Tuesday College Basketball Betting Previews: Mississippi State-Alabama, Northwestern-Maryland

Tuesday College Basketball Betting Previews: Mississippi State-Alabama, Northwestern-Maryland article feature image

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jalen Smith (25), Bruno Fernando (23)

College basketball heats back up on Tuesday, with 12 ranked teams in action. Among them are No. 21 Maryland, which returns to College Park to face Northwestern, and No. 22 Mississippi State at Alabama.

Which sides present the most value? Let’s break them down.

>> All odds as of Monday night. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NCAAB odds and track your bets.

Betting Odds: Northwestern Wildcats at Maryland Terrapins

  • Spread: Maryland -7.5
  • Over/Under: 148.5
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET
  • TV: Fox Sports 1

The Terrapins (11-9-1 against the spread) have failed to cover in consecutive games while the Wildcats (11-9 ATS) have failed to cover in five of their past seven affairs.

Despite Northwestern’s slight size advantage, its opponents have generated the 10th-highest scoring rate (57.1%) inside the arc. Maryland has totaled the highest percentage of its offense (50.0%) from that area, so its frontcourt duo of Bruno Fernando (14.6 points per game) and Jalen Smith (11.8 ppg) should receive plenty of low-post looks early against the Wildcats’ small-ball lineup.

From there, the Terrapins should find success playing inside-out with the Big Ten’s second-highest 3-point shooting (39.8%) in conference play.

Maryland’s perimeter touch sits at a 40.5% clip at home, so look for it to bounce back after shooting 31.6% on 3-pointers against Illinois at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.

The Terps have notched the highest defensive rebound rate (24.9%) and the fourth-highest opponents’ effective field goal percentage (48.4%), respectively, in league play. They should be able to control the tempo as a result against a Northwestern team that’s accruing the second-lowest in-conference Adjusted Offensive Efficiency (92.9 points per 100 possessions).

According to our Bet Labs data, Maryland is 10-5-1 (66.6%) ATS as a single-digit favorite since last season. Expect Mark Turgeon’s unit to keep that trend rolling after back-to-back losses away from home.

THE PICK: Terrapins -7.5

Betting Odds: Mississippi State Bulldogs at Alabama Crimson Tide

  • Spread: Alabama -2
  • Over/Under: 148.5
  • Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
  • TV: SEC Network

The Bulldogs (9-10 ATS) are coming off covers in two of their past three games while the Crimson Tide (8-10-1 ATS) have covered so in three of their past four.

Avery Johnson’s crew has manufactured 33.4% of its offense from behind the arc amid SEC play — the fourth highest rate in the league — while shooting it at a 35.5% clip.

Mississippi State’s below-average perimeter defense (35.4%) will be exposed in this one, especially by the 6-foot-5 wing John Petty, who has shot 40.9% from 3-point range against SEC foes.

Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: John Petty

Alabama has dominated its conference opponents on the glass, too, amassing the league’s highest defensive (25.6%) and offensive rebounding rate (34.7%), respectively. It’ll speed up the pace in the process via its 16.7-second average possession length against a Mississippi State team that’s better off playing at a slower tempo.

On the flip side, Ben Howland’s crew is at its best while utilizing its perimeter offense from the jump, as its produced the 100th-highest scoring rate overall (34.6%) in that area and the fifth-highest in SEC play (32.1%). But the Tide have let up the second-lowest opponents’ 3-point scoring percentage (23.8%) in conference, so the Bulldogs’ offense will be in for a test.

Per Bet Labs, Alabama is 6-0 ATS against ranked SEC opponents at home, beginning a season ago. Look for the Tide to play up to the competition once again.

THE PICK: Alabama -2