The No. 9 Tennesee Volunteers dropped their first game in SEC play last Saturday, to Kentucky, but they rebounded with a win over Mississippi State, 70-59 on Tuesday to get to 15-3 (5-1). The LSU Tigers have lost five straight in conference play and have had serious trouble scoring.
Rick Barnes’ team is a legitimate title contender this season and on paper should have no problem with 12-6 (1-5) LSU today, but for a team that’s built on the defensive end of the floor to cover a double-digit spread could be a challenge. Let’s check out those odds and see where the value is in this one.
Tennessee vs. LSU odds, spread and total
Tennessee vs. LSU prediction and pick
The Vols are stellar on the defensive end, they’re No. 1 in defensive efficiency, No. 2 in points allowed, and No. 1 in opponent field goal percentage and three point percentage. They just do not let opposing teams score, simple as that. Even when Kentucky beat them last week, they only gave up 63 points, the Vols just went cold shooting from the outside. In LSU’s last four games they scored 49, 66, 56, and 56 points, so even against opponents that aren’t the best defensive teams in the nation, they struggle to score. The Tigers are 194th in offensive efficiency according to KenPom
The pace of play won’t be blistering either. LSU is 243rd in possessions per game and Tennessee is 211th. Unless the Vols shoot the lights out it’ll likely go to the under and that’ll make it tough for Tennessee to cover a double digit spread.
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