LSU Tigers vs. Auburn Tigers Pick 2/8/20

by | Feb 8, 2020 | cbb

LSU Tigers (17-5 SU, 10-11-1 ATS) vs. Auburn Tigers (20-2 SU, 11-11 ATS)

When: Saturday, February 8, Noon

Where: Auburn Arena, Auburn, Ala.

TV: ESPN

Point Spread: LSU +5.5/AUB -5.5 (Best Basketball Lines)

Total: O/U 154

Last Time Out:

LSU lost 99-90 to Vanderbilt; Auburn beat Arkansas 79-76 in overtime.

Scouting the Tigers:

This game might be the biggest sign of how ridiculous this college basketball season has been: LSU holds an 8-1 record in the SEC. The one loss was Vanderbilt, which had lost 26 conference games in a row prior to upsetting the Bayou Bengals on Wednesday. LSU managed to lose to the Commodores because its defense was simply appalling, as Vanderbilt shot 57.4 percent from the field in its crazy gym. So now, rather than having a chance to put away the SEC race, the Tigers will instead find themselves in a battle for first place against the other Tigers, with Auburn now just one game behind LSU.

But is LSU legitimate, or is it a product of a rather weak SEC schedule? To date, the Bayou Bengals haven’t played Kentucky or Auburn, and every tough opponent they’ve played in the league has come to Baton Rouge. The Tigers have home wins over Arkansas, Mississippi State, Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi. But, their road wins came at Tennessee, Mississippi, and Texas A&M, none of whom are likely to be anywhere near the mix for an NCAA tournament bid (except maybe Tennessee if everything breaks the Volunteers’ way). Skylar Mays and Javonte Smart know how to score, but this isn’t necessarily a team that plays great defense, and it’s very reasonable to question a team that lost by double digits to East Tennessee State at home. Granted, East Tennessee State is probably the best team in the state of Tennessee this season now that Memphis appears to be falling to pieces, but still, no excuse for losing by double digits to the Buccaneers when you’re an SEC squad.

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Scouting the Tigers:

Close shave, thy name is Auburn. The orange-and-blue Tigers are making a habit out of doing just enough to get the job done, having beaten Iowa State by four, going to overtime at Arkansas, and needing double overtime at Mississippi. But they’ve kept winning, and other than trips to Alabama and Florida, they’ve done nothing but win all season. Samir Doughty has taken a large step forward as Auburn’s scoring leader, while Isaac Okoro provides a solid inside game that gives Bruce Pearl a pair of solid options to build his depth around. The Tigers have had to work for their past few wins, but they’ve kept finding a way.

However, the one concern that exists with Auburn is how well it can take care of the basketball. A lot of teams turn it over against Arkansas, but 18 miscues are far too many to expect to win. Auburn got away with it, but that won’t happen every time.

X-Factor:

The boards. Both of these teams are excellent on the glass and can easily take over the game by outmuscling the opponent down low. That means second-chance points are going to make a big difference in which team ends up building a lead. For its part, LSU has to avoid getting any of Emmitt Williams, Trendon Watford, and Darius Days in serious foul trouble. Auburn has a true center in Austin Wiley to man the paint and deal with the LSU forwards, which could throw the Bayou Bengals off their game if they have to play shorthanded.

LSU will Cover if:

The Bayou Bengals can keep the Auburn shooters from finding space. Vanderbilt got pretty much any shot it wanted, and that’s a recipe for disaster against an Auburn team that managed to pull out a 12-1 run against Arkansas’ ravenous defense in Fayetteville. If the orange-and-blue Tigers could do that to the Razorbacks, who play excellent defense, they’ll light up the scoreboard against a team that plays no defense. LSU has to play much better than it did in Nashville to have a chance.

Auburn will Cover if:

The orange-and-blue Tigers can wear down the Bayou Bengals with their depth. LSU is quite simply not a deep team. The five LSU starters average 67.2 of the team’s 80.2 points, and all of them play at least 25 minutes a game. Auburn substitutes far more frequently than LSU and is likely to be the fresher team at the end of the game, especially if Watford or Williams find themselves in foul trouble. LSU doesn’t really have any depth at the forward position, so losing either player would be devastating.

Dan’s Pick to Cover the Spread:

Auburn has looked incredible at home for most of the year, and LSU has shown me nothing to suggest that it’s capable of going into the home of an NCAA tournament team and getting a win. All three of LSU’s Quad 1 wins have come at Baton Rouge, and while Auburn only has one Quad 1 win away from home (at Mississippi State), Auburn’s the team that gets to play at home, where it looked very good against Kentucky last week.

The intensity should be there again as Auburn goes for first place in the SEC. LSU is reeling right now, and I don’t like the Bayou Bengals’ lack of depth in this matchup. I’ve got to go with Aubuorn. Where are you betting your college basketball picks? Does your sportsbook offer you the ability to wager a discounted odds -105? If not, you should SERIOUSLY consider making the switch! It’ll save you TONS of money risking $5 less every time you bet to win $100! Find this wise money saving offer at BetAnySports!

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