The gauntlet continues for Louisiana State who has faced ranked teams in each of their last three games. While the Gators aren’t in the top 25 coming into the January 12th LSU at Florida betting matchup, it’s still a tough trip to Gainesville for the Tigers.
Florida has won three of the last four in the head to head series, and are -2.5 favorites in a number that opened as UF a +1.5 underdog. LSU will be without a key component after Senior PG Xavier Pinson sprained his knee in the win over Tennessee on Saturday, but do the Tigers still have enough talent to pick up this win?
Tough Place to Play for LSU
The Tigers are 14-1 on the season but still underdogs in the January 12th LSU at Florida betting matchup. Some of that has to do with Pinson being out, but also because Louisiana State struggles at Exacttech Arena, going 4-10 since 2000. LSU coach Will Wade is just 1-3 in Gainewsville.
It’s somewhat difficult to handicap LSU considering they are playing their first game without top playmaker Pinson, the guy who runs their offense. The Tigers are far from a one man team though, losing to current #4 Auburn but beating then #16 Kentucky and then #18 Tennessee the last two games.
Tari Eason had 24 points and 15 rebounds to lead the win over Tennessee and Darius Days added 15/8 so LSU has the firepower to still pick up the win on Wednesday. Eason has gone for 20+ points in 4 of the last 7 and it doesn’t take a ton of points to help the Tigers get the win with the way their defense plays.
Gators Offense Facing a Challenge
While Florida gets a break with the Tigers missing Pinson, LSU’s calling card is their defense anyways. Wade’s team ranks 7th in the country allowing just 56.4 ppg and opponents shoot 34.9% from the floor vs. LSU which is the best defensive mark in Division I.
The problem with LSU’s defense being so good is that offense isn’t exactly a strong point for the Gators, who score the 5th fewest points in the SEC (73.7 ppg). Florida also just gave up 83+ points in losses to Auburn and Alabama, but they are also two of the three higher scoring squads in the SEC.
The Gators are going to have to get some points on Wednesday either way, It does bode well that four starters scored in double figures on Saturday, once again led by Colin Castleton who had 22 points and 10 rebounds. Castleton was huge in the lone meeting last season too, scoring 21 points as Florida won 83-79 as very similar -2.5 favorites also in Gainesville.
Free January 12th LSU at Florida Betting Pick
The loss of Pinson hurts, but LSU’s solid defense is still largely in tact and they’ve got two great scorers in Eason and Days. Castleton is going to get his as the Senior usually does vs. LSU, and the Tigers also struggle mightily in Gainesville meaning there is a lot going on in this matchup.
LSU has answered the bell in every challenge they’ve faced this year except the visit to Auburn. Will we see a similar fate on the road at Florida? 71% of the public still like LSU yet the line has moved the other way making the Gators the play. This is just the 3rd true road game of the year for the Tigers after all.
Florida 69 – LSU 61
Free Pick: Florida -2.5