LSU vs. Florida: Betting Odds, Picks, and Predictions (1/12/22)

LSU vs. Florida Betting Odds

As SEC play rolls on, the LSU Tigers (14-1) are traveling to Gainesville to play the Florida Gators (9-5).

LSU has been tripped up just once this season, in a road game against Auburn. Otherwise, the best defense in the nation has blown through everything in its path.

Meanwhile, Florida has been quietly solid. Highlights include wins over Florida State and Ohio State. Although the Gators are now 0-2 in conference play.

LSU has opened as a short road favorite, although the line has already been bumped down from LSU -2.5. to LSU -1.5.

Does that give the edge to the Gators as home underdogs?
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LSU Tigers Odds

The Tiger defense is absurd. Likely the best statistical defense I’ve seen in mid-January.

Here’s where LSU ranks in the most important statistical categories:

  • First in adjusted defensive efficiency
  • Third in defensive effective field goal percentage
  • Sixth in defensive turnover rate
  • Ninth in 3-point defense
  • Eighth in 3-point defense
  • Fourth in block rate
  • First in steal rate
  • First in half-court points per possession allowed
  • First in transition points per possession allowed
  • First in post-up points per possession allowed
  • First in pick-and-roll points per possession allowed

When the Tigers take away all those scoring options, where can opposing offenses find points?

There are only two places: Spot-up shooting and the free-throw line.

The Tigers are sub-350 in 3-point rate allowed, but only because they take away everything else. However, the Tigers are sub-80 in spot-up points per possession allowed, meaning there are cracks in the armor there.

The Tigers are also 226th in opponent free-throw rate. LSU often gets into foul trouble, and the team’s been bailed out so far – those opponents are making just 63% of those free-throw shots, good for third lowest nationally. There will be some regression coming in that area.

Offensively, everything runs through the wings. Tari Eason and Darius Days are combining for over 30 points per game, mostly through downhill drives as Will Wade’s offense is very interior-oriented.
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Florida Gators Odds

The Gators got hot at the beginning of this season. Collin Castleton was leading a team that could force turnovers on defense and out-run you on offense.

The Gators can still do that. Florida is top-20 in defensive turnover rate, top-30 in offensive rebounding rate, and top-40 in average length of possession.

However, it hasn’t been working of late. After going undefeated in November, the Gators are just 3-5 since December 1st.

So, what’s going on with the Gators?

I’m not entirely sure. Florida’s transition numbers are down, but otherwise, it seems the team is just getting outworked on both ends of the floor and in the stat sheet.

Castleton continues to drop 15/10 per game on high efficiency and incredibly high usage, as his 30.1 possession% ranks 53rd among all Division-I basketball players.

LSU vs. Florida Prediction and Pick

My pick: LSU -1.5 (-110 at BetMGM)

It hurts me to bet a road favorite. But the Tigers are now an astonishing 12-2 against the spread when laying points this season, and they’re facing a Gator team that’s failed to cover in six of their last 10.

Florida may be regressing into a middling SEC team. Plus, the Gators are in a severe mismatch in this one. Florida will try and get the ball down low to Castleton, but it will be doing so against the best interior defense in the nation.

If the Gators don’t get hot from deep, I’m not sure if they can compete. LSU’s offense is no juggernaut, but Florida’s interior defense is a weakness (176th in 2-point defense).

I’ll lay the points with LSU, up to -2.5.

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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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