Preview: Auburn at LSU

Auburn travels to LSU for a 4 p.m. ET tipoff today.

Both teams are coming off a week off and the game has the No. 7 ranked thrill score of the day on KenPom.

What I like: LSU has had a few terrible defensive performances. Auburn is in a similar category, but the lack of defense on LSU’s part might even the playing field. Auburn has played well in several high scoring games and against most bad defenses they’ve played this season. LSU doesn’t protect the rim well and is an average rebounding team.

What I don’t like: LSU’s offense. LSU has the pieces necessary to score at will against Auburn. Cam Thomas leads the SEC in scoring and Darius Days, Javonte Smart and Trendon Watford all join him in averaging double-digit points per game. 

Bottom line: I think LSU might have too much offense in this one, but Auburn could have a chance if they can disrupt LSU’s offense and have an efficient night on offense. I’m guessing this needs to be a high scoring affair for Auburn to win. What has me confident in Auburn’s chances is LSU’s defense. 

LSU is ranked No. 139 in defensive efficiency. Auburn is 8-1 against teams ranked No. 110 or worse in that category. The only loss coming against UGA, a team Auburn beat earlier in the season.

LSU is also ranked No. 6 in offense efficiency and is the best team Auburn will face with such a low defensive rating, but their defense has been so bad at times that I think Auburn will have a chance to expose them with a week to prepare.

LSU hasn’t had great rim protection this season either, so I think Auburn can get back to attacking the rim this game. UGA and Texas A&M are the only SEC teams averaging less blocks per game than LSU.

LSU is also giving up 12.5 offensive rebounds per game. Auburn is a top 25 team in offensive rebound percentage and is 6-3 in games when it gets 12 or more offensive rebounds. The only losses came at Kentucky, Baylor and UCF. I think this game sets up well for Auburn to pull off the upset.

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