LSU vs Kentucky: Betting Odds, Picks, and Predictions (2/23/22)

LSU vs Kentucky Betting Odds

After a dominant start to the season, LSU has fallen off a cliff. The Tigers were 15-1 on Jan. 12 but have won just four of 11 since.

And after a lackluster start to the season, Kentucky has taken off. The Wildcats are now second in KenPom and battling for a one-seed in the Big Dance.

The market reflects this. The ‘Cats are laying over seven points at home against the Tigers in this Wednesday night affair.

But is that too many points for coach Will Wade and the LSU Tigers?

LSU Tigers Odds

What happened to LSU?

Regression.

The Tigers were the nation’s best defense, but they were getting super lucky on the defensive end. While LSU allows the 13th-highest 3-point rate nationally, opponents were making under 25% of those 3-point shots.

But in conference play, that number has jumped to 31%. As more of those perimeter shots have fallen, the losses have come in bunches.

The Tigers are now just 7-7 in conference play after a disastrous loss to South Carolina. The team has also fallen from eighth in KenPom to 18th.

The defense is still good. Wade’s squad will pressure the ball and force turnovers, but the interior defense isn’t as dominant with opponents stretching the floor more.

Offensively, everything will continue to run through Tari Eason and Darius Days. The wings will drive downhill on every possession, and the rest of the roster will crash the offensive glass. It isn’t pretty, but it gets the job done when the defense is dominating.

But the defense hasn’t been as dominant. And therefore, the team has lost more games.

Kentucky Wildcats Odds

Kentucky is good enough to win the whole thing.

The offense is so efficient. The Wildcats pace the SEC in offensive efficiency, effective field goal percentage, offensive turnover rate, and 3-point shooting. The backcourt duo of TyTy Washington and Sahvir Wheeler are elite offensive threats that can shoot or dish.

Meanwhile, Oscar Tshiebwe takes care of everything else. The big man is putting together the greatest rebounding season of all time while also leading the team in scoring. Even when Kentucky can’t get a shot to go down, Tshiebwe is there to pull down the offensive board and get a put-back shot up.

He paces the nation in offensive and defensive rebounding percentages while also posting an ORtg over 123 and a true shooting over 60%. It’s been remarkable to watch.

Kentucky didn’t get a lot of credit early in the season, but the Wildcats have blown through the recent part of their schedule. The Wildcats are now 11-3 in SEC play with their only losses coming to KenPom top-20 teams.

Again, Kentucky is good enough to cut down the nets in March.

LSU vs Kentucky Prediction and Pick

My pick: LSU +7.5 (-110 at BetMGM)

This is too many points.

Kentucky has looked dominant, and it is deserving of laying 7.5 against a Tiger team that’s flailing. But this is a good buy-low spot for the Tigers.

While Kentucky paces the conference in 3-point shooting, the Wildcats want to play offense on the interior – Kentucky is 346th nationally in 3-point rate. LSU loves playing inside the 3-point line, and that will give a slight advantage to the Tigers in that area.

Kentucky has the tools to match up with LSU defensively. But again, this is too many points.

I predict that LSU hangs around within a few possessions in this matchup.

Post
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.

Hot College Basketball Stories

Featured NFL Articles