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Florida Travels to LSU as 3-Point Underdog in Crucial Game for NCAA Tournament Resume

Andrew Nembhard of Florida
Florida travels to LSU to face Skylar Mays and the Tigers on Tuesday night. Photo from @Florida_Zone (Twitter)
  • LSU  is on a six-game winning streak and leads the SEC by a game over Florida and Kentucky
  • Florida has won five of its last six games, including routing then No. 4-Auburn last weekend
  • Florida point guard Andrew Nembhard is expected to be at 100 percent after having the flu

Florida (12-5 overall, 1-3 road) travels to LSU (13-4, 9-1 home) as a three-point underdog at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday (Jan. 21).

This SEC game is crucial for both teams trying to build NCAA Tournament resume at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, with the Tigers currently a 3-point favorite in the Florida vs LSU odds.

Florida vs LSU Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Over/Under
Florida +135 +3 (-110) Over 143.5 (-110)
LSU -155 -3 (-110) Under 143.5 (-110)

Odds taken Jan. 21

Both Teams Running Hot

Florida has won five of its last six games, including routing visiting then-No. 4 Auburn 69-47 last Saturday.

The Gators began the season ranked No. 6 in the Associated Press poll but dropped out after losing four of their first 11 games.

LSU is on a six-game winning streak since losing back-to-back to East Tennessee State and Southern California in its last two games before Christmas.

The Tigers (5-0) lead the SEC, though each of their last four victories have been by four points or less. At 4-1, Florida is tied for second with No. 15 Kentucky.

LSU is No. 23 in the NCAA’s NET rankings and Florida is 39th.

LSU opened as a three-point favorite and the line dropped to two before going back to three as can be seen in our Florida vs LSU odds tracker.

Florida’s Payne Inflicting Pain

Florida freshman forward Omar Payne had what was easily his best game as a collegian in the win over Auburn, which was the Gators’ first victory over a top five team in 11 years.

Payne had 19 points and 11 rebounds after coming into the game with 4.3 and 4.1 averages. He has made all 13 field goal attempts over the last two games.

Florida held Auburn to 25 percent shooting from the floor.

Senior forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. has put up 14.8 points and 8.9 rebounds a game while sophomore forward Keyontae Johnson is averaging 12.5 points and 6.6 rebounds.

Balance Is Key for LSU

LSU has made up with balance for losing leading scorers Tremont Waters and Naz Reid from last year’s team that won the SEC title. Five Tigers are averaging at least 11.7 points this season.

Senior guard Skylar Mays is leading the way with 15.9 points and two steals a game. Sophomore forward Emmitt Williams has averages of 13.4 points and 6.8 rebounds.

Sophomore guard Javonte Smart scored 20 points, one off his season high, as LSU posted an 80-76 road win at Mississippi on Saturday.

Defense has also been a strength for LSU, which is 10-0 when it holds opponents to 41 percent or less in field goal percentage.

Here are the teams match up in various KenPom.com stats:

Florida
VS
LSU

+17.74 (25th) Adjusted efficiency margin +16.54 (34th)
110.6 (31st) Adjusted offensive efficiency 115.5 (5th)
92.9 (41st) Adjusted defensive efficiency 98.9 (130th)
65.5 (300th) Adjusted tempo 70.3 (87th)

Health Updates

Florida sophomore point guard Andrew Nembhard played against Auburn despite missing practice the previous three days because of the flu. He was limited to a season-low 25 minutes.

Nembhard, who is expected to be back to 100 percent for this game, is averaging 10.8 points and 5.9 rebounds.

LSU reserve sophomore guard Charles Manning Jr. sat out the Mississippi game with a foot injury that is expected to sideline him until at least mid-February. He has averages of 8.0 points and 3.1 rebounds.

Tightly Contested Series

Florida is 7-10 against the spread this season but has covered in three of its last four games. LSU’s record ATS is 8-8-1 but its has failed to cover as a favorite in each of its last four games.

Florida has won four of the last five meetings, including two in overtime.

The teams met three times last season with Florida winning 82-77 in overtime at Baton Rouge as a seven-point underdog, LSU winning 79-78 at Gainesville as a one-point underdog and The Tigers notching a 76-73 victory in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals as a 3.5-point favorite.

Look for the underdog to be the right side again.

The pick: Florida +3 (-105)

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