Alabama vs Mississippi State Odds, Picks: Why to Back the Tide

Alabama vs Mississippi State Odds, Picks: Why to Back the Tide article feature image

Photo by Brandon Sumrall/Getty Images. Pictured: Mark Sears (Alabama)

Alabama vs Mississippi State Odds

Wednesday, Dec. 28
9 p.m. ET
SEC Network
Alabama Odds
-114o / -106u
Mississippi State Odds
-114o / -106u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Don't look now, but the Alabama Crimson Tide have become the giant killers that they were last year. Through just 12 games, their resume is highly impressive, and they will look to add another quality win on Wednesday.

Nate Oats' Tide has taken down the likes of Michigan State, North Carolina, Memphis and Houston, but are they ready for their first test in conference play?

The hosts, the Mississippi State Bulldogs, have proven to be no pushovers, as they've already picked up non-conference wins over Utah and Marquette. However, for the first time this season, they'll enter a game off of a loss, as Drake defeated them over a week ago.

So, which team will start their conference schedule 1-0? Let's take a closer look to find out.

Alabama Crimson Tide

When you look at this Alabama team, it's clear what it's going to do. The Tide have shot the 3-ball at a very high rate this season, as 3s have made up over 46% of their field-goal attempts.

However, it's much more than the long makes that have led to their many victories. Their 3s don't go in at an overly high rate, but their volume has led to many second chances.

The Crimson Tide are the 45th biggest team in the country, and they've utilized their size well on the offensive glass. They're currently 14th in the country in offensive rebounds.

It doesn't end there for the Tide, as their second-chance put-backs have led to many trips to the line. Bama is also 23rd in free-throw attempts per field-goal attempts.

With all that being said, the Bulldogs are not 11-1 by chance. Mississippi State has proven to be a stout defensive ball club. It'll enter this matchup fifth in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency and have proven it can defend all areas of the court with the ability to turn teams over.

So, while the Crimson may create their own edge, this will be yet another tough test.

Mississippi State Bulldogs

As we know by now, Mississippi State is a team that'll play through the defensive end of the floor and look to create additional opportunities off of steals.

However, in the half-court setting, the Bulldogs have played through one man: Tolu Smith.

Smith makes up nearly 30% of the team's offensive possession, and he's been incredibly productive with that volume. He's averaging 15.6 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.

All of his damage comes inside the paint, though. Smith has used his size and athleticism to bully his smaller opponents for easy buckets. That's shown through his 62.2 field goal percentage.

However, things may go differently for Smith and the Bulldogs, as Alabama has the size to contend with him down low. Noah Clowney and Charles Bediako have block rates above five percent, ranking them in the top-150 nationally.

If Smith is contained, it'll be hard for the Bulldogs to generate offense, as the Crimson Tide are 16th in 2-point percentage allowed.

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Alabama vs. Mississippi State Betting Pick

The Crimson Tide have been through quite the gauntlet in the early going of the season, and they'll get no breaks here as this will be a tough road matchup.

However, they should have enough to pull this one out.

Their ability to make the outside shot will stretch the Bulldogs and allow more opportunities for second chances.

Their most significant edge is on the other end of the floor, though, as they have faced the nation's top big men already and should have a solid game plan to slow down Smith.

Take the Crimson Tide to get the job done.

Pick: Alabama ML -137 (Play to -160)

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