The Vanderbilt Commodores are in Baton Rouge on Tuesday night for what should be a highly entertaining contest in the SEC. Vanderbilt is going to need to be ready to run and gun against the high-scoring LSU Tigers in this contest. The Tigers are currently sitting on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament, as they enter Tuesday evening with a record of 14-8 on the season. They are 9-6 in the conference, trailing Arkansas and Alabama who lead the SEC.
LSU likes to go fast and put up as many points as possible on the scoreboard. That’s a double-edged sword. The Tigers might score a lot of points, but their effort defensively leaves a lot to be desired. If there was some defensive intensity from LSU, we likely aren’t talking about them on the bubble right now. Their last two efforts have done nothing to impress the committee. LSU is coming off losses against Georgia, 91-78, and Arkansas, 83-75.
That is not what LSU needed right now, but they still have a chance to respond with two games left in the regular season, and then the SEC Tournament. A deep run in the conference tournament should put them in a good spot, along with a win against Vanderbilt and Missouri. The Tigers are heavy favorites to beat Vanderbilt tonight, so a loss would be a really big blemish in their portfolio. It might be a little too many points for me against a Commodores team that might be better than their record of 7-13 indicates.
Vanderbilt is sitting in the basement of the SEC with a record of 3-8 in the conference. To their credit, they’ve held in multiple games and been a competitive team. LSU cannot look at the Commodores’ record and think this is going to be an easy trip on Tuesday night. Nor can they look at the point spread, because oddsmakers are expecting a double-digit win for LSU.
Vanderbilt is fresh off a 75-70 win against a decent Ole Miss squad to end a three-game losing streak. They played tight games against Kentucky and Alabama earlier in February, but fell by a score of 82-78 in both attempts. Head below for our free Vanderbilt vs. LSU pick on March 2, 2021.
Vanderbilt Commodores vs. LSU Tigers NCAA Betting Odds:
Vanderbilt vs. LSU Prediction:
Vanderbilt has nothing to lose against LSU in Baton Rouge. They can fire away and look for another upset. Note that Vanderbilt defeated Ole Miss as 10.5-point underdogs at home. They aren’t strangers to pulling off an upset recently. However, Vanderbilt has been awful on the road, with just one win in seven attempts.
That said, I think Vanderbilt can still hang around in this game if they want to play. They were close against a very good Alabama squad in a 82-78 loss on February 20. The Commodores also held tough in a 73-70 loss against Georgia, and 78-71 against Florida. LSU is likely going to leave the door open because of their inept defense. The Tigers have allowed an average of 75.5 points per game for 292th in the NCAA.
The sharp shooting from LSU has been able to carry them through this season. There aren’t many teams in the country that can shoot the ball like LSU can. The Tigers have netted 82.5 points per game for 11th in the NCAA. At home, they’re scoring 86 points per game. And unlike a lot of college teams, LSU can hit their free throws. They are connecting at 74.4% from the charity stripe. Those freebies at the line add up, and teams that can’t shoot them, tend to always lose close games.
The defensive effort from LSU has been non-existent in their past few games. In all three games against Auburn, 104-80 win, Georgia, 91-78 loss, and Arkansas, 83-75 loss, LSU gave up at least 80 points in each performance. Vanderbilt scored 99 points against the Tigers in their last meeting on February 5, 2020 in a 99-90 win.
They were 11.5-point underdogs in that matchup as well. The OVER has gone 6-1 in their previous five meetings, with most of those games not coming close to the final total. I’m on board with the OVER, in what should be another high-scoring clash between the Commodores and Tigers in the SEC.