Vanderbilt takes the floor of Memorial Gym on Senior Night looking to make amends for its embarrassing 76-38 loss at Tennessee last week. Vanderbilt also has its eyes focused on avenging its humiliating loss earlier this season when LSU defeated the Commodores 81-58. Revenge is an overrated component to sports handicapping and it certainly plays an insignificant role in Pro Edge’s decision to back Vanderbilt tonight.
LSU has lost five of its last eight games, including upset losses to both Texas A&M (83-73) and Georgia (91-78) which have all but evaporated the Tigers’ postseason hopes. LSU’s problem has been its inability to win on the road where the Tigers are a woeful 4-9 SU and 3-8 ATS this season. Even more concerning is the absence of any defensive intensity on the part of the Tigers as they are allowing 78.4 points per game on the road, including 43.6% shooting from beyond the arc. The Tigers have also yielded 75.7 points per game in conference play, which is 3.6 points per game worse than their season average.
In contrast, Vanderbilt proudly hangs its hat on defense as the Commodores are allowing 65.3 points per game on 40.5% shooting to teams that would combine to average 72.0 points per game. More importantly, the Commodores are 10-5 at home this season where they are limiting opponents to a mere 63.1 points per game on 39.7% shooting from the field. Overall, Vanderbilt is 6.7 points per game better than average defensively, which is good enough to contain an LSU attack that is 7.5 points per game better than average (76.7 points per game against teams that would combine to allow 69.2 points per game).
While a lack of defense has plagued LSU on the road, an utter lack of offense has haunted Vanderbilt all season. Indeed, Vanderbilt is averaging 65.0 points per game against teams that would combine to allow 68.9 points per game, thereby making the Commodores 3.9 points per game worse than average offensively. With that said, LSU is actually 0.1 points per game worse than average defensively (72.1 points per game to teams that would combine to average 72.0 points per game) so the Commodores should be able to match their season point totals tonight.
From a technical standpoint, LSU is a money-burning 23-39 ATS off a double-digit road loss, 23-40 ATS off a loss by fifteen or more points and 79-110 ATS off a loss so the Tigers do not respond well to adversity. Conversely, Vanderbilt responds well when its back is against the wall as the Commodores are 8-1 ATS after losing five of their last seven games, 25-11 ATS after failing to cover the spread and 8-2 ATS after scoring thirty or less points in the first half in consecutive games.
Pro Edge Sports Pick: Vanderbilt (+1.5) (-110)