Outstanding Road Coach Influences NCAA Basketball Pick Today

Joe Gavazzi

Thursday, January 8, 2015 6:20 PM GMT

The Bengal Tigers of LSU travel to Missouri tonight for the opening of SEC play at Mizzou Arena.  This strong home court of Missouri has seen the home standing Tigers go 53-6 SU L3+Y.  But, that record includes losses already this year to UMKC and Xavier. 

LSU (-2-) vs. Missouri 7:00 ET ESPN
The LSU Bengal Tigers college basketball odds has them as a 2-point road favorite for this game when they travel to Missouri tonight for the opening of SEC play at Mizzou Arena. This strong home court of Missouri has seen the home standing Tigers go 53-6 SU L3+Y.  But, that record includes losses already this year to UMKC and Xavier. 

The season has started as a downer for Missouri, who has recorded 122 victories in the previous 5 seasons.  That’s unlikely to happen again this season as Missouri enters conference play at 5-8 SU ATS. Missouri is in a major rebuilding year under 1st year HC Kim Anderson.  Anderson played for legendary Missouri Coach Norm Stewart (check out his name on the court), the all-time winning coach at the school.  But, three times Anderson was passed by for the job when Missouri opted for Quinn Snyder, Mike Anderson, and Frank Haith.  Meanwhile, Anderson toiled in relative anonymity at nearby Division 2 Central Missouri.  In 12 years, his teams had a record of 274-95, including winning the National Title last year.  He was somewhat surprised when he got the call to join “the Bigs.”  With just 2 RS – Missouri lost Clarkson, Brown and Ross – Anderson’s first unit is a very young team with 8/12 players either frosh or sophs.  Their only wins have come on this floor against Valpo, ORU, SEMO, Elon and Lipscomb. These teams are a long way from tonight’s competition. 

LSU enters on an 8 game winning streak at 11-2 SU under 3rd year HC Johnny Jones, who has returned to his Alma Mater with 19 and 20 win seasons.  In this era of revolving door rosters, Jones has struck it rich with Juco PG Josh Gray and UNC-Asheville transfer Hornsby, a dominant 3 point shooter.  They join what is one of the best front lines in the country, anchored by Mickey and Martin.  Jones has always been an outstanding road coach, where he has amassed a long-term record of 83-53 ATS, including 39-19 ATS the last 8 seasons.  Already this year, his Tigers are 2-0 SU ATS with an upset at highly touted WVU (the Mounties only loss) and a victory in the role of road chalk (79-70) at UAB. 

We firmly back LSU tonight as our free NCAA basketball pick. With 6 of the Missouri losses by 8 or more points, it is no surprise if the greater experience and road ability of LSU results in a double digit victory.  Jones over Anderson is a mismatch on the pine, while Mickey and Martin easily dominate the proceedings upfront. 

Free NCAA Basketball Pick: Take LSU -2 at The Greek

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