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LSU vs. UCLA Expert Pick and Prediction – March 30, 2024

LSU vs. UCLA Expert Pick and Prediction – March 30, 2024 

LSU VS. UCLA EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION – March 30, 2024 — It’s depth vs. star power in this matchup, as a pair of contrasting styles meet for the right to go to the Elite Eight. The Tigers certainly have not looked the part of a defending champion in most of this tournament, but the Bayou Bengals also didn’t look their best until the Final Four last season.

And despite their seed and lackluster showings against Rice and Middle Tennessee, most people expect LSU to turn it on now that they’ve reached the regional semifinal. They might have the right opponent to do it, too, as UCLA isn’t exactly shy at sending teams to the free throw line. The Tigers lead the nation in free throw attempts, averaging two more per game than the next-closest team (Jackson State).

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But LSU does have weaknesses: the Tigers are anything but deep. Kim Mulkey doesn’t like to use much of her bench (or she doesn’t trust anything beyond her starting five), which could backfire against the Bruins. UCLA is a deeper team, and if the Bruins can get someone in foul trouble, they’ll have the edge.

However, the biggest question is whether UCLA is aggressive enough to take advantage of LSU’s aggression. The Bruins don’t get to the line very often, even though they do rebound well. If they can’t grind with the Tigers, they’re in trouble.

The Odds 







(30-5 SU) 






(27-6 SU)






When: Saturday, March 30 at 1 p.m. EST 

Where: MVP Arena, Albany, N.Y.


Public Bets: Unavailable 

Public Money: Unavailable

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of March 29th, 2024

LSU vs. UCLA In-Season Trends 

This game could get ugly, and not in the sense of a blowout. This could be a knock down, drag out affair because these are defensive teams. Before taking a loss to USC in the Pac-12 tournament, UCLA held six straight opponents to 55 points or less.

The big question is how well a team shoots, because UCLA has had teams put up some big numbers on them. The Bruins’ defensive strategy is based on forcing tough shots and getting the rebound, but Stanford and Oregon State both shot the lights out and beat the Bruins in February.

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LSU has been similar, although the Tigers don’t always pull away to the extent the Bruins do. They held 10 straight opponents to 67 or less before running into South Carolina, but nobody keeps the Gamecocks from putting up points.

The Difference-Makers 

This is going to come down to the battle inside between Lauren Betts and Angel Reese. Reese isn’t the only rebounder the Tigers have, but she’s easily LSU’s biggest presence in the paint and represents one of the toughest matchups Betts has seen all year.

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Reese also gets help inside from Aneesah Morrow, while Betts tends to get a little bit of help on the boards from everyone save Londynn Jones. Betts will likely split time against Reese with Gabriela Jaquez, and the two of them have to combine to keep Reese from taking over the game. UCLA doesn’t need to outrebound LSU to win this game, but it can’t win unless it can slow Reese down.

The Pick 

Something seems off with LSU right now. Whether it’s distraction catching up with them or a lack of depth coming back to bite it, the Tigers don’t seem to be themselves.

On paper, LSU’s aggression should serve it well here. But the Tigers don’t see too many players like Betts, and they aren’t getting off to good starts. Another slow start would mean the end of the road for the Tigers, and UCLA is good enough to make it happen.

Dan’s Picks 

 UCLA +3.5  

 Under 145.5


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