petty (13.6 ppg, 41.1% 3-point). Petty is coming off a rough performance, shooting just 2-of-8) from the field including 2-of-7 from beyond the arc. I expect a bounce-back game from Petty along with sophomore Jahvon Quinerly (11.2 ppg), who failed to score against Oklahoma.
Sophomore Jaden Shackelford (13.6 ppg) and senior Herb Jones (12.6 ppg, 50% 3P) are difficult matchups, as is freshman Joshua Primo (8.9 ppg). In the last game against LSU, Primo tied a season-high with 22 points including 6-of-8 from 3.
Betting Analysis & Pick
If LSU were fully healthy, this would be a great revenge spot against an Alabama team that is still limited inside without Bruner. I don’t expect the Crimson Tide to approach their blistering efficiency from last game, but coming off a loss and playing at home should ensure maximum effort.
Alabama is 5-0 at home in SEC play and 4-1 ATS this season. The only game they failed to cover was an 81-73 win over Mississippi State, falling short by 1.5 points.
LSU isn’t tough enough on the interior to limit the Crimson Tide. The absence of Days is critical and I expect Alabama’s relentless offensive pressure to wear down the Tigers.
Pick: Alabama -8.5 (up to -9).