An SEC battle is on tap for Wednesday night and we’re ready with an Arkansas Razorbacks vs LSU Tigers betting preview.
Arkansas (10-2, 2-2 SEC) and LSU (8-2, 3-1) are both knocking on the door of the Top 25. With Kentucky apparently finding its stride and Alabama and Tennessee playing well, neither team can afford to fall too far behind in the standings.
The Razorbacks are coming off a 99-69 win over Georgia after dropping two straight against Tennessee and Missouri. The Tigers are on a two-game winning streak defeating Georgia and Mississippi after dropping an SEC contest on the road against Florida.
If you’re betting online on this contest, LSU is a 1½-point favorite, with the over/under set at 160½.
Musselman Has Team Buying Into Offensive Style
Eric Musselman’s Nevada Wolfpack teams were known for their efficient offense that made Musselman a household name in college basketball circles. This year’s Arkansas team is 22nd in the nation in efficiency and averaging 88.2 points per game, just the kind of game that can get a team to NCAA March Madness.
The 88.2 points are ranked 10th nationally. Not only are the Razorbacks scoring, but they also average 43.3 rebounds per game, which is seventh in the country.
Freshman Moses Moody is leading the team in scoring at 16.7 points per game. Moody is shooting 40% from behind the arc on 24-of-60 shooting.
JD Notae (15.4), Desi Sills (11.8), Justin Smith (11.6) and Jalen Tate (10.8) are all averaging in double figures for Arkansas. Tate leads the team in assists at 4.8 per game, and Sills leads the team in steals, averaging 1.8 per contest.
Arkansas is ranked 25th by Kenpom. The offense is 22nd in efficiency, and the defense ranks 41st.
LSU Needs to Find Defense
Will Wade’s Tigers are having no problem on offense. LSU is fifth in offensive efficiency and 16th in the country in points per game (85.6).
The problem has been the Tigers’ defense, which ranks 109th in efficiency and is giving up 70 points per game. In its two losses, LSU gave up 85 and 83 to Saint Louis and Florida, respectively.
LSU is making college basketball news by being one of the youngest teams in the nation, with an average experience of 1.08 years. They are led by freshman Cameron Thomas.
Thomas leads the team in scoring at 22.3 points per game. Sophomore Trendon Watford is second in scoring at 17.8, followed by Ja’Vonte Smart at 15.4 points. The other Tiger averaging in double figures is Darius Days at 13.5 per contest.
Smart leads the team in assists (4.1) and steals (1.3). Days is the team’s leading rebounder at 8.1 per game.
Kenpom has LSU ranked 24th overall. The offense ranks fifth in efficiency, while the defense ranks 109th. The Tigers are 17th nationally with an effective field goal percentage of 56.5%.
Free Betting Pick: Arkansas Razorbacks vs LSU Tigers
There will be plenty of offense in this game. These are two of the best offenses in the SEC and the country.
Arkansas loves to push the tempo, while LSU likes to be a little more methodical on offense.
The big difference is that the Razorbacks can play defense, and the Tigers really struggle in that area. Moody should be able to get points at will. Two of the best freshmen in the conference will battle in Moody and Thomas.
Arkansas’ defense will be the difference as it should cover. There is also a good chance the Razorbacks win straight up if you like the moneyline.
LSU has yet to get a win over a Kenpom top 50 team. The over 160½ is also a play to consider when making your college basketball picks with both of these dynamic offenses.
Prediction: Arkansas 83, LSU 81
Arkansas Razorbacks vs LSU Tigers Betting Pick: Arkansas +1½