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Iowa Hawkeyes vs. LSU Tigers Expert Pick – April 2nd, 2023

Iowa Hawkeyes vs. LSU Tigers Expert Pick - April 2nd, 2023

Iowa Hawkeyes vs. LSU Tigers Expert Pick - April 2nd, 2023

IOWA HAWKEYES VS, LSU TIGERS EXPERT PICK - APRIL 2nd, 2023 -  Greetings basketball fans. Welcome back to our weekly column where we have been following the NCAA tournament.

On the men’s side, we have UConn taking on San Diego State on Monday night. And the women’s title game will feature Iowa (31-6) squaring off against LSU (33-2) on Sunday afternoon. So, without further delay, let’s look at this matchup and see which team has the edge. 

 

The Odds

Matchup

Open

Spread

Points

Moneyline

LSU Tigers

(33-2 SU)

+3.5

+3.5

o158.5

+150

Iowa Hawkeyes

(31-6 SU)

u158.5

-3.5

u158.5

-175

 

Tipoff

When: Sunday, April 2nd at 4:30 pm EST

Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

TV: ABC

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of April 2nd, 2023

Iowa Hawkeyes vs. LSU Tigers: How Each Team Got Here

Tigers’ Pivotal Fourth-Quarter Run Key in Win Over Virginia Tech

On one side of the coin, we have the LSU Tigers, who looked to be in a bit of trouble, as they trailed 59-50 heading into the final frame. But over the first five minutes of the fourth quarter, LSU went on a pivotal 15-0 run to take control of the contest. They outscored top-seeded Virginia Tech by a 29-13 margin in the fourth quarter en route to a come-from-behind 79-72 victory.

Alexis Morris led the Tigers’ scoring attack with 27 points. Angel Reese chipped in with a solid double-double effort that included 24 points and 12 rebounds (including six on the offensive glass). Senior forward LaDazhia Williams also contributed with 16 points, seven rebounds, three steals, and two assists. 

While the Tigers converted only three of their 13 attempts from beyond the arc, they limited the Hokies to just 40.4 percent shooting from the field and 29 percent from beyond the arc. Head coach, Kim Mulkey, who helped guide Baylor to three national championships in 21 seasons, has gotten LSU to its first-ever title game in just her second season with the program. 

Caitlin Clark Comes Up Clutch Once Again In Upset Win Over Defending Champs

On the other side of this matchup, we have an Iowa Hawkeyes team that had an impressive showing against South Carolina. Not only were the Gamecocks the defending national champions, but they also came into this matchup riding a 42-game winning streak that dates back to March 2022.

However, the Hawkeyes refuse to wilt under the pressure. Yes, they got clobbered on the boards by a whopping 49-25 margin, including a 26-5 advantage on the offensive glass. Yes, South Carolina also outscored Iowa 24-8 in second-chance points. 

But thanks to a stellar defensive performance by the Hawkeyes that limited South Carolina to 39 percent shooting from the field and 20 percent from distance, they prevailed 77-73 in a game that very much lived up to the hype. It is also worth mentioning that Iowa guard Caitlin Clark poured in a game-high 41 points (15-for-31 shooting) to go along with six rebounds and eight assists. 

It was her second straight tournament game in which she scored 40 points. And as is the case with the Tigers, the Hawkeyes will be making their first appearance in the title game as well.

The Picks

Over/Under

The projected O/U total for this contest is 160.5. I have a couple of issues with this stat.

For starters, the Tigers are averaging 67.6 points per contest in the tournament, while the Hawkeyes come in at 86 points per outing. That is a combined total of 153.6 points, which is well below the projected total.

Second, LSU scored 79 points in its win over Virginia Tech, and Iowa tallied 77 points in its win over South Carolina. With that being said, I would strongly suggest going with the UNDER in this matchup. 

The Spread

On the heels of their victory over the defending champions, Iowa is favored to win this game by 3.5 points. 

The Hawkeyes have won each of their five tournament games by an average of 17.6 points per contest. To be objective, some of that is due to the 95-43 blowout victory against SE Louisiana in the opening round. 

But even if you don’t include the victory in the opening round, Iowa’s average margin of victory over the remaining four rounds is still nine points per contest. 

Taking these factors into consideration, I’m picking the Iowa Hawkeyes to win and cover the (-3.5) spread. 

Player Prop Bet

It should come as no surprise that my player to watch from this game is Iowa guard Caitlin Clark. At the time of this writing, there are no player prop bet data available.

Clark has eclipsed the 30-point threshold in four of her last six contests, including 41 points in back-to-back games against Louisville and South Carolina. 

Clark is also averaging a career-best 27.7 points per game this season. And she always seems to show up in those moments in which her team needs her the most. 

In other words, I’m going with the OVER.

James' Picks

Under 160.5 total points

Iowa Hawkeyes (-3.5)

PPB: Caitlin Clark OVER 27 points

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