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LSU vs. South Carolina Betting Line – College Basketball

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
Feb/10/2016
LSU vs. South Carolina Betting Line – College Basketball

Carrie Stroup here with your LSU vs. South Carolina betting line for Wednesday night  South Carolina -4, Total: 153.5

LSU TIGERS (15-8) at SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS (20-3)

South Carolina looks to stay undefeated at home as they welcome LSU and star freshman Ben Simmons to Columbia on Wednesday night.

Coach Frank Martin’s Gamecocks (14-5-1 ATS) are riding high after their biggest win of the season, an 81-78 (South Carolina +10) win at then-No. 8 Texas A&M on Saturday. South Carolina scorched the nets for a season-high 57% 3PT (12-21) to defeat the Aggies. They now return home to Colonial Life Arena to take on LSU who, at 8-2 in SEC play, holds a half-game lead over the Gamecocks for first place in the conference. 

The Tigers are 8-13 ATS this season under coach Johnny Jones, including a 3-6 SU (2-7 ATS) mark away from home. LSU comes off of an 88-77 (LSU -10) win at home over Mississippi State on Saturday, which followed an 80-68 (LSU -7) road win over Auburn earlier that week. The Tigers are 3-2 SU (2-3 ATS) on the road in SEC play, however.

Historically, LSU is 6-4 SU (6-3-1) over their last 10 games against South Carolina (dating back to 2007). LSU won the most recent meeting over the Gamecocks, 64-58 (LSU -4.5) last season (Jan. 2015). LSU has won five of the last six meetings on the road against South Carolina, as the Tigers also look for their fourth straight win in this series.

The Gamecocks are 0-4-1 ATS at home against LSU in their last five. While the total has gone OVER in four of South Carolina’s last five home games, the total has gone UNDER in five of the last six times that LSU has visited Columbia.

LSU is led in their quest for an SEC title and NCAA appearance by their incomparable freshman, F Ben Simmons (19.4 PPG, 12.3 RPG, 5 APG). Conference play hasn’t fazed the 6-foot-10 dynamo, as he tallied up 37 points, 22 rebounds and 14 assists in wins over Auburn and Mississippi State last week.

Simmons’ presence has catapulted LSU into the top echelon of offensive teams in the country (81.3 PPG, 21st NCAA), and the Tigers are especially effective in the second half of games (43.3 2nd half PPG, 10th NCAA). LSU shoots 47.6% FG (27th NCAA) and rely on their effectiveness inside the arc (29.1 FM/G, 10th NCAA) rather than from long range (6.2 3PM/G, 241st NCAA).

When LSU does dial it up from long range, G Keith Hornsby (13.4 PPG, 42% 3PT) is where the Tigers go. Hornsby had 25 points (5-10 3PT) on Saturday against Mississippi State.

Hornsby wasn’t the only LSU guard to explode on Saturday, as G Antonio Blakeney (10.5 PPG) had a career game with 31 points (11-17 FG, 4-8 3PT). Blakeney has otherwise struggled in an uneven freshman season for LSU.

G Tim Quarterman (11.5 PPG, 4.8 RPG) led the Tigers in scoring with 16 points in last January’s win over South Carolina. Quarterman is capable of big all-around games as evidenced by his five 20+ point performances this season, but has failed to reach double-figures in each of his past two games. LSU is a sub-par defensive unit (75.4 PPG, 245th NCAA), but part of that comes from LSU’s fast pace of play (75.3 possessions/game, 35th NCAA).

Unlike LSU, coach Martin’s squad relies on stellar play from its upperclassmen, as the Gamecocks’ top five leading scorers are all junior or seniors. G Sindarius Thornwell (12.7 PPG, 5 RPG, 3.6 APG) is the conductor of this offense and has really stepped up his play as of late. Thornwell is averaging 18 points and 7 rebounds per game while shooting 45% beyond the arc over his last four games, highlighted by his 25 points, 6 rebounds and 9 assists in the big win Saturday in College Station.

If Thornwell is the conductor, then F Michael Carrera (14.1 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 48% 3PT) is the engine for the Gamecocks. Carrera has always been a relentless rebounder for his size (6-foot-5), but a lack of diversity in his offensive game and a penchant for foul trouble had always held him back – until this season. Carrera’s long-distance prowess in his senior season has seemingly come out of nowhere (30% 3PT, 0.4 3PM last season), and he’s never been as hot as he is right now, shooting 59% 3PT (13-22) over his past five games. Carerra’s averages of 21.4 PPG and 9.6 RPG in that five-game stretch include a career high 34 points against Mississippi State.

G Duane Notice (10.9 PPG), F Mindaugas Kacinas (10.5 PPG, 5.5 RPG) and C Laimonas Chatkevicius (9.8 PPG, 4.5 RPG) follow suit for South Carolina’s 68th ranked offense (77.3 PPG vs D1 opponents). Perhaps no coach in the country has adjusted his style of play to fit the new rules of college basketball better than Martin, as he’s taken basically the same squad of players and increased South Carolina’s scoring offense almost 13 points per game over last year’s 64.6 PPG average.

The Gamecocks also match up well against LSU, as South Carolina’s Achilles heel on defense is the three (8.5 3PT/G vs D1 opponents), but LSU doesn’t beat you from beyond the arc (Saturday against Mississippi State being an outlier). South Carolina has held their D1 opponents to 39.3% FG (20th NCAA), buoyed by a 41.7% defensive mark from inside the arc (13th NCAA).

- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter

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