Michigan vs. LSU Projected Odds: Our Spread, Total for NCAA Tournament Second Round
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images. Pictured: Zeb Jackson (3).
#1 Michigan vs. #8 LSU Odds
We make Michigan a 7.5-point favorite against LSU in the second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament. Both teams made quick work of their first-round opponents (Texas Southern and St. Bonaventure) to advance.
The Wolverines will still be without guard Isaiah Livers, and their defense will have its hands full against an LSU team that ranked in the top 10 in offensive efficiency by most metrics.
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How Michigan & LSU Match Up
|All stats via KenPom.|
What To Know About Michigan
Alongside the likes of Gonzaga and Baylor, the Michigan Wolverines entered the NCAA Tournament as one of the favorites to win it all. Michigan ranks fifth in both adjusted offensive and defensive efficiency, according to KenPom, and can score however it wants to on offense.
Big man Hunter Dickinson leads the Wolverines at 14.3 points per game while shooting nearly 60% from the field, and Juwan Howard’s team also ranks in the top-20 nationally in 3-point percentage. Bettors will love that the Wolverines were 17-6 against the spread entering the tournament season.
The loss of Livers will be difficult, but Michigan should have enough depth to ensure that’s not a devastating absence. A bigger concern against the elite teams in the country would be if Dickinson gets in foul trouble, which would hurt the Wolverines’ interior defense and change the complexion of their offense.
Michigan has the depth and talent to beat any team, even on an off-night, and is clearly a threat to win the title. And don’t forget about the uber-efficient and not talked about enough Franz Wagner, who is so critical on both ends of the floor for the Wolverines. — Matt Trebby
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 the Tigers have been a bit fortunate in regards to opponent’s 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 LSU offense is superb by every measure, but I just don’t think the Tigers can get enough stops against elite teams to make a deep run. — Collin Wilson