The Alabama-LSU matchup won’t be for the faint of heart. LSU ranks second and Alabama fourth in the SEC in rebounding and are also among the conference leaders in offensive rebounds per game.
Alabama has defeated LSU four straight times, although in the last meeting LSU covered as a six-point underdog in an 80-79 loss. Alabama has won five of the last six meetings when playing at home.
The Crimson Tide have won seven straight games against LSU when scoring at least 80 points, although it should be noted that the Tigers have allowed more the 67 points in any game this season.
No. 13 LSU came into the season with just the sixth-best odds to win the SEC title.
- Game: Louisiana State (15-2) at Alabama (11-6)
- Location: Coleman Coliseum, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
- Day/Time: Wednesday, 7 p.m. ET
- Television: ESPN2
Louisiana State Tigers at Alabama Crimson Tide
LSU Eyeing Rebound After Rare Home Loss
It was looking as if the Louisiana State Tigers would be heading into back-to-back road games with yet another victory at home, but visiting Arkansas scored 17 of the final 19 points to snap LSU’s 13-game home winning streak.
The Tigers were outrebounded by 10, missed six free throws and had some costly turnovers. Those are things that will result in defeat in almost any level of basketball
“We turned the ball over and got outrebounded,” LSU coach Will Wade said after the game. “We missed some free throws. That is going to get you every time. We just weren’t as clean as we needed to be coming down the stretch.”
If there was a positive in the game, it was that LSU’s reserves combined for 30 points with Tari Eason and Alex Fudge scoring 13 points each. Scoring in bunches is nothing new for Eason, the leading scorer for the Tigers despite starting only one game, but it was just the third double-digit scoring game for Fudge. Fudge had scored a total of 12 points in the previous four games combined, so if he can continue to provide offense off the bench, that would be huge for the Tigers.
Fudge and Eason almost did enough to make up for the fact that only one LSU starter scored in double figures.
The Tigers have played just three true road games and won two of them. With three of the next four games on the road, this is a key stretch for an LSU team looking to remain in contention for the SEC regular-season title.
LSU is 8-2 against the Las Vegas odds in its last 10 games against SEC teams.
Alabama needs a better finishing kick
Alabama came into the season as one of the favorites to challenge Kentucky for the SEC title. There’s a chance that could still happen but the Crimson Tide will need to get better results in tight games.
Alabama is 3-5 in contests decided by six points or less and 1-2 in one-possession games.
The Crimson Tide were ranked 10th nationally before a one-point loss to Davidson on Dec. 21 sent them tumbling down the polls and finally out of the Top 25. The last time out, Alabama led by four at halftime in a game at Mississippi State and was up by five midway through the second half before the Bulldogs used a 12-4 run to assume control.
Keon Eillis’ three-point shot with one second left was no good as Mississippi State held on for the two-point win. It didn’t help that Alabama, typically one of the better rebounding teams in the SEC, allowed Mississippi State to outrebound the Crimson Tide by 11 and were plus-five in offensive rebounds.
Alabama has lost its last three games by a combined total of 12 points and the Crimson Tide are hoping that a return home will help them get back to their winning ways from earlier in the season.
“I thought rebounding was a big difference down the stretch,” Alabama coach Nate Oats said after the loss to Mississippi State. “We were down by one rebound at the under-eight media timeout and then after that, we got outrebounded by 12.
“It’s hard to win a game when they are getting half of their missed shots. We have to have guys step up there and get a rebound. I think they had four O-boards in one possession. We need to have some toughness about us and we need it for 40 minutes. We have to start playing better, especially on the tough stuff.”
Alabama is 1-8 against the college basketball spreads in its last nine games.
Could Pinson Return for LSU?
Xavier Pinson, who leads Louisiana State in assists and is one of three Tigers to average more than 10 points, has a chance to return. He is considered a game-time decision. Also one of the best LSU players on the defensive end, he has been missed on both ends of the court.
After missing the past two games with a sprained knee and bone bruise, LSU point guard Xavier Pinson will be a game-time decision for Wednesday night’s matchup with Alabama.
Pinson ranks third on the team in scoring at 10.9 points a game: https://t.co/qdsfQRX6IK
— The Advocate (@theadvocatebr) January 18, 2022
Something to consider for those who bet online, Alabama has covered in nine of the last 13 games against LSU. The Crimson Tide have won 17 of their last 18 home games.
LSU leads the country in field goal percentage defense and steals per game while ranking fifth in scoring defense. The Tigers are hard to score on both home and away, so this game could be trending in the direction of going under the 150-point total.
It is no surprise that 13 of LSU’s last 15 games have gone under the total.