LSU (11-6, 6-4) at Mississippi State (11-9, 5-6)
- Time: 6 PST – 8 CST – 9 EST
- Place: Humphrey Coliseum, Starkville, Miss.
- TV: ESPNU
With the postponement of last Saturday’s home game, LSU takes to the road for the fourth consecutive game. The Tigers have lost four out of their last five, two of those to conference leader Alabama.
Mississippi State has won two out of the last three after a three-game losing streak. The Bulldogs are currently tied for seventh with Ole Miss and Georgia as the three teams share six losses.
The Bulldogs hold a 77-67 lead in the series, but LSU has won three out of the last four. The Tigers took a 60-59 win in Baton Rouge last season.
LSU’s Cameron Thomas continues to lead the SEC in scoring at 22.3 points per game while Trendon Watford is sixth (16.8 ppg). D.J. Stewart and Iverson Molinar continue to rival Thomas and Watford as the best scoring duo in the league as Stewart (17.7 ppg) is third in the league in scoring while Molinar (16.8 ppg) tied Watford for fifth.
Vs The Spread:
- The Tigers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of LSU’s last 7 outings
- The Bayou Bengals check in at 2-5 ATS in their last 7 vs. the Bulldogs
- MSU is 4-1 ATS in it’s last 5 games
- The UNDER has been the play for the Bulldogs in 4 of their last 6 games.
- The OVER has been the play in 12 of the last 15 games between the Tigers and Bulldogs
Last Time Out:
LSU dropped a 78-60 decision at Alabama last Wednesday night as Cameron Thomas scored 22 points although the teams hot only 31 percent from the field. The Tigers held Alabama’s three-point offense to 6-of-24 from the floor, but they were destroyed on the backboard, 51-35.
D.J. Stewart had 29 points and bottomed four threes as Mississippi State won at South Carolina, 75-59, on Saturday. The Bulldogs held the Gamecocks to 31 percent from the field and 5-of-25 from three.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|LSU||+2 (-114)||+110||O 144 (-110)|
|Mississippi State||-2 (-106)||-130||U 144 (-110)|
The game could be all about pace as the Tigers want to up-tempo things with a 16.1 seconds (62nd/NCAA) of average possession while the Bulldogs average 18 seconds (265th/NCAA) on offense. Accentuating a faster pace on the road is a tough chore, especially if your defense has struggled as LSU has in allowing SEC opponents to score 77.7 points per game while shooting 43.4 percent. This feels like that who ever wins the backcourt battle between LSU’s Cameron Thomas and Javonte Smart (15.4 ppg, 3.8 apg) and MSU’s D.J. Stewart and Iverson Molinar will win the game.
Key Tigers’ Stat:
LSU has shot below 40 percent in three games of this streak of four losses in five and their opponents shot a combined 44.7 percent in those games. From the stand point of psyche, it feels like the Bayou Bengals have not recovered for the 105-75 whipping by Alabama which started the slide.
Darius Days (12.1 ppg, 7.9 rpg) missed the last Alabama game with an injury and then the postponement of the Florida game should have aided in his recovery. The Tigers are better with him on the floor as he shoots 55.8 percent, but is also active on defense with his athleticism.
Advantage, Mississippi State:
Not allowing Cameron Thomas and LSU’s offense to get rolling early will be a key for State. Molinar and Stewart have the penchant to be able to go off of teams in the running game, but MSU doesn’t want to get seduced into that style here. Their opponents only make 32.3 percent of their triples and playing clean on the perimeter and not turning the ball over will help MSU immeasurably. They average 14.7 turnovers per contest and sport a turnover margin of (-1.7).
Key Bulldogs Stat:
Searching the offense through big man Tolu Smith could be to the Bulldogs’ advantage as he uses his physicality around the rim in averaging 12.6 points and 8.4 rebounds per game while shooting 56.4 percent. LSU will use the athleticism of Trendon Watford and Darius Days to run at Smith and this provides a clash of styles.
The defense is looking to come up strong against a solid offensive challenger as MSU has allowed it’s last four opponents to shoot only 34.5 percent over those four games while making only 14-of-85 three-point field goals, an amazingly low 16.4 percent.
Winner: Mississippi State (-2) 71, LSU 66
O/U: Take UNDER 144