Free NCAA Basketball Picks: Bet LSU Power Offense To Control Texas A&M

Willie Bee

Tuesday, January 19, 2016 1:54 PM GMT

Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016 1:54 PM GMT

A key battle in the SEC is part of Tuesday's college basketball betting card as the No. 10 Texas A&M Aggies defend their floor against Ben Simmons and the LSU Tigers.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: LSU +8½
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

 

It's not uncommon for ESPN to broadcast the top two teams in the Southeastern Conference in prime-time. What is rare about Tuesday night's telecast featuring the best the conference has to offer is neither the Kentucky Wildcats nor the Florida Gators are involved.

Welcome to College Station for an SEC showdown between the Texas A&M Aggies and LSU Tigers. The Aggies are off to a perfect 5-0 start in the conference, LSU just a game behind at 4-1 heading into their 9 PM (ET) battle at what should be a raucous Reed Arena. A quick check of SBR's live NCAA basketball odds shows A&M giving up 8½ across the board. Total odds for this game around 152½.

Tuesday's tango is the 32nd all-time between the two schools, and seventh as SEC opponents. The Tigers hold a modest 17-14 lead in the series, the schools splitting the previous six clashes as conference foes. The Aggies and Tigers have also halved the college basketball odds as well the last three years, the 'under' sending bettors back to the pay window five times in the six games.

Texas A&M took both contests last season, first as 5 point underdogs in Baton Rouge with a 67-64 victory and the follow-up a month later in College Station, covering as 2½ point chalk with a 68-62 decision. In both games, the Aggies needed to rally in the second halves, shooting a combined 43.3% in the contests while the Tigers converted 40.6% of their field goal attempts.

 

Tigers On 3-Game Skid Against Spread
Thanks to freshman Ben Simmons, Louisiana State (11-6 straight up, 5-10 against the spread) came out of the gate with a lot of publicity and three wins to begin the season. Those three victories were immediately negated by three defeats and the team was in a bit of a funk opening SEC play with a 7-5 record.

That changed with a road win at Vanderbilt where the Commodores were laying 10, followed by a floor-storming upset of Kentucky in Baton Rouge. The Tigers were getting three at home in that game, soundly whipping the Wildcats, 85-67, behind double-doubles from Simmons, Craig Victor II and Tim Quarterman.

There was a bit of a hangover from that big win four days later when LSU went to Gainesville and dropped a 68-62 decision to Florida. Simmons' big game (28 points, 11 rebounds) wasn't enough in that one, but Johnny Jones' team has since bounced back with home wins vs. Ole Miss and Arkansas, though the Tigers failed to cover either contest as 8-10 point favorites.

 

Ags Looking To Extend 8-Game Win Streak
Projected to be a second-tier contender in the SEC, Texas A&M (15-2 SU, 6-4-2 ATS) has instead played its way into the team to beat. The Aggies have reeled off eight consecutive wins since an early-December setback at Arizona State, beating then-No. 16 Baylor in that stretch and coming off the most dominating conference road win in school history.

Billy Kennedy's crew coasted to a 79-45 victory at Georgia this past Saturday, even pulling back on the throttle by emptying the bench in the runaway triumph. The Aggies were led by Jalen Jones' double-double, and didn't have a starter on the floor longer than 28 minutes.

They could be without Tonny Trocha-Morelos for this one after the 6-10 sophomore was apparently partied a little heavy after the team got home Saturday night. Trocha-Morelos was arrested for DWI in the wee hours of Sunday morning and has been a key player off Kennedy's bench this season.

I'll be there in front of the tube tonight yelling for my beloved Aggies, but my free NCAA basketball pick will be taking the points and the Tigers in this one.

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