Vanderbilt at LSU
Time: 9 PM ET, Jan 18, 2014
TV: ESPN U
Spread: LSU -9.5
Betting odds courtesy of Bovada
Vanderbilt is 9-6 on the season and 1-2 in SEC play and will face a tough test on the road against LSU as 9.5-point underdogs. The LSU Tigers are 10-5 on the season and 1-2 in SEC play, but the team has lost three of its past four games, with losses coming to Rhode Island, Tennessee and Ole Miss. The Tigers have not defeated a quality opponent this season, but still are nearly double-digit favorites against Vandy.
One reason for this may be LSU’s dominance on the interior. The team ranks 13th in the nation in rebounding (41.2 per game) and Jordan Mickey is an excellent rim protector, good for 3.7 blocks per game.
The Tigers don’t have any standout scorers to go to, but rely on Johnny O’Bryant III, Mickey and the diminutive gunner Andre Stringer to provide the punch. Stringer is a high volume shooter, but hits a low percentage due to his size and is basically a poor man’s Nate Robinson. He’s failed to make any major improvements in his four seasons at LSU, although this is his first season to shoot over 40 percent from the floor.
Vandy also has lost two of its past three, though both the losses were to quality opponents in Alabama and Kentucky. The Commodores defeated Mizzou 78-75 on Thurs night. Three Commodores (Kyle Fuller, Rob Odom and Dai-Jon Parker) played the entire 40 minutes, and Odom finished with 24 points on 6-of-13 shooting with eight boards and four blocks.
Vandy truly lacks depth more than anything. Eric McClellan, Rod Odom, Kyle Fuller and Damian Jones combine to average 50.4 points per game (71 percent of the offense) and the team really only goes about six deep. McClellan and Odom are both good talents, but the team will need to have a nice recruiting class to propel further towards relevancy in the SEC.
VAN Trends: 7-2-1 ATS in last 10 Saturday games; UNDER 18-7-2 in last 27 Saturday games; UNDER 15-6 in last 21 road games.
LSU Trends: UNDER 42-19 in last 61 at home; UNDER 60-28 in last 88 Saturday games.
Head-to-head: Vanderbilt 6-2 ATS in last 8 meetings; OVER 8-3 in last 11 meetings.