Sunday kicks off with an exciting one as it’s Texas A&M Vs. Alabama for the SEC Conference Championship. Alabama has been on a mission after their late season slump, pushing off court distractions aside as they dominated the bracket. The Aggies have been clicking as of late as well, coming in as a +4.5 underdog in this one. Even behind the Aggies’ improved level of play, the Crimson Tide are poised to cruise past them as well as covering the spread.
Texas A&M Vs. Alabama Prediction
The issue is that this number has climbed past my buy point, going from -3.5 to -4.5. I would not take this number any higher than the key number of -4, making this a wait and play to see where this line movement goes as we near tip off. There is also always the possibility of grabbing it live should the Aggies start out hot. Alabama has clear advantages on both ends of the court, poised to cap off their year with a win.
Especially on the defensive end, a sneaky elite unit that is normally overshadowed by their fast hyper efficient fast paced offense. The Crimson Tide consistently ranked as a top-10 defensive unit, finishing the season third in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency per Kenpom. Their efficient level of play is especially incredible as they are able to shut down opposing offensive units in a high tempo style of play. Alabama ran as one of the fastest units in basketball, ranking fourth in Adjusted Tempo.
Normally a defense is exposed in a fast style of play, struggling in transition to cover the gaps that are created through the fast break. Alabama thrives in that style of play, being able to get back in a pinch and establish their defensive sets. This not only negates the fast break scoring opportunity, but also takes precious time away from the offense as they are now forced to scramble back into their half court set.
The Aggies already play as a slow unit, negating their fast break opportunities with a tendency to slow the game flow. Their tempo may backfire on them as Alabama’s ability to get in their set plays right into their hands. With the ability to shift with ease when defending the halfcourt, Alabama has the best in the nation at limiting opposing looks. Alabama finished the year first in Opposing Effective Field Goal Percentage per TeamRankings.
Not only will Alabama be able to smother the Aggies looks at the rim, but they will also negate their second chance opportunities as they rank first in the nation at Defensive Rebounds Per Game. Offensive rebounding is a major catalyst towards the Aggies success, generating second chance opportunities off their poor shooting. Without it, the Aggies will be prone to scoring lulls.
Texas A&M Vs. Alabama Prediction: Wait for Alabama -4 or better
Texas A&M Vs. Alabama Odds
As previously mentioned, oddsmakers gave the slight edge towards the Crimson Tide as they opened Alabama at -3.5. Bettors were quick to pounce on their number, taking Alabama up to as high as -4.5. This surpasses the key number of -4, making this a wait and see play with hopes of it coming back down to -4.
As for the total, points are expected to be scored at a quick pace as oddsmakers opened the number at 145.5. Correlated with the spread and Alabama game script, defense is set to take center stage as bettors have hit the under down to 144.5. Coupling Alabama’s tendency to abuse the perimeter as well as the Aggies scoring lulls, the under is worth a look in what is expected to be a defensive slugfest.
Texas A&M Vs. Alabama Key Matchups
Texas A&M perimeter defense vs Brandon Miller
The Crimson Tide’s offensive identity of abusing the perimeter is once again the key metric to watch as they are capable of burning defenses in a flash. With Brandon Miller and company finding success from deep, I believe their perimeter shooting will once again be a key reason for them to cover the spread in my Texas A&M Vs. Alabama prediction.
Miller has taken another step forward in his superstar level production, gardening defensive attention at all times. Because of this, gaps have been created throughout the arc that allows Alabama to potentially connect at a more consistent rate with high quality looks at the rim. While even ranking 78th in perimeter defense, the Crimson Tide will be able to shift them into their favor as Miller attacks the interior.
Brandon Miller puts up a dpuble-double to send Bama to the SEC tournament championship:
– 20 PTS
– 8-11 FG
– 3-6 3PT
– 12 REB
– 4 AST
— B/R Hoops (@brhoops) March 11, 2023
Back the Crimson Tide at no higher than -4 in what will be a thrilling SEC Championship game.