LSU vs. Arkansas Prediction: Will the Razorbacks Continue Their Torrid Play on Senior Night?

College basketball expert Mike Spector offers his best bet for the SEC battle between LSU and Arkansas.
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LSU vs. Arkansas Prediction: Will the Razorbacks Continue Their Torrid Play on Senior Night?

With as loaded as the SEC is this year, one would think that a team that is one game back of first place in the conference standings would generate a ton of buzz. However, somehow the Arkansas Razorbacks still feel like a team that is going under the radar despite winning 13 of 14 games. Arkansas gets another chance in the national spotlight to prove they are a team that no one wants to face in March, as they host another surefire NCAA Tournament team, the LSU Tigers. Can the Tigers cool off the hot Razorbacks, or will Arkansas continue its rise up the standings and polls?

Here are our picks and predictions for the Big 12 battle between LSU and Arkansas.

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LSU vs. Arkansas Prediction

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LSU (20-9, 8-8) is a lock for the NCAA Tournament and will be a considerable threat given their ability to suffocate opponents defensively. The Tigers rank fourth in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency (per KenPom) and have held 13 of their 29 opponents to 60 or fewer points. LSU also ranks in the top 12 in the following defensive categories: effective field goal percentage, turnover percentage (25.4%, ranks third), 3-point percentage defense (27.9%, ranks fourth), and block percentage (14.8%, ranks 12th).

LSU looked to be turning a corner when they got senior point guard Xavier Pinson back from injury. After missing their February 5th loss at Vanderbilt, the team won the next three games Pinson was healthy for. However, LSU suffered a head-scratching two-point road loss at South Carolina in their next game, when Pinson went just 2-for-10 from the field and scored seven points. Thus, Arkansas’ path to a dominating victory is to slow down Pinson, who has averaged just 9.6 PPG in the five team losses he was healthy for.

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The LSU defense will be tasked with slowing down Arkansas star J.D. Notae, something that not many teams have been able to do all season. Notae has scored 52 combined points in the last two games against Florida and Kentucky and has been in double figures in every game he has played this season. In addition, Notae often comes up with his best game in the biggest spots, evidenced by his 28-point performance in an overtime win against Auburn. Notae scored 19 points in an efficient 27 minutes on 7-for-13 shooting in their first win (65-58) at LSU and should again challenge a top-notch Tigers defense in this rematch.

Arkansas’ lone loss in the last 14 games was a one-point road loss at Alabama. Meanwhile, LSU has not beaten a team currently above .500 in the SEC since January 8. LSU is not ready to win a game of this magnitude on the road in what should be a rocking Bud Walton Arena on Senior Night. The Tigers have won just three of ten road games, while the Razorbacks are a remarkable 16-1 at home this season. Arkansas is one of the most profitable ATS teams from the SEC this season, covering the spread in 18 of 29 games. We like that trend to continue tonight.

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Mike Spector brings unmatched knowledge and insight into the game of football, and more importantly the process of betting on NFL football. Mike is the #2 ranked expert in FantasyPros' NFL betting contest

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