It was only a matter of time until the LSU Tigers would fall back to reality. After cruising to an early impressive winning record, they have now dropped three in a row with losses to Kentucky, Texas AM, and Florida. As for the Crimson Tide, they are coming off an impressive win against the Arkansas Razorbacks. They held a slight lead throughout the game before nailing the last nail in the coffin with an offensive explosion. Can they continue their SEC dominance?
LSU Vs. Alabama Odds
Oddsmakers certainly think so as they opened the Crimson Tide as -14 favorites. Bettors were quick to back Alabama, taking them up to as high as -15 as of writing. This comes as no surprise as Alabama’s metrics back up their level of success and are far more efficient on both ends of the court.
As for the total, points are expected to be scored at a quick pace as oddsmakers opened the number at 147. Bettors have slightly leaned towards the over as well, taking it up to 147.5 as of writing. With a fast-paced matchup as the game script, this opens scoring opportunities for both units to help clear this over.
LSU Vs. Alabama Prediction & Pick
The Pick: Alabama -14
LSU’s fall from grace came as no surprise as their metrics have not backed up their success whatsoever. They were one of the luckiest teams in basketball as they started off 12-1, yet their efficiency ranks have been average at best during the span of that run. Especially on the offensive end, ranking a lowly 121st in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency per Kenpom.
Their pedestrian offensive metrics stems from their lack of diverse scoring as the Tigers currently only have two players in double digit figures while playing nine players meaningful minutes. When either KJ Williams or Adam Miller are unable to find their groove, then their offense falls apart as they do not shoot at an efficient enough rate from their secondary scorers to keep pace with more high-powered opposing offenses.
Offensive success may be tough to come by once again as Alabama has been a sneaky great defensive unit. An area that plagued their success last season, making them a “paper tiger” that could be beaten by anyone should their shots not fall. This year is different as the Crimson Tide currently rank top-10 in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency per Kenpom.
This is especially impressive as the Tide want to turn every game into a track meet with their blistering pace of play. While that normally leaves teams more vulnerable to get beaten to the basket through transition, the Tide have excelled at halting opposing movement and forcing them into mistakes with Havoc. Alabama currently ranks third in Adjusted Tempo.
With the Tigers featuring little to no diverse scoring, Alabama should have no issue in limiting the Tigers transitional offense. They can shift more of their focus on Williams and Miller, forcing others to beat them which has been proven ineffective as of late. If Alabama can start out hot, then they may set a scoring pace that the Tigers cannot keep up with.
LSU Vs. Alabama Key Matchups
Can Alabama’s one-two punch continue to lead their offense to victory?
Brandon Miller and Mark Sears vs LSU defense
Alabama’s offense this season has been no different than what we saw in the past, getting out to a blistering pace that makes opposing defenses uncomfortable while burying them from deep. Leading the charge this year? Brandon Miller and Mark Sears.
They have been lethal as the Tide’s leading scorers, averaging a combined 34.2 points per game with effective shooting all over the floor. Both players are averaging over 40% from the field while hitting at over 40% from the perimeter as well.
LSU’s defense has fared far better than their offense, ranking 76th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency. The issue is that they want to play at a slow pace, being uncomfortable with a fast pace style of play. Prone to open looks at the perimeter in transition, this plays right into the Tide’s hands as they will want to run away with this one in a flash.
Back the Crimson Tide in their attempt to make the Tigers uncomfortable throughout the course of the game with their up-tempo style of play. LSU does not have enough scoring diversity to keep up with Alabama while also being prone to open perimeter looks which the Tide can capitalize on.