College Basketball Odds & Picks for Alabama vs. Missouri: Bet the Crimson Tide to Roll on Saturday
William Purnell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jaden Shackelford.
- The Alabama Crimson Tide will make the trip to Columbia on Saturday to take on the Missouri Tigers in a top-25 SEC matchup.
- The Tide have been one of the hottest teams in the country in recent weeks, and that's exactly where Tanner McGrath sees betting value.
- Check out McGrath's full betting preview complete with updated odds and a pick below.
Alabama vs. Missouri Odds
This is going to be a fun game.
The Alabama Crimson Tide and Missouri Tigers are first and second in the SEC standings, respectively. Both teams have been playing above expectations, and neither reports any major dents on its resume.
The big question is if Alabama can remain undefeated in conference play after a ridiculous 10-0 start.
Missouri will look to land its second KenPom top-10 win of the season, after beating Illinois during non-conference play. The Tigers are 5-3 in the SEC and are currently projected as a 5-seed in the NCAA Tournament.
I love what Cuonzo Martin has built with Missouri this season. However, I’m not sure if I can fade Alabama’s ridiculous metrics.
The Argument for Alabama
This is Alabama’s most fun basketball team in years.
Head coach Nate Oats has transformed Alabama into a basketball school. He deserves all the credit in the world for his accomplishments in Tuscaloosa over the past few seasons.
I listened to Oats on Jon Rothstein’s podcast recently, and I love how much faith he places in advanced metrics. He regularly referenced Alabama’s KenPom metrics and emphasized the importance of his team’s rebounding percentages. He is a forward-thinking coach who cares about the statistics I’m going to use in this argument.
This year, Alabama paces the SEC in both offensive and defensive efficiency. It hasn’t lost a conference game yet; but moreover, the team is 9-1 against the spread (ATS) in those 10 victories. The Crimson Tide have established themselves as the class of the SEC.
Additionally, the Crimson Tide are 5-1 in Quad 1 opportunities and are currently projected to be a top-2 seed in the NCAA Tournament per Joe Lunardi. Alabama ranks 10th in the AP Top 25 poll and seventh in the Coaches Poll.
The Crimson Tide offense is remarkably explosive and exciting. Take, for example, when Alabama sunk 23 shots from beyond the arc en route to a 105-75 victory against LSU on Jan. 19. Nonetheless, despite Alabama’s adept offense, the the true strength of this team is its defense. Alabama ranks third in the nation in defensive efficiency, and it has held opponents to a 44.8% effective field goal percentage (eFG%), which ranks 18th in Division-I.
This team’s offensive and defensive ceiling is through the roof, and I’m overly excited to see how they fare in March. It’s clear to understand why bettors would favor the Crimson Tide vs. Missouri on Saturday.
The Argument for Missouri
I love what Cuonzo Martin has built in Columbia.
The Tigers are 12-3 overall and 5-3 in conference play. They boast road wins over Arkansas and Tennessee, plus a home win over Illinois. Missouri has demonstrated the ability to defeat any team on any given night.
Missouri ranks third in the SEC in defensive efficiency and has limited opponents to shooting 47.1% from 2-point range and 30.5% from 3-point range.
Offensively, Missouri has its issues. However, the team has been excellent at getting to the free throw line, which mitigates some of Mizzou’s offensive flaws. The Tigers lead the SEC in free-throw rate and rank 14th in FT rate nationwide.
Additionally, Missouri is 5-2 ATS in its last seven games against Alabama, and 5-1 ATS in its last six games against Alabama at home. So, they’ve established some success against the Crimson Tide in the past.
Of course, this isn’t the same Alabama team that Missouri typically faces every other year.
Betting Analysis & Pick
I hate betting road favorites. However, in this case, there’s one metric that pushes me overwhelmingly towards Alabama.
Alabama has averaged 83.2 points per game on the road this season, which ranks 10th in the country. Meanwhile, Missouri is allowing 70.2 points per game at home, which ranks 253rd.
While I believe Missouri has a good defense, that statistic is too ridiculous not to side with. Additionally, Missouri’s offense isn’t particularly exemplary, and I don’t believe they’ll be able to keep up with Alabama tonight.
I’m playing Alabama -2 and would bet them up to -3.
Pick: Alabama -2 | Play to -3