The Tigers travel to Fayetteville to face the red hot Razorbacks. LSU is coming off an ugly loss against Georgia while the Hogs are riding an eight game conference winning streak.
What the metrics say:
|Arkansas: 18th in Ken Pom||LSU: 29th in Ken Pom|
When Arkansas Has the Ball
The Hogs are starting to find their stride on offense. They have increased their offensive efficiency in almost all of their last 9 appearances. This can be attributed to a wide variety of changes. Justin Smith has taken a larger role while Devo Davis and Jaylin Williams have seen increases in usage. The Hogs do not shoot the three-ball very well but have executed at the rim at a much higher clip. Look for Arkansas to push the tempo especially in transition where Devo Davis has really thrived.
The first 6 games of conference play. They struggled in the paint missing 108 shots through six games.
The last eight games for the Razorbacks. Note an increase from midrange in the paint, 34% to 41%, and an increase below the rim, 57% to 69%.
When LSU Has the Ball
The Tigers have a dangerous offense with multiple elite scorers. Freshman Cameron Thomas leads all scorers with 22 points per game. He is followed closely by Ja’vonte Smart and Trendon Watford who are both averaging 16 points per game. They move fast on offense typically avoiding any shot clock pressure. They rely on attacking the rim instead of shooting from beyond the arc. Expect Mussleman to force them to stay out on the perimeter to get them out of their normal offense. The 7th ranked offense will be hard to slow down but the Razorback defense has been impressive of late. This game could easily come down to if LSU knocks down the three ball as Arkansas will likely give them some good looks from deep.
This will undoubtedly be a high-scoring affair. Metrics favor the Hogs and Vegas agrees with the Razorbacks opening as four-point favorites. This number has since been pushed to around a six-point favorite as heavy money comes in on the hot Arkansas team. The Hogs lost the last matchup 92-76 but this is not the same Razorback team. The biggest advantage may be in coaching. Will Wade has looked shaky with a loaded roster the majority of the season while Eric Musselman continues to impress. With the game being in Fayetteville, I am going side with the Hogs with 70% confidence.
Arkansas 79, LSU 73
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