LSU vs Tennessee: Betting Odds, Picks, and Predictions (1/22/22)

LSU vs Tennessee Betting Odds

All the regression we’ve expected from LSU has finally arrived. The previously undefeated Tigers have dropped three of their last six games, including their last two straight.

Meanwhile, Tennessee’s “vaunted” defense continues to underperform in big moments. The Vols are now 2-5 in Quad 1 opportunities this season, and they have also dropped three of their last six games.

Both teams sit at 3-3 in SEC play, and this game could mean a ton as we approach March. However, LSU already has the edge in this season’s series, winning the first game in Baton Rouge by double-digits.

But that was weeks ago. Which team has the edge this Saturday?

LSU Tigers Odds

The story for the Tigers has been the same all season.

Offensively, Will Wade runs an interior-based offense that runs through his two main wings in Darius Days and Tari Eason. However, Xavier Pinson has been unavailable for three games now, which has halted the Tigers’ offense just a bit.

Pinson is a double-digit scorer but he’s more effective as a floor general. Pinson’s 85.1 assist rate is 85th nationally, and it adds up to almost five dimes per game.

LSU also likes to get a lot of scoring done in transition, ranking top-100 nationally in percentage of shots taken in transition. Given Pinson’s ability to run the floor, their efficiency numbers in that area should improve.

Defensively, LSU is aggressive and imposing. The Tigers currently rank:

  • First in defensive efficiency
  • First in effective field goal percentage
  • Fifth in defensive turnover rate
  • First in half-court points per possession allowed

However, that aforementioned regression will come from beyond the arc. The Tigers allow the fifth-highest 3-point rate but opponents are hitting them at just a 26% clip, which is the second-lowest nationally.

Moreover, opponents are hitting just 63.2% of their free throws, which is fourth nationally.

Both numbers are totally unsustainable. And these past few losses have shown that LSU is not totally immortal.

Watch out for more shots to fall against LSU in the future.

Tennessee Volunteers Odds

I’m just so low on Tennessee.

This defense is hyped up every single season, and every year the Vols fail to show up in big moments. Tennessee was second nationally in defensive efficiency last Friday, and then Kentucky dropped 107 points on a 77.7% effective field goal percentage.

Meanwhile, Kennedy Chandler was supposed to come in and transform the offense in Knoxville. Chandler is high usage with a solid assist rate, but he’s got just a 102.5 ORtg and the Vols are 141st in effective field goal percentage.

It is worth mentioning that LSU has been good when they’re supposed to win. The Vols are 9-4 against the spread when favored. But they’re also 0-4 straight up as underdogs.

Unless they can win some games they’re not supposed to, I’m not scared of the Vols come March.

LSU vs Tennessee Prediction and Pick

My pick: LSU +1.5 or better if Darius Days plays

Pinson is getting closer to returning every day, but he’ll likely still be sidelined in this game.

Days is dealing with injuries himself. He’s going to be a game time decision, so I can’t make an accurate handicap of this game without knowledge of his health.

If Wade announces that Days will be playing, I’m hammering LSU. This Volunteer team is completely fraudulent and will continue to fold in big moments. Meanwhile, we can finally buyback on LSU after fading them in two straight losses.

I think LSU pulls off this road win, but I’ll need a few points to justify betting them. If Days is announced out, do not bet this game.

In fact, if that is the case, stay as far away from this game as possible.

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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