Back Favorites with NCAA Basketball Picks in Auburn vs. LSU

Jeff Grant

Thursday, February 5, 2015 1:45 PM GMT

Auburn’s lack of depth has really hurt its first year head coach in SEC play, which provides betting value to LSU as home favorites Thursday night.

Lacking Firepower
Auburn has dropped four games in a row after suffering a 71-63 setback to the Tennessee Volunteers as 8.5-point underdogs last Saturday, which is important to consider when making your NCAA basketball picks, as it enters this week with a 0-7 SU road record.

The Tigers are led by a talented trio offensively, with Cinmeon Bowers, KT Harrell and Antoine Mason accounting for 66.9 percent of the team’s scoring this year.

Bowers is the main player to watch on both end of the floor, as he’s one of just 17 players nationally averaging a double-double.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the squad is 0-8 SU and 3-5 ATS as road underdogs of 9.5 to 12 points.

 

Bouncing Back
LSU had its three-game win streak snapped in dropping a 73-67 decision to the Mississippi State Bulldogs as 4.5-point road favorites last weekend, which can’t be ignored when looking over the NCAA basketball odds, as it has gone 6-0-1 ATS in its last seven contests when following a SU loss.

The LSU Tigers lead the Southeastern Conference in steals per game, while sitting behind only the top-ranked Kentucky Wildcats in terms of blocked shots.

Sports bettors will find that they own a significant advantage in those two categories in this matchup, with Auburn’s offensive ranking among the nation’s worst in getting its shot blocked or ball stolen offensively.

Since the start of the 2012-13 campaign, the school is 10-6 SU and 8-8 ATS in the month of February.

 

Rebuilding
Bruce Pearl is 5-3 SU all-time against LSU, as he tries to put an end to his longest losing streak as a collegiate head coach.

The former Tennessee front man and ESPN analyst has a .615 or better record against nine of the 14 SEC teams, while he’s finished either first or second in conference play 15 times in 19 years on the sidelines overall.

 

Key Statistic
LSU has won 49 of 51 games when outshooting opponents in the Johnny Jones Era, which is a key statistic when you consider that Auburn ranks 238th in effective field goal percentage defense at 50.4.

Sophomore forward Jordan Mickey is the main player to watch—averaging 16.0 points and 8.9 rebounds on the season.

 

Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the home team as one of their NCAA basketball picks, as LSU has gone 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS as favorites of 9.5 to 12 points at the Pete Maravich Center in its last seven opportunities.

NCAA Basketball Pick:  LSU Tigers -11 at Bookmaker