SEC Betting Picks: Auburn Tigers at LSU Tigers

 Auburn Tigers at LSU Tigers
Pete Maravich Assembly Center – Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Tuesday, January 17, 2012, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPNU
Opening Line: LSU -10 1/2
Current Line: LSU -9
Opening Total: 122
Current Total: 120
Opening Money Line: LSU -550 / Auburn +450
Current Money Line: LSU -500 / Auburn +400

The LSU Tigers are 9 point home favorites against SEC rivals Auburn Tuesday night.

The LSU Tigers and Auburn Tigers are both 11-6 overall and 1-2 in the SEC. The two teams are part of a 4 team pack at 1-2, 2 games behind 3-0 Kentucky and Vanderbilt early in the conference race. LSU leads the series against Auburn 81-62 including 44-23 in Baton Rouge. The two teams split the series last year with each winning on the other’s home court. Auburn has won 4 of the last 5 and 6 out of 9 against LSU.

Auburn is coached by Tony Barbee. The Tigers have losses to Seton Hall, Long Beach St, UTEP, Florida St, Vanderbilt, and Kentucky. All losses except the UTEP game were by double digits. Auburn doesn’t have many quality wins, except for South Florida, Hawaii, and against Ole Miss Saturday 69-68 in double overtime. The win against the Rebels snapped a 3 game losing streak for Auburn.

LSU is coached by Trent Johnson. The Tigers have losses to Coastal Carolina, Northwestern, South Alabama, Virginia, Alabama, and Saturday at Arkansas 69-60. LSU has lost two games in a row both on the road, after they had an 8-1 stretch in the games before. LSU has wins over Western Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Houston, Rutgers, Boise St, UC-Irvine, Marquette, North Texas, and Mississippi.

Auburn is outscoring opponents 66-65 this season. The Tigers are shooting 43.3% from the field, including 31.9% from 3 point range. Auburn makes 65.4% of their free throws. The Tigers average 35.2 rebounds a game and have a rebounding margin of +0.2. Auburn averages 13.8 assists, 14.4 turnovers, 6.9 steals, and 5.8 blocks a game. Tiger opponents are shooting 40.6% from the field, including 33.8% from 3 point range. Auburn forces 14.5 turnovers a game.

Auburn Guard Frankie Sullivan averages 11.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.4 steals a game to tie for the team lead. Forward Kenny Gabriel averages 11.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.4 steals, and 2.8 blocks a game. He leads the team in rebounds, steals and blocks. Chris Dens0n averages 11.1 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.4 assists a game. The top 3 scorers all shoot at least 37.1% from 3 point range. Rob Chubb averages 9.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.1 blocks a game.  Varez Ward averages 8.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 4.2 assists a game to lead the team. Forward Bernard Morena is out indefinitely with a hand injury and guard Cedrick McAfee is also out indefinitely with an ankle injury.

LSU is outscoring opponents 67-61 this season. The Tigers are shooting 40.2% from the field and 33.6% from 3 point range. LSU makes 70.6% from the free throw line. The Tigers average 39.2 rebounds and have a rebounding margin of +2.8. LSU averages 12.2 assists, 13.5 turnovers, 8.3 steals, and 3.9 blocks a game. LSU opponents are shooting 39.5% from the field and 31.4% from 3 point range. The Tigers force 16.6 turnovers a game on defense.

LSU center Justin Hamilton averages 13.4 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks a game to lead the team in all three categories. Andre Stringer averages 11.4 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.5 steals a game. He makes 38.7% from 3 point range. Stringer is probable with a hip injury. Anthony Hickey averages 9.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 2.5 steals a game. He leads the Tigers in assists and steals. Ralston Turner averages 8.8 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.4 assists a game. Storm Warren averages 8.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.4 steals a game. Forward Johnny O’Bryant III averages 7.9 points and 6.2 rebounds but he is out indefinitely with a broken hand.

LSU is 9-5 against the spread and the total is 4-10 this season. Auburn is 4-6 ATS this season and the total is 5-5 this season. Auburn is 10-2 ATS in the last 12 against LSU, including 6-0 in Baton Rouge. The underdog is 9-3 ATS in the last 12 in the series. Four of the last five have gone under the total. Auburn is 4-1 ATS in Tuesday games, 35-16-2 in SEC games, 2-5 as an underdog, and overall, 1-4 after a straight up win, in road games, and in road games against teams with winning home records, 0-5-2 as a road underdog of between 7-12.5 points, 0-6 as an underdog of between 7-12.5 points, and 0-4 as a road underdog. LSU is 5-1 ATS after a straight up loss, 4-1 after failing to cover, 9-3 against teams with winning records, 5-2 in Tuesday games, 3-7-1 in home games against teams with losing road records, 2-5 in SEC games, and 6-19-1 as a favorite of 7-12.5 points, including 5-16-1 at home.

Neither of these teams will compete for the SEC title, and might even have problems making the NCAA tournament field. This seems like a lot of points between two teams that are pretty evenly matched. Auburn has done well in Baton Rouge recently, and I look for that trend to continue.

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