The current stretch that the No. 19 LSU Tigers (15-4, 3-4) are in is undoubtedly the worst the program has experienced in head coach Will Wade's five-year tenure thus far.
With Saturday's loss, the Tigers have dropped three straight games and have a losing conference record for the first time since Wade's first season (2017-18). They will have an opportunity to get the train back on the track when they host the Texas A&M Aggies (15-4, 4-2), who are also struggling as of late after dropping two straight.
Continue reading for our free college basketball picks and predictions for Texas A&M vs LSU on Wednesday, January 25th.
Texas A&M vs LSU odds
Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.
LSU opened as 12-point favorites and moved down to as low as -8.5 last night prior to being bet back up to -10, where it currently stands. The total opened at a very low mark of 126.5 and has since moved to 131.
Texas A&M vs LSU predictions
Predictions made on 1/26/2022 at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Texas A&M vs LSU game info
• Location: Pete Maravich Assembly Center, Baton Rouge, LA
• Date: Wednesday, January 26, 2022
• Tip-off: 9:00 p.m. ET
• TV: SEC Network
Texas A&M at LSU betting preview
Texas A&M: No injuries to report.
LSU: Darius Days F (Questionable), Xavier Pinson G (Questionable).
Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.
Betting trend to know
LSU is 14-5 ATS and 16-3 to the Under this year. Find more NCAA betting trends for Texas A&M vs. LSU.
Texas A&M vs LSU picks and predictions
Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.
While LSU has been struggling as of late, there are ways to explain those shortcomings. For one, Darius Days (13.1 PPG, 7.3 RPG) has been playing through a recent ankle injury. He left early in the first half of the Alabama game (a game which they lost by three), logging just 12 minutes. He tried to tough it out for the following game against Tennessee but was very clearly not himself, shooting 2/10 from the field including 1/7 from three.
Starting point guard Xavier Pinson (10.9 PPG, 4.6 APG) has been out since January 8th with a knee sprain and leads the team in assists and is third in scoring. While Tari Eason (16.0 PPG) and Darius Days mostly occupy the offensive spotlight, Pinson is quietly the cog of the LSU machine on offense. This is perfectly highlighted by LSU's play in conference games before and after he went out, despite the former being against much, much tougher competition.
|Conference Play Splits||With Pinson||Without Pinson|
|Games vs. ranked opponents||3||1|
|Average opposing KenPom rank||9.7||29.3|
|Points per game||66.3||59.8|
|Assists per game||10.3||8.8|
Pinson's value, to say the least, is understated. According to EvanMiya.com, of all five-man lineups LSU has played (min. 20 possessions) the Top 4 overall lineups by adjusted efficiency all have Pinson in them. That is neither the case for Tari Eason nor Darius Days. And while Days is expected to play on Wednesday, Pinson is unlikely to suit up.
But with or without Pinson, the top-ranked LSU defense is largely intact. A defense that has allowed just 55.2 points per game at home this season; a defense that has not given up greater than 70 points once this season despite playing the likes of Kentucky (4th in KenPom offense), Alabama (10th), Auburn (14th), Arkansas (44th), and Tennessee (51st). That doesn't exactly bode well for a Texas A&M team that scored just 58 against both Kentucky (25th in KenPom defense) and Wisconsin (44th). Or for an Aggies team that has won just two games against teams ranked inside the Top 100 (Notre Dame and Arkansas).
When deconstructing the matchup, it doesn't get any prettier. The Aggies take the second-highest percent of shots at the rim in the conference and second-highest of any Power 6 program. Between 6'11" 238-pound Eflon Reid, 6'7" 245 pound Darius Days, and 6'8 215 pound Tari Eason, LSU has the mix of size and athleticism to defend those shots and it shows, ranking 50th in field goal percentage allowed at the rim.
Elsewhere, A&M also is proficient at getting to the charity stripe (their 19.4 attempts per game ranks 93rd), but it's an entirely different story once they get there with their abysmal 64.7% free throw percentage (339th). So even though LSU sends opponents to the line a whopping 22.7 times on average during this three-game skid, the Aggies hardly present a threat there.
Prediction: LSU -10 (-110)
The story with the total here has already been told. LSU's offense without Pinson is just not the same with him. And LSU's defense is quite simply unlike any challenge Texas A&M has faced thus far, and they've struggled against less challenging defenses already. And while LSU's defense lends its hand to physical play which often nets an abundance of free-throw trips, Texas A&M is a Bottom-20 team in the country at making teams pay for those trips.
However, don't mistake this as an incredibly strong inclination. If anything, it's largely a soft advocating against backing an Over that has been steamed by nearly five points already since open and is looking to continue to climb.
Prediction: Under 131 (-103)
At some point, this LSU team will right the ship. Will Wade is too good of a coach with too good of a track record to allow this team to sink much further. If anything, they were just a great team marred by unfortunate injury timing during the toughest stretch of their schedule. Playing a seven-game stretch against four ranked opponents (and a road game against the 19th-ranked Alabama according to KenPom) while sustaining injuries to two starters and walking away with a 3-4 record is hardly anything for the Tigers to hang their heads over.
In fact, LSU can use the upcoming stretch (they won't play a ranked team for an entire month) to get healthy, get right, and put themselves in a position to flex their true potential in time for the SEC conference tournament and the Big Dance. And despite their recent struggles, this is a program that still possesses a 14-5 ATS record.
Pick: LSU -10 (-110)
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