LSU welcomes Kentucky to the Maravich Center Tuesday night in what can be described as the Tigers most important game of the season. LSU, who is 12-6 SU and 5-7 ATS on the year, is looking for a signature conference win and the Tigers are hungry to avenge five consecutive losses to the Wildcats, including a humiliating 74-50 defeat in their last home game against John Calipari’s squad.
Our experts have been extremely impressed with how well-balanced LSU is this season as the Tigers are averaging 76.1 points per game against teams that would combine to allow 70.8 points per game, thereby making the Tigers 5.3 points per game better than average offensively. LSU is also averaging 76.2 points per game at home and 76.6 points over its last five games, which is good enough to exploit a decent Kentucky defense that is 8.8 points per game better than average (65.5 points per game to teams that would combine to average 74.3 points per game). The ongoing problem for Kentucky is its inability to play defense on the road where the Wildcats are 2-4 SU and 1-5 ATS and allowing 73.5 points per game, which is 8.0 points per game above their season average.
LSU is allowing 69.0 points per game to teams that would combine to average 73.3 points per game against a mediocre defensive squad, which makes the Tigers 4.3 points per game better than average defensively. However, LSU plays its best defense at home where the Tigers are limiting opponents to just 63.4 points per game on 36.3% shooting from the field and 30.3% shooting from beyond the arc. Pro Edge also likes the fact that LSU dominates the boards as evidenced by the fact that the Tigers are averaging 41 rebounds per game (12 offensive), including 44 rebounds per game at home (14 offensive).
Also, in what is expected to be a very competitive game, the Wildcats’ struggles at the charity stripe could make the difference. Indeed, Kentucky is shooting just 67.6% from the foul line this season, including an alarming 63.0% on the road. And, while LSU is not an excellent foul shooting team, the Tigers are making 69% of their attempts at home. Let’s also note that Kentucky has dropped two of its last three road games (82-77 at North Carolina; 87-85 at Arkansas), while also losing two neutral court games against Michigan State (78-74) and Baylor (67-62).
Kentucky is 3-13 ATS on the road versus teams with a losing record and 4-14 ATS versus teams with a win percentage between .600 and .800, whereas the Tigers are 11-3 ATS versus teams with a winning record and 9-1 ATS against poor defensive teams that force twelve or less turnovers per game. Kentucky also remains one of the most overrated teams in college basketball as evidenced by the fact that the Wildcats are 3-12 ATS on the road, 2-10 ATS in conference road games, 4-13 ATS on the road following one or more consecutive wins and 1-8 ATS on the road after covering the point spread.
The oddsmakers also inflate the point spread against Kentucky in the midst of a winning streak as the Wildcats are 2-9 ATS on the road having won seven of their last 8 games and 0-6 ATS away from home after winning eight or more of their last ten games. The betting market’s price inflation is in full effect tonight as Kentucky is coming off three consecutive blowout wins and our math model actually favors LSU by one point.
Pro Edge Sports Free Pick: LSU (+3) (-110) over Kentucky