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LSU vs. St. Bonaventure Betting Odds: Spread, Analysis For 2021 NCAA Tournament First Round

LSU vs. St. Bonaventure Betting Odds: Spread, Analysis For 2021 NCAA Tournament First Round article feature image

Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Cameron Thomas.

  • LSU and St. Bonaventure will tip off in the 2021 NCAA Tournament on Saturday at 1:45 p.m. ET.
  • LSU's offense, which ranks fifth in points per possession nationally, should pose some problems in this matchup. But the Bonnies are playing some of their best basketball of the season, as well.
  • Get opening LSU vs. St. Bonaventure odds and our early analysis.

LSU vs. St. Bonaventure Odds

St. Bonaventure Odds+1.5
LSU Odds-1.5
Moneyline+104 / -124
TimeSaturday, 1:45 p.m. ET
Odds as of Sunday and via DraftKings

How LSU & St. Bonaventure Match Up

St. Bonaventure
All stats via KenPom.

LSU vs. St. Bonaventure Instant Analysis

This game may be my favorite matchup of the whole tournament with both teams entering the Madness playing some of their best basketball of the season.

LSU has been a wagon offensively all season, averaging 120.5 points per every 100 possessions, which ranks fifth in the country, according to KenPom. It made a run in the SEC Tournament, beating Ole Miss and Arkansas before losing by one in a barn-burner to Alabama, which is a 2-seed in the tournament.

St. Bonaventure ran through the Atlantic 10 this year, only losing four games by a total of 13 points combined. It’s a well balanced team that owns the top-ranked offense and defensive efficiency ranking in A-10 play.

The big knock I have on the Bonnies is they’re only five players deep and have no real depth to their roster. In the conference championship against VCU, the Bonnies played only seven players, including one who played just two minutes.

This will be a contrast in styles as St. Bonaventure will want to play a slow-tempo game, while LSU will look to get out and run. LSU should be able to wear down on the thin roster of the Bonnies to survive and advance in what should be a great first-round matchup. — Kyle Remillard

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What To Know About LSU

Cameron Thomas is one of the best freshmen in the nation, and stopping LSU means putting the handcuffs on its best player. The Tigers have been excellent on offense, beating teams from all angles of the court with the 35th-fastest offensive tempo.

The defensive side of the ball is where LSU has struggled in SEC play. Head coach Will Wade finished with a squad that ranked 299th in defensive rebounding and 335th in non-steal turnover percentage. In general, true national title contenders will have a combined offensive and defensive efficiency rank of 50 or below.

While LSU has a top-10 offense, its defense, which will press and generally drop into a matchup zone, ranks outside the top 100. And even with that subpar ranking, I think they've been a bit fortunate in regards to opponent 3-point shooting. Despite allowing a 3-point rate that ranks outside the top 300, opponents have only connected on 30.1% of 3-pointers on the season (22nd in D-1).

Regression could be looming for an already suspect defense, which would spell disaster for the Tigers. The offense is superb by every measure, but I just don't think they can get enough stops against elite teams to make a deep run. — Collin Wilson

What To Know About St. Bonaventure

There isn’t much to dislike about St. Bonaventure.

Ranked 28th in KenPom’s adjusted efficiency margin, the Bonnies are led by five juniors who all play more than 32 minutes per game and average double-digit points.

They have allowed less than 39% shooting this season and are built around big man Osun Osunniyi on both ends of the floor. He’s averaging 9.3 rebounds and nearly three blocks per game this season and is the lone player in the paint offensively most of the time for St. Bonaventure. And when he's not in foul trouble, he provides SBU with elite rim protection for a team that is already excellent on the perimeter.

If you don't score on the Bonnies in transition, good luck in the half court because you're going to need it.

They check every box to be a fan favorite mid-major and are made up of mostly upperclassmen and are just really, really good. — Matt Trebby

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