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Texas A&M vs. LSU - 3/12/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

LSU Tigers (19-13) at Texas A&M Aggies (25-7)

College Basketball: Saturday, March 12, 2016 at 1:00 pm (Bridgestone Arena)

The Line: Texas A&M Aggies -7 -- Over/Under: 146 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN

The LSU Tigers and 17th ranked Texas A&M Aggies will face off in the semifinals of the SEC Men’s Tournament this Saturday afternoon at Bridgestone Arena.

The 4-seed LSU Tigers keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive after defeating the 12-seed Tennessee Volunteers, 84-75, on Friday afternoon. LSU was able to keep the game close in the first half without Ben Simmons who had to sit the majority of it due to foul trouble and outscored Tennessee by a 52-42 margin in the 2nd half to get the victory. LSU shot 45.2% from the field and won the turnover battle by a 14-7 margin. The Tigers held the Volunteers to 43.6% shooting from the field and 24.1% (7-29) shooting from beyond the arc. Leading the way for LSU was Tim Quarterman who had 18 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists, and a steal. On the season, the Tigers have been led by Ben Simmons (19.6 ppg, 11.9 rpg, 5.0 apg, 2.0 spg), Antonio Blakeney (12.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.0 apg), and Tim Quarterman (11.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 3.6 apg). Offensively, LSU is averaging 80.0 ppg on 46.9% shooting from the field and 33.5% shooting from beyond the arc. The Tigers average 6.2 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.30. Defensively, LSU is allowing their opponents to average 77.3 ppg on 45.4% shooting. The Tigers have a rebound margin of 0.2 and a turnover margin of 1.8. LSU will be without Keith Hornsby for the rest of the season due to injury.

Texas A&M vs. LSU - 3/12/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The 1-seed Texas A&M Aggies used a late 7-0 run in the 2nd half to hold off and defeat the Florida Gators, 72-66, and advance in the SEC Tournament. In what was a back and forth battle, the Aggies got a huge steal and lay-up from Alex Caruso to make it a 65-61 game and held on for the victory. Texas A&M shot 39.4% from the field and won the turnover battle by a 12-7 margin. The Aggies held the Gators to 38.7% shooting from the field and 15.8% (3-19) from beyond the arc. Leading the way for Texas A&M was Tyler Davis who had 15 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocks. On the season, the Aggies have been led by Jalen Jones (15.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg), Danuel House (15.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.4 apg), and Alex Caruso (7.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 5.1 apg, 2.1 spg). Offensively, Texas A&M is averaging 76.2 ppg on 45.3% shooting from the field and 35.5% shooting from beyond the arc. The Aggies average 7.8 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.46. Defensively, Texas A&M is holding their opponents to an average of 65.9 ppg on 41.1% shooting. The Aggies have a rebound margin of 3.7 and a turnover margin of 2.6.

The Tigers are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 Saturday games and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games overall. The Aggies are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up win and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall.

LSU and Texas A&M split their regular series with each team winning their home game. LSU struggled down the stretch losing 4 of their last 6 games and although they have one of the best players in the country in Ben Simmons, the Tigers haven’t been able to get much for their supporting cast throughout the season. Texas A&M had a rough stretch in the middle of their conference schedule but have now won 7 straight games and have been outstanding on the year on the defensive end ranking 42nd the country in scoring defense and 29th in turnover margin. LSU knows that they probably need to win the SEC tournament to make it to the NCAA Tournament however, my initial thoughts are that they will have trouble against the Aggies defense, and I just don’t think LSU will be getting enough points to cover. I could be swayed to go with LSU if the line is high enough but as I think Texas A&M will only be favored by about 3-5 points, I’m currently leaning on taking the Aggies. Please check back for updates when the line is released. 

Update - The line is a little bit higher than I expected but I wouldn't be suprised if it goes down a bit before tip-off as I imagine the majority of the public will be taking LSU. Texas A&M is the better team but this is alot of points for them to cover against a team that knows they need to win. I'm probably going to stay away from this one, but if I had to go with a pick, I would go with LSU if you can get themat 7+ points.

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LSU Tigers -7

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