LSU vs Arkansas: Betting Odds, Picks, and Predictions (3/11/22)

LSU vs Arkansas Betting Odds

The SEC tournament is war.

It might be the second-toughest tournament to play in outside of the Big 12 tournament. The SEC has no shortage of tough teams with good defenses and offensive stars.

Tonight, we’ll get two of those teams.

Of course, LSU has been trending down while Arkansas has been trending up. The Tigers finished the regular season just 6-9 after starting 15-1. Meanwhile, the Hogs won 13 of their final 15 games.

But this game means more than just the regular season. It’s the SEC tournament and a semi-final matchup with Auburn is on the line.

Who has the edge?

LSU Tigers Odds

LSU’s defense saw major regression in the regular season. Mostly because the Tigers were getting very lucky with the opponent’s 3-point shooting.

Once that luck ran out, the losses came coming.

Maybe the more concerning thing is just how inefficient the offense has become. Will Wade runs an interior-based offense that works through wings Darius Days and Tari Eason. And while those guys can hoop, LSU has fallen to 12th in the SEC offensive efficiency and dead last in offensive turnover rate.

But the latter is where LSU thrives defensively. The Tigers are first in the conference in defensive turnover rate and one of the top teams nationally.

But they’ve still been poor rebounding, poor on interior defense, and lead the conference in 3-point defense and free-throw defense. The final two stats are still begging for regression.

I’m simply not a believer in LSU, and I will likely be fading them in the tournament. The Tigers are projected as high as a five-seed.

Arkansas Razorbacks Odds

While LSU was seeing regression, Arkansas swooped in and stole the defensive crown.

Arkansas finished the season tops in the SEC in defensive efficiency. The Hogs perimeter defense thrived, specifically dominating in ball-screen sets and on catch-and-shoot/off-the-dribble 3s. The Hogs also finished first in the conference in transition defensive efficiency, per ShotQuality.

The Hogs won a lot of close games down the stretch, and eventually dropped the season-finale to Tennessee. But nothing can take away from what Eric Musselman and co. accomplished once the calendar flipped to January.

And nothing can take away from what JD Notae did. He dropped 30 three different times this season, finishing the season with 19 points per game in total. He was awesome shooting the ball but was just as effective driving or dishing.

His efficiency struggled slightly, but he was the highest-usage player in the SEC. There weren’t any other true bucket getters on the squad, so he was super important.

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LSU vs Arkansas Prediction and Pick

This line feels low.

I don’t see an area where LSU has an advantage. Arkansas doesn’t turn the ball over and takes the majority of its shots from inside the arc. But when the Hogs do step behind the line, Notae is going to make LSU feel that negative regression.

Meanwhile, LSU’s offense won’t be able to get anything against the best defense in the conference. Especially one that matches up so well with LSU’s wings.

I actually took a future out on Arkansas to win this tournament. So, I’ll be betting them to win this game considerably.

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Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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