Auburn vs. Alabama Betting Odds
Tuscaloosa will look to lick its wounds from a National Championship loss Monday night, as the Crimson Tide basketball team will host the Auburn Tigers.
These are two SEC powerhouses, but Auburn has been more consistent this season. The Tigers enter this game 14-1 with their last loss coming in November. Meanwhile, Alabama just lost to lowly, hapless Missouri.
So, can Alabama immediately bounce back?
Auburn Tigers Odds
Bruce Pearl is a top-tier basketball coach.
And this is one of the best teams he’s built. The roster is packed with young, NBA-level talent while defending at an uber-high level.
On the defensive side, 7-foot-1 Walker Kessler headlines an interior defense that leads the nation in block rate and is seventh in 2-point defense. Auburn is also excellent at forcing steals, and it’s eighth in overall defensive efficiency as a result.
Offensively, the spotlight is on Jabari Smith. The future lottery pick is dropping over 15 points per game and has advanced numbers that light up the box score – on both sides of the ball. And although he stands 6-foot-10, he’s a true three-level scorer with above-average athleticism.
Jabari Smith Jr. and Auburn are playing great ball this season. You get them winning the SEC? pic.twitter.com/AXVSbJWmib
— B/R Hoops (@brhoops) January 9, 2022
It’s worth pointing out point guard Wendell Green, who can shoulder the scoring load when needed and ranks top-50 nationally in assist rate.
KD Johnson rounds out the Auburn roster, scoring 12.8 points per game and being Auburn’s highest-usage defender.
Alabama Crimson Tide Odds
Okay: Let’s talk about the Elephant in the room (pun intended).
The loss to Missouri was disgusting. The worst Power 5 team in the country caught Nate Oats sleeping in a sandwich spot and lit Alabama up for 92 points. The Tigers got to the line 27 times in that game, capitalizing on 21 of them as well.
Alabama didn’t even have much shooting regression. Alabama shot 56% from inside the arc and both teams shot 9-for-24 from 3.
It was simply a dominating performance by Mizzou. Getting crushed by bad teams is not something that happens to good teams.
So: Is Alabama a good team?
I think it’s too early to tell. Oats and the Crimson Tide have paired some big wins with some big losses this season.
It’s clear Alabama is inconsistent. Its style of play is high variance, as the team loves to shoot a lot from deep.
Additionally, it’s clear the Crimson Tide are often over-reliant on their star-studded backcourt. Jahvon Quinerly, Jaden Shackelford, JD Davison, and Keon Ellis have been excellent, but the frontcourt is undersized and underwhelming. As a result, the interior defense hasn’t been good.
I have no idea where this team will end up. But the Crimson Tide will certainly be in the tournament come March.
Auburn vs. Alabama Prediction and Pick
My pick: Alabama -1.5 (-110 at BetMGM)
This is a typical buy-low spot for Alabama, who absolutely need this home victory after a long road trip.
Auburn has been so hot, but the Tigers are due for a loss. This will be their first real road test in the conference after smoking South Carolina last Tuesday.
The Auburn interior defense is tough, but Alabama’s biggest strength this season is 2-point offense. The Crimson Tide are eighth nationally in 2-point shooting this season.
Hopefully, that’s the difference in this one. I’d play Alabama at anything better than -2.