Don’t be looking for a barrage of 3-pointers in this one as both teams are shooting less than 33% from long distance this season.
Three of the last four times Arkansas played at LSU, the game ended being decided by six points or less.
Arkansas has lost both of its true road games while No. 12 LSU is one of five SEC teams still undefeated at home.
No. 12 LSU (+400) has jumped up to having the third-best odds to win the SEC title trailing only Auburn and Kentucky. Arkansas (+5000) has the ninth-best odds. Eleven teams have better odds to win March Madness than LSU (+3800).
Game: Arkansas (11-5) at Louisiana State (16-1)
Location: Pete Maravich Assembly Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Day/Time: Saturday, January 15, 9 p.m. ET
Arkansas Razorbacks at Louisiana State Tigers
Williams Hitting Stride for Arkansas
JD Notae started the season in impressive fashion with a 30-point effort in Arkansas’ win over Mercer. With Notae lighting it up and Arkansas winning its first nine games, all was well with the Razorbacks. However, as the competitive level increased so did the need for Notae to get some offensive support.
Stanley Umude had 57 points during a recent three-game stretch while Trey Davis has had some strong games. The key recently has been the improved play of Jaylin Williams. He has at least 10 rebounds in each of his last three games including back-to-back double-doubles.
Williams had 13 points and 10 rebounds as Arkansas snapped a three-game losing streak with an emphatic 87-43 win over Missouri. It was the first conference win of the season for the Razorbacks.
Williams averaged 6.8 points and 8.3 rebounds in his first 14 games but is contributing 11.5 points and 10.5 rebounds in the last two contests.
The continued development of Williams will be a huge help for an Arkansas team that already ranks fourth in the SEC in scoring offense. With Arkansas having allowed at least 80 points five times this season including four times in the last six games, the ability of Williams to score and pull down key rebounds will be crucial moving forward.
Arkansas has covered against the college basketball spreads in four of its last six games against LSU.
Eaton Looking to Rebound in More Ways Than One for Louisiana State
Louisiana State’s leading scorer Tari Eason should be well rested for Saturday’s matchup with Arkansas.
Eason played seven minutes before fouling out in Wednesday’s win at Florida. One of the top-scoring reserves in the country had season lows in minutes as well as field goals made and attempted. Eason had scored in double figures in seven consecutive games with four 20-point games during that stretch. However, it was the second time in the last four games that he fouled out.
Other LSU players helped to fill the offensive void without Eason playing for much of the game. The Tigers who lead the country in field-goal percentage defense had their typically impressive showing on that end of the court as they held Florida to 36.4% shooting including 22.6% from three-point range.
Not only was Eason out there for just a short time but third-leading scorer Xavier Pinson missed the Florida game due to a knee injury. LSU coach Will Wade told the media that Pinson is doubtful for Saturday’s game. Pinson had started the first 15 games of the season and was third on the team in scoring with an average of 10.9 points per game. Pinson is one of two LSU players with more than 30 steals so his absence is felt on both ends of the court.
Will Wade says G Xavier Pinson doubtful for Arkansas game. “He’s running so we’ll see tomorrow. But I’d be surprised.” #LSU
— Scott Rabalais (@RabalaisAdv) January 14, 2022
LSU won’t continue to win games with Eason playing fewer than 10 minutes.
Eason, a transfer from Cincinnati, has been a revelation coming off the bench as he is averaging 15.5 points and 7.2 rebounds in just 23.3 minutes per game. He averaged only 7.3 points as a freshman for the Bearcats and has gone from shooting 46.2% to 53%. Don’t be surprised to see him bounce back in a major way as he had 19 and 20 points in the games immediately following his previous outings when he failed to hit double digits in points.
LSU has covered against the Las Vegas odds in 13 of its last 16 games.
LSU’s Dominating Defense looks To Slow Arkansas
LSU leads the country in steals averaging 12.3 per game.
One of the big question marks for Arkansas is the availability of junior forward Kamani Johnson who was limited to nine minutes in the win over Missouri due to an ankle injury.
LSU enters the game second in the SEC in rebounding so not having Johnson could make rebounding even more challenging for the Razorbacks.
The total has gone over in eight of Arkansas’ last 10 games and in each of the last five road games although those trends could be in jeopardy against a stifling LSU defense.
The Tigers have seen 12 of their last 14 games go under the total and for those who bet online, this game could very well head in that direction.