The second-round matchups of the 2021 March Madness East Region are set for Monday, March 22, so I bring you the best LSU Tigers vs. Michigan Wolverines betting pick along with the latest odds on William Hill Sportsbook.
The No. 1 Wolverines opened as 5-point favorites with a total of 149.5 points, while the No. 8 Tigers are listed as +180 moneyline underdogs. These two schools haven’t met each other since 2017 when LSU outlasted Michigan 77-75 as a 5.5-point dog in the non-conference play.
LSU smashed the Bonnies to reach the second round
The LSU Tigers put on a strong performance in the first round of the 2021 NCAA championship this past Saturday, outlasting the St. Bonaventure Bonnies 76-61 as 2-point favorites. The Tigers completely outplayed their rivals, holding them to just 33.3% shooting from the field and 15.0% from beyond the arc.
Furthermore, LSU posted 14 offensive rebounds and committed only nine turnovers. Freshman guard Cameron Thomas put on a show and dropped 27 points on the Bonnies, while junior forwards Darius Days and Aundre Hyatt added 13 points each.
Cameron Thomas has been spectacular thus far, racking up 22.8 points and 3.4 rebounds per contest while making 40.5% of his field goals and 87.8% of his free throws. Three more guys average points in double figures including sophomore forward Trendon Watford (16.5 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 3.0 APG).
The Tigers lean on their offense, scoring 120.1 points per 100 possessions (5th in the nation) on 46.1% shooting from the field (67th). They allow 99.5 points in a return (123rd) on 41.6% shooting from the field (75th) and 29.6% from deep (16th).
Michigan easily eliminated Texas Southern
The Michigan Wolverines didn’t break too much sweat in a comfortable 82-66 first-round victory over the Texas Southern Tigers, but they failed to cover a massive 24-point spread. The Wolverines led by double figures for almost the entire clash, and senior PG Mike Smith paces his team with 18 points and five assists.
Michigan is without senior forward Isaiah Livers (13.1 PPG, 6.0 RPG) who suffered a foot injury in the Big Ten Championship Tournament, so freshman center Hunter Dickinson (14.3 PPG, 7.4 RPG) and sophomore guard Franz Wagner (12.7 PPG, 6.3 RPG) will lead the way for Michigan in the postseason.
The Wolverines score 119.1 points per 100 possessions (7th in the nation) on 48.3% shooting from the field (21st) and 38.5% from beyond the 3-point line (13th). On the other side of the ball, they concede 89.0 points per 100 possessions (6th) on 39.3% shooting from the field (13th) and 32.9% from downtown (127th).
- 6-0 ATS in the last six games overall
- 4-2 ATS in the last six games against the Big Ten Conference
- 2-5 ATS in the last seven games played in March
- 1-5 ATS in the last six games played on Sunday
The LSU Tigers have been terrific lately. They’ve lost the SEC championship game by one point to snap a four-game winning streak, and the Tigers played very well against St. Bonaventure on Saturday, so I’m backing them to keep it close against the Wolverines.
Michigan will torture the Tigers in the paint, for sure, but without Isaiah Livers, the Wolverines are not as sharp as they would like to be. Their defense could easily struggle against the Tigers, especially if LSU enjoys a solid shooting day in the office.
I’m expecting the Wolverines to escape with a win, but I would be surprised if they beat LSU comfortably.
Pick: Take LSU Tigers +7.0 at -143
The Tigers won’t be able to upset the odds without an excellent offensive performance. Of course, they have to bring their best defense, too, but finding an open man and making those open shots will be a key factor for LSU.
Eight of LSU’s last nine games overall produced at least 149 points in total. Three of the Tigers’ last five games went in the over, but the under is 6-2 in Michigan’s previous eight contests overall.
The Wolverines play at a fairly slow pace, averaging 66.7 possessions per 40 minutes (256th in the nation), so I’m expecting the Tigers to speed up things whenever they can. LSU averages 70.5 possessions per 40 minutes (78th).
Pick: Go over 149.5 points at -110