Mississippi State and
LSU resume their longtime rivalry tonight when they collide in Starkville. Tip-off
is 8:00 PM ET at Humphrey Coliseum. LSU is a paltry 6-19 straight up in their
25 on the road but can they cover the spread?
The NCAA basketball
odds opened with the Bulldogs favored by -8.5 points but the spread has gone to 9 and the total now at 133.
LSU (12-7 SU, 2-3 SEC) will be playing its fourth road game in 15 days and the wear and tear is starting
to show. They’re coming off a 76-64 loss to Florida on Saturday, their third
setback in four outings. Junior center Justin Hamilton was the lone bright spot
against the Gators scoring 27 points on 11 of 22 shooting to raise his team
leading average to 14.1 points and bump up his SEC best scoring average to 19.3
points per game. He’s also shooting 53.9 percent from the field in his past six
The Tigers return
to the site of one of their biggest victories of last season. LSU broke a
10-game losing streak with an 84-82 victory at Starkville last Feb. 23.
Mississippi State (16-4 SU, 3-2 SEC) is coming off a 78-77 overtime victory over Vanderbilt on Saturday. MSU
rallied from a 13-point de?cit then had to hang on after blowing a 10-point
lead in the second half. Dee Bost ?nished with a game high 24 points while
Arnett Moultrie added 21. Both players are now averaging 16.4 points per game
and Moultrie leads the SEC in rebounding at 11.2 boards per game and in double
doubles with 11.
LSU has held 12
opponents under 60 points this season, winning 11 of those games. In Trent
Johnson’s four years at LSU, the Tigers are 19-2 when scoring more than 80
The Tigers are
averaging 67.0 points per game and are allowing 61.5. The Tigers are averaging seventh
in the SEC with an average 64.6 ppg but are third in the league in scoring
Trent Johnson, with
two strong back-to-back recruiting classes on board, enters his fourth season
as the head coach of the LSU Tigers in 2011-12.
In his first season
at Baton Rouge, Johnson led the Tigers to 27 wins, tied for the third most victories
in a season in LSU history. The Tigers won the SEC regular season championship
with a record of 13-3 and returned to the NCAA Tournament for the first time
since 2006, advancing to the second round before falling 84-70 to North
Johnson was also
head coach at Nevada where he compiled a 79-74 overall and at Stanford where he
had a record of 80-47. His Cardinal team advanced to postseason each of his
Rick Stansbury, now
in his 14th year at Mississippi State, has a record of 288-158. He
has guided his teams to 10 postseason appearances including six dances in the
NCAA tournament. Stansbury has won four
out of the last five against the Tigers.
LSU has a 104-95
record against Mississippi State. The teams split their two games a year ago
with the Tigers winning in Starkville (84-82) while MSU won at Baton Rouge
(58-57. The last three games in the series have been decided by a total of four
points with the Bulldogs wining four of the last five.
The Tigers are 6-2
ATS in their last eight road games and 5-2-1 in the last eight series meetings.
In addition the road team is on a streak of 9-4-1 ATS. LSU is 10-6 to the
‘under’ this season and is on a 12-5 run to the low side in its last 17 road
is 12-1 SU at home this season but just 5-7 vs. the number. The Bulldogs are
averaging 74.8 ppg at Humphrey Coliseum compared to the Tigers 60.1 ppg scoring
average on the road.
Take: I’ll take LSU and the points in my NCAA basketball picks for today. These teams have been playing them close
in the recent series meetings and I like that trend to continue tonight.