NCAAB LSU Vs. Kentucky Odds, Picks, Predictions (1/3/23)

I’m not sure if there is a game in this college basketball slate that has two teams that are playing wildly against their true expectations. Kentucky came into the season with real championship potential but has now suffered four losses behind an anemic style of play. LSU on the other hand is grossly over performing, ranking first in the SEC yet has eye opening metrics that do not support it. Can LSU prove they are for real with a massive win over the Wildcats? Get LSU Vs. Kentucky predictions, picks, and odds. 

LSU Vs. Kentucky Odds

Oddsmakers don’t think so, opening the Tigers as a +10.5 underdog. Bettors have slightly backed them on the high number, taking them down to +10 as of writing. This is an easy pass for me as both units have played at far contrasting levels throughout their season and have way too much variance to confidently back either unit at covering the number. Especially on the LSU offensive end, a metric that has fallen off a cliff.

Speaking of offensive production, oddsmakers believe points will be scored at a moderate pace as they opened the total at 137.5. Bettors have been quick to back the under, taking this down to 136.5 in some shops with indication of it trending more downwards. While each team’s offense has been in the midst of a roller coaster of production levels, their defense has fared far better and a lot more consistent, giving value to the under.

LSU Vs. Kentucky Prediction & Pick

The Pick: Under 137

With that said, I will take the under at no lower than 136 as I will back the more consistent theme to this matchup. It’s no secret that Kentucky has not lived up to their expectations at this point of the season with all their star power as head coach John Calipari has made questionable lineup decisions while searching for offensive consistently. They still rank very highly in adjusted efficiency, currently ranked 19th in AdjO per Kenpom but have been prone to lulls at critical moments.

This plays nicely towards our under as Kentucky is the true scoring threat in this matchup yet can’t find consistency. Even better, they play at a slower pace than normal while ranking well below average in Tempo. That means when they go into their typical lulls, they are going long stretches at a time as they have geared towards a slow and methodical type of approach.

The LSU Tigers defense will do them no favors in the scoring department, ranking 58th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency. Their defense has been their sole bright spot to their early season success. They excel at guarding the perimeter with their length and athleticism and will force the Wildcats into low quality looks from deep. An area that the Wildcats have excelled in by shooting 39% as a unit.

While reeling against the high-powered Missouri offense, the Kentucky defense is still formidable and will be poised to bounce back. They took care of the lowly Louisville offense and get another anemic scoring unit on deck with LSU. The Tigers offense has been the bane of their own existence and a reason why they are not thought of as a serious contender even though they are 12-1. LSU currently ranks 102nd in AdjO.

LSU Vs. Kentucky Key Matchups

Who will win the battle down low as both teams leading scorer?

Oscar Tshiebwe vs KJ Williams

This is one of the most exciting matchups for today as we get to witness a battle of some of the best big men in basketball. Both teams have looked at them as the main catalyst for their offense with both providing leading scorer efforts. Tshiebwe averages 16.5 ppg while Williams brings in 18.5.

Not only are they consistent scoring threats, but they are both terrific defenders and rebounders in their own right. This is much needed as they can potentially negate each other’s production and halt the scoring efforts to a much slower pace. 

This will be more detrimental to LSU as they lack a variety of secondary scoring. Other than Adam Miller, no one else averages double figures in scoring.

Verdict

With the Kentucky offense being prone to scoring lulls behind inconsistent play and the LSU defense being more than capable of stalling them out, I will take the under at no lower than 136 in what will be a defensive slugfest.

Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. He specializes in college sports as well as the NFL and NBA. He won’t quit believing in the Lions Super Bowl chances even when they are eliminated.

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