Texas Tech vs. LSU College Basketball Odds & Pick: How to Bet Saturday’s SEC/Big 12 Showdown
John E. Moore III/Getty Images. Pictured: Mac McClung.
- Chris Beard's Texas Tech Red Raiders have the pleasure of facing Will Wade's LSU Tigers in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Saturday.
- Both teams suffered tough losses recently, and a win could get them back on the right track ahead of conference tournament season.
- Pat McMahon breaks down the game and explains why he likes the under below.
Texas Tech vs. LSU Odds
|Texas Tech Odds|
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Saturday’s SEC/Big 12 Challenge treats college hoops fans to a great slate of basketball. Texas Tech heads to Baton Rouge to take on the LSU Tigers in one of the challenge’s most intriguing matchups of the day.
After losing a pair of games to Alabama and Kentucky last week, LSU rebounded with a road win at Texas A&M. The Tigers (11-4, 6-3 SEC) are having a solid season but lack a signature win.
Knocking off the Red Raiders at home would be a huge boost to their tournament resume.
The 10th-ranked Red Raiders (11-5, 4-4 Big 12) are looking to bounce back from a heartbreaking one-point loss to West Virginia on Monday.
The Red Raiders got caught up in a fast-paced game and surrendered a late lead before eventually falling after a Miles McBride game-winner with 5.9 seconds left.
They aren’t necessarily in any danger of missing the tournament but would like to avoid another loss before resuming Big 12 play.
When LSU has the ball
The Tigers have one of the most dynamic offenses in college basketball.
They’re led by freshman guard Cam Thomas (22.1 ppg), a pure scorer who can fill it up in a variety of ways.
Three other Tigers average double figures, and they’re putting up a shade under 84 points per game as a team while ranking sixth in offensive efficiency, per KenPom.
Their offensive production has done wonders for over bettors as of late, as five straight and seven of the last eight LSU games have gone over the total.
As good as this LSU offense is playing, it may meet its match on Saturday against a stout Texas Tech defense.
The Red Raiders surrender just 61.7 points per game and boast the 14th-most efficient defense in the nation.
Chris Beard’s squad applies the right amount of pressure while staying disciplined in their assignments, making it difficult for the opposition to get clean looks in the half-court. It also ranks among the nation’s best at forcing turnovers, causing 17.6 per game.
LSU’s 3-point shooting will play a huge factor in this game.
Interestingly enough, the Tigers are 34% from 3 on the season, while the Red Raiders allow exactly 34%.
The Tigers have been very streaky from the outside this year. This is true for Thomas especially, who far and away has the most attempts from distance with 118 but has only converted on 28% of those shots.
One of the main reasons Texas Tech lost on Monday was because West Virginia got hot from 3, hitting 12 of its 19 attempts (63.2%).
You can bet Beard emphasized defending the 3-point line all week in practice, and it’d be a surprise to see the Red Raiders allow such a high percentage in back-to-back games.
When Texas Tech has the ball
The Red Raiders play a much different style of offense than the Tigers, but it’s been nearly as effective.
They take their time on offense (272nd in pace) and don’t shoot as many 3s as LSU, but they’re still clicking. Texas Tech ranks 23rd in offensive efficiency and scores 75.5 points per game. Like the Tigers, the Red Raiders have been on an over tear, with six of their last seven games eclipsing the total.
Georgetown transfer Mac McClung has been a blessing for the Red Raiders’ offense, especially with the surprise early departure of point guard Davide Moretti in the offseason.
McClung averages a team-best 17.2 points per game on 44% shooting from the floor and 35.4% from 3. They’re pretty balanced after McClung, with four other players averaging between 8.9 and 12.9 points per game.
The one area they could improve upon is outside shooting.
The Red Raiders are mediocre as a team from distance (33.3%), with no one outside of McClung or Kyler Edwards proving to be a consistent threat from deep. This is a concern heading into Baton Rouge, as defending the 3-point line is the strength of the LSU defense.
Besides getting blasted by Alabama from beyond the arc, the Tigers have done a good job of keeping teams in check from distance in SEC play.
Knowing they only really have to key in on McClung and Edwards from the outside, expect LSU to pack it in on the rest of the team and make it difficult for the Red Raiders to score in the paint.
Terrence Shannon Jr., a strong inside/outside scorer, will be a huge key in this game. He’s just 31.7% from deep on the season, but if he can knock down some jumpers, it will open up a lot of options for the Texas Tech offense.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Beard is one of the best coaches in the sport and knows how and when to make adjustments. I think the biggest adjustment he makes from the West Virginia game is ensuring that his team controls the pace.
The game got away from the Red Raiders in the second when the Mountaineers’ press sped them up, and they were playing much faster than they’re used to.
Look for the Tech offense to make it a point to take its time and use the majority of the shot clock. Defensively, the Raiders will guard the 3-point line tight and try to slow the Tigers down and take Thomas out of his game.
I don’t have a lot of confidence in either team getting hot from 3.
Both teams are inconsistent from downtown and lack a plethora of options, and they both defend the perimeter with plenty of success. There’s a strong chance both sides struggle from the outside, which would do wonders for the under.
It’s scary to step in front of the over train that both teams have been riding, but I envision a script and game plan from Beard that will keep this game in the low 70s.
Pick: Under 151 (Down to 150).