South Carolina vs Alabama Odds, Pick for Tuesday

South Carolina vs Alabama Odds, Pick for Tuesday article feature image

(Photo by David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images). Pictured: Meechie Johnson.

South Carolina vs Alabama Odds, Pick

Tuesday, Jan 9
7:00pm ET
SEC Network
S. Carolina Odds
-115o / -105u
Alabama Odds
-115o / -105u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAB odds here.

Tipping off midweek action on the SEC Network, Alabama hosts South Carolina on Tuesday night in Coleman Coliseum.

The Crimson Tide started conference play with a hard-fought victory at Vanderbilt this past weekend to move to 9-5. Meanwhile, the Gamecocks also recorded a win Saturday, downing Mississippi State at home to improve to 13-1.

South Carolina Gamecocks

If you've recently looked at the SEC standings, your eyes are not deceiving you: South Carolina and Ole Miss are tied for the most wins in the conference.

South Carolina has had a huge turnaround in year two under coach Lamont Paris. However, the Gamecocks have also benefited from a soft schedule so far. KenPom ranks South Carolina’s schedule outside of the top 300 in the country.

Paris’ squad still has quality wins over Virginia Tech and Grand Canyon in the non-conference slate to go with the victory against Mississippi State on the resume.

One of the keys to the improvements for the Gamecocks this season has been their four veteran transfers. It also helps when you have guard Meechie Johnson on your team. Johnson leads the team in scoring at 18.2 points per game, and he is fresh off scoring a team-high 24 points in the win over the Bulldogs.

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Alabama Crimson Tide

After winning the SEC and earning a No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament a season ago, there are new expectations on campus for hoops at Alabama, and coach Nate Oats continues to deliver a great product.

In non-conference play, the Tide scored 1,207 points, which was the most by any team in program history through 13 games. That number is even more impressive when you factor in that Alabama’s strength of opposing defenses ranks inside the top 50, according to KenPom.

The leader of this high-powered offense is guard Mark Sears. Coming into this past weekend, Sears was one of two players in the country to have at least 250 points, 30 3-pointers, 49 assists and 55 rebounds this season.

He is joined by Aaron Estrada and Grant Nelson to round out the Crimson Tide’s terrific trio. All three have scored over 1,000 points in their career, and they’ll need to keep playing at a high level to help the program make another deep run in March.

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South Carolina vs. Alabama

Betting Pick & Prediction

The huge difference in the strength of schedule rankings does worry me in this matchup, but I really like how this South Carolina squad has started games this season. I like the Gamecocks to cover the first-half spread of +6.5.

With the veteran transfers he brought into the program, Paris has done an excellent job at dictating his slow tempo early in contests. This has resulted in his squad holding leads in the biggest games on the schedule.

So far this season, South Carolina was leading at halftime against Clemson, Notre Dame, Grand Canyon and Virginia Tech. Yes, the Crimson Tide are a step up in competition from that list, but these are good teams to compare to Alabama.

Another key to holding these early advantages has been the play on the defensive side of the floor, where the Gamecocks rank 13th in opponents’ first-half scoring.

I’m not sure Paris’ team can keep up with the Crimson Tide for a full game, but I do like the value for the visitors to keep it close early.

Pick: South Carolina 1H +6.5

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