The big question heading into the January 22nd LSU at Tennessee betting matchup is the availability of two of the top three Tigers’ scorers. Xavier Pinson (10.9 ppg) is likely out after injuring his knee in the first meeting with Tennessee, a 79-67 LSU win. Darius Days (13.5 ppg) is questionable after injuring his ankle in Wednesday’s loss to Alabama.
As a result of Louisiana State (15-3) possibly being a bit shorthanded Tennessee is a -5.5 favorite on Saturday afternoon. Well, the Volunteers (12-5) are also really good at home with a 9-0 record in Knoxville and likely would have been favored in this contest either way. LSU has won four straight in the head to head series though.
Pinson Loss Hurting LSU
LSU lost Pinson in the win over Tennessee, and it’s no coincidence the Tigers are 1-2 since. Pinson is a senior PG that averages 10.9 ppg and 4.6 apg, but perhaps the biggest contribution that is missed is his perimeter defense that has allowed LSU to amass the #8 scoring defense in the country (57.7 ppg) and is also the best team in terms of opponents FG% (35.3%).
The good news for Will Wade’s squad is that it looks like Darius Days will be a go on his sore ankle in the January 22nd LSU at Tennessee betting contest. Days not only scores 13.5 ppg, he is also the Tigers’ leading rebounder with 7.3 per game. Days has helped LSU be the #4 rebounding team in the SEC (Tennessee 9th).
Even if Days isn’t 100%, LSU still has the #6 scorer in the SEC as Tari Eason averages 16.0 ppg. Eason had 24 points and 12 rebounds in the January 8th 79-67 home win over the Volunteers that easily covered the -2.5 spread. Most recently Eason had 26 points and 10 rebounds Wednesday in a 3-point loss at Alabama so he is a force.
Vols Back in Knoxville
Tennessee is back at Thompson-Boling Arena after playing three of their last four on the road. The Volunteers are 9-0 in Knoxville and that resume includes a 77-73 win over then #6 Arizona that was the Wildcats’ first loss of the season. Oddsmakers respected the Vols in that game though, making them -1 point favorites.
Despite all their success at home, Tennessee is still just 3-3 in SEC play however. They have wins over Mississippi and South Carolina in Knoxville as well as a 68-60 victory at Vanderbilt last time out on Tuesday night. Conference road games have not been kind to the Vols falling at Alabama, LSU, and Kentucky.
Will being at home be the difference maker for the Volunteers in the January 22nd LSU at Tennessee betting matchup? It really doesn’t seem like Tennessee’s offense has the potency to hang with Eason and LSU. Kennedy Chandler did have 19 points in the 1st loss to LSU but has also been held to single digits in 5 of the last 9. Santiago Vescovi leads Tennessee in scoring (14.0 ppg) but has also only broken 20 points once in the last 14.
Free January 22nd LSU at Tennessee Betting Pick
It’s hard to go into Knoxville and get a win, but it’s not impossible. LSU looked like the much better team in their first meeting against Tennessee but will that be different just with a change of venue? Getting +5.5 points is just too many in this matchup.
LSU 71 – Tennessee 67
Free Pick: LSU +5.5