LSU vs. Texas A&M, 01/11/17 - Expert Prediction
Written by: Nikhil Kalro
LSU Tigers (9-5, 5-7 ATS) at Texas A&M Aggies (8-6, 4-7 ATS)
NCAAB: Wednesday, January 11 at 8.30 PM ET, Reed Arena, College Station, Texas
The Line: Texas A&M -11.5
The 9-5 LSU Tigers travel to Texas to face the Aggies, 0-3 in conference play, in a Southeastern conference match-up on Wednesday night. Both teams are coming into this game on the back of conference losses: the Tigers were thrashed 95-78 by the Mississippi State Bulldogs, while the Aggies were handled 79-68 by the South Carolina Gamecocks.
Tigers routed by Mississippi State
The LSU Tigers split their opening two conference games. They lost the third to fall to 1-2 in the Southeastern conference when Aric Holman led the Mississippi State Bulldogs to a 95-78 win on Saturday.
The Bulldogs dominated the game from the outset and all but killed the game by halftime when they took a 52-33 lead. The Bulldogs saw their last lead at 21-20. “We have to make some corrections and identify those problems,” LSU coach Johnny Jones said. “We have to do a much better job on the defensive end when we go through a stretch without scoring. Mississippi State got in their comfort zone and made plays.”
Duop Reath scored 19 points to go with his 13 rebounds and is LSU’s most efficient scorer: making 55.8% of his shots with an average of 14 points per game. Antonio Blakeney scored 17 points and Skylar Mays chipped in with 10 points. Blakeney leads the offense with 17.5 points a game.
Aggies’ scrap ends in another loss
The Texas A&M Aggies would have entered conference play as a team quietly confident after beginning the season 8-5. Thereon, however, they’ve lost all three conference games, the latest being a 79-68 loss to the South Carolina Gamecocks.
The Aggies took a 38-36 lead into halftime, and were also on top with a little under seven minutes remaining. However, a late 14-2 run from the Gamecocks following a timeout sparked the Gamecocks into action and past the resurgent fight from the Aggies. Sindarius Thornwell scored 16 points, 11 of which came in the closing stages. “Thornwell made a couple of plays and he separated the game himself,” Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy said.
Tyler Davis leads the team’s offense with 14 points per game and a field goal conversion rate of 60% on an average of 24 minutes. The Aggies average 73.1 points per game, 202nd in the country. They allow 68.1 a game, 93rd overall. They manage 17.1 assists per game, 31st nationally.
LSU Tigers are:
- 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
- 3-8 ATS in their last 11 against Southeastern opponents
- 4-13 ATS in their last 17 road games.
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 Wednesday games.
Texas A&M Aggies are:
- 5-2 ATS in their last 7 home games against a team with a winning road record.
I’m taking the Aggies because they have a defense that is capable to prevent the Tigers from putting up too many on the board. The Tigers’ points differential is 0.01 (points scored: 77.3 – points allowed: 77.2), and Aggies’ is 5.00 (points scored: 73.1 – points allowed:68.1). This could be an influential factor in a strong Aggies performance at home.
The Pick: Texas A&M Aggies
Nikhil has been working with ESPN since the age of 18 and covers cricket for their website ESPNcricinfo. When not writing or editing news, game reports, commentary and analysis stories, he is following American sports. A love for stats and patterns, research and results and plain simple learning with a few years of handicapping experience makes him almost 0.500 reliable. A degree in business administration and a keen eye for volatile industries like the stock market help too.
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