Finally, some real, live March Madness betting. After weeks of build-up and anticipation, the NCAA basketball tournament is here. Selection Sunday gave us a healthy dose of games to choose from, and there’s no shortage of great matchups. It all begins on Thursday, when No. 8 LSU takes on No. 9 Butler in what will be a close sportsbook matchup.
LSU vs Butler odds – Thursday, March 19 at 12:20 p.m. ET
No. 8 LSU (26-7) is one of a handful of teams skidding into March Madness. A 10-game winning streak was abruptly halted by the Tigers losing three of their last four outings, including a 67-57 loss to Mississippi State in the SEC semifinals. LSU, which beat Mississippi State twice in the regular season, was burned by SEC Player of the Year Marcus Thornton, who scored 14 points. While the Tigers’ slump is cause for concern, the slide didn’t begin until after they clinched the SEC regular season title, so obviously they’ve let their guard down a bit, waiting for the real games to begin. Still, that’s a dangerous game to be playing heading into the online betting frenzy that is the “Big Dance”.
No. 9 Butler (26-5) had won four straight before losing 57-54 to Cleveland State in the Horizon League tournament championship. Butler was burned by 3-pointers, with the Vikings making a season high 10 shots from beyond the arc. That shouldn’t be as much of a problem against LSU, which isn’t a great 3-point shooting team. The Bulldogs will probably try to rely on their defense against the Tigers, as they finished sixth in the nation by allowing just 57.4 points per game. However, most of Butler’s competition was a lot weaker than the likes of LSU, so this will certainly pose a new challenge on March Madness odds. The Bulldogs did beat Xavier on the road in December.
This will be a tight contest. LSU has struggled down the stretch, but now that the postseason is beginning, it will step on the gas pedal again. If the Tigers come out rusty they’ll be in trouble, but considering they’ve faced much stiffer competition than Butler has this season, you have to like battle-hardened LSU.
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