It’s anything but business as usual this March Madness for the LSU Tigers as they prepare to meet Iowa State Friday night in the NCAA Tournament. Playing in the Midwest Region, the No. 6 Tigers are favored by Louisiana sportsbook apps to beat the No. 11 Cyclones.
LSU is favored based on its performance during the course of the season. That said, things are nothing like they were for the Tigers as recently as a week ago. After all, Will Wade was their coach when they dropped a 79-67 decision to Arkansas in the SEC Tournament last Friday.
A day later, LSU announced it had fired Wade. It had nothing to do with this season, as the Tigers’ 25-7 record was indicative of a solid campaign.
Wade’s firing did have everything to do with the notice of allegations handed down by the NCAA. The notice detailed potential rules violations committed during Wade’s tenure.
Assistant coach Kevin Nickelberry will lead the Tigers against Iowa State (6 p.m. CT, TBS) in a game played in Milwaukee, Wisc.
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LSU Vs. Iowa State March Madness Betting Odds And Preview
Despite it all, BetMGM Louisiana has LSU as a 4.5-point favorite. Three sportsbooks — DraftKings Louisiana, Caesars Louisiana, and FanDuel Louisiana — favor the Tigers by 4 points, while BetRivers Louisiana favors LSU by 3.5 points.
Here’s how BetRivers views the game as of Wednesday morning.
|Iowa State||+3.5 (-108)||+143||O 127.5 (-112)|
|LSU||-3.5 (-112)||-167||U 127.5 (-108)|
If you are in one of Louisiana’s 55 parishes where mobile sports betting is legal, BetRivers offers the best odds on the Tigers. In a close game, only needing to win by four points to cover is the best-case scenario. And BetRivers’ -167 moneyline is the best option for bettors as well.
But if you think the Tigers are in trouble after a tumultuous week, BetMGM offers the best chance for the Cyclones to cover. In terms of the moneyline, DraftKings and Caesars both have Iowa State at +160.
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Can LSU Put Distractions Aside Vs. Cyclones?
On paper, LSU has a more balanced team than Iowa State. That, however, may not mean much on Friday night if the past week proves to be too much to overcome.
LSU has four players who averaged at least 10 points this season, compared to just two for Iowa State. Forwards Tari Eason and Darius Days led the way for LSU this season. Eason averages 16.9 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. Days adds 13.7 points per game and 7.7 rebounds. Guards Xavier Pinson and Brandon Murray both average 10.1 points per game. Pinson contributes 4.7 assists per game as well.
Areas of concern for the Tigers include turning it over far too often and struggling to shoot well from beyond the arc. Iowa State, however, also struggles behind the arc and the Cyclones were 7-11 in the Big 12 Conference.
Guard Izaiah Brockington is by far the team’s best threat offensively, averaging 17.2 points per game. He’s also leading the team with 7.1 rebounds per game.
Guard Tyrese Hunter averages 10.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game. Guards Gabe Kalscheur (9.3 points) and Caleb Gill (6.5 points), and forward Aljaz Kung (6.2 points) round out the top scoring threats.