Arkansas vs. LSU Predictions, Picks, and NCAAB Odds (12/28/22)

As conference play begins to get going in college basketball, an SEC rivalry game goes underway on the 28th between the Arkansas Razorbacks and the LSU Tigers.  Arkansas currently ranks ninth in the country and are one of the hottest teams right now.  They are 11-1 at the moment with their only loss coming to ranked Creighton in a thriller at the Jim Maui Invitational.  They fell 80-77.  They have not suffered much competition other than that game but this matchup against LSU will be their first meeting of an opposing SEC team as they campaign for a conference championship.

LSU enters this game unranked but they have gotten off to a surprising 11-1 start.  The Tigers have a brand new head coach this year in Matt McMahon after the firing of Will Wade last season amidst numerous scandal allegations involving recruiting.  McMahon is looking to rebuild this program in a better light and this 11-1 start certainly is helping to give them momentum entering the SEC season.  Their one loss came to Kansas State by 2 points 61-59.  Can they show their toughness and start their SEC season with a top ten win?  Let’s jump into this game’s picks and predictions.

Arkansas vs. LSU Betting Odds

The betting lines for this game are still not published just yet with the game tipping off tomorrow.  This game is a home for the Tigers but Arkansas will most likely enter this game as the favorites being a top-ten team and LSU being unranked.  Looking at Kenpom’s analytical rankings as well, Arkansas ranks 9th and LSU ranks 78th.  LSU being ranked 78th in Kenpom despite having only one loss implies their record may be better than they actually are.  The spread line, if I had to guess, would be located around seven or eight points in Arkansas’ favor.  ESPN Analytics gives Arkansas a 65.1% chance to win this game.  An expected projection but 65 percent isn’t the largest considering the difference in rankings.  Makes you expect that the home crowd of LSU should help them.

The over/under total is not published yet either but we can project based on these two teams’ scoring averages.  Arkansas currently averages 79.4 PPG and 73 PPG.  I would expect the line to be placed around 140 total.

Arkansas vs. LSU Picks & Predictions

My Pick: Arkansas ML

I think Arkansas is one of the best teams in the country and will surely make a deep run in the tournament this year.  I don’t think they should have any problems getting their first SEC win of the year against LSU.  I would probably take a spread line too if one was posted but since not I know I can take Arkansas to win in certainty.  Arkansas currently has four players averaging double digits in scoring with Ricky Council IV, Nick Smith, Anthony Black, and Trevon Brazile.  The addition of five-star recruit Jordan Walsh alongside Smith, has really helped Arkansas’ bring in a lot of young talent that will keep this team going with a deep bench.  LSU only has two players averaging double digits in scoring but KJ Williams has really been a special player for the Tigers so far.  He is averaging 19.3 points and 8.3 rebounds and is the team’s leading scorer and rebounder.  He will need to have a big game in this one to keep LSU in the game against this deep Arkansas squad.

As for the over/under, I expect it to land somewhere around the 140 line that I projected.  These have similar points allowed averages.  Arkansas allows 61.9 PPG defensively and LSU allows 63.9.

Key Matchup

Ricky Council IV vs. LSU

The biggest matchup in this game will be how Arkansas’ best player Ricky Council IV plays against this LSU defense.  Council currently averages 18.3 PPG and is shooting 51.6% in FG percentage.  He is a great guard for the Razorbacks and great at getting to the rim.  He only shoots 30% from 3-point range however, so if LSU can keep him from driving inside and shooting out, that could be the best way to slow him down offensively. 

Jack is a Hoosier by birth and Hoosier by alum. Full of hot takes but sharper predictions. Residing now in the Chicago area. When he's not chowing down on deep dish pizza and Italian beef, he's watching and betting sports. Junkie for everything CBB, NBA, NFL, CFB, and MLB. Here to feed you a system to follow that might even be better than the one Tom Brady was gifted his whole career.

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