College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions for South Dakota State vs. Alabama: Bet on the First Half
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- Alabama will face its second tough task in a row as it will face off against a dangerous South Dakota State team.
- The Crimson Tide escaped their first stiff task -- vs. Louisiana Tech -- and will utilize their fast pace in this one.
- Shane McNichol previews the Friday night college basketball matchup and offers up a best bet.
South Dakota State vs. Alabama Odds
|South Dakota State Odds|
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
Early season tilts like the Champions Classic or Villanova’s trip to UCLA will get far more attention than Friday’s game between Alabama and South Dakota State, but don’t let that fool you.
This will be both a fascinating stylistic match-up, as well as a perfect measuring stick for two teams with postseason dreams.
Alabama, eager to prove itself as one of the best teams in college basketball, will welcome a veteran-laden and talent-rich South Dakota State team to Tuscaloosa.
Best of all, these teams are both led by coaches who have happily embraced the 21st century’s influence on the sport. They will both look to run in transition at every possible opportunity and both will attempt a high number of jumpers from long range.
Vegas set a high total on this contest, but it is far from out of reach for these two squads. Get your popcorn and settle into this one. It won’t disappoint, unless you find yourself betting on the wrong side.
This is far from a cupcake on the early season schedule for the Crimson Tide. In his third year as the head coach in Brookings, Eric Henderson brings back a team that has very real NCAA Tournament aspirations.
Only few teams in all of Division I returned a smaller percentage of last year’s minutes played, per BartTorvik. Just two of the 12 players who checked into a game for the Jackrabbits last season are not back on the roster this year, and those two players combined for just six points in 10 total minutes played last season.
Everyone else is back.
That includes five players who scored in double figures last season, led by junior Baylor Scheierman. In 2020-21, Scheierman averaged 15.4 points, 9.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game, while shooting 44 percent from outside the arc on more than 5.5 attempts a night.
Bringing back names on a roster year-over-year is one thing — bringing back real, talented production is another.
Just like Alabama, the Jacks will want to play fast, as they have increased tempo in every season under Henderson’s reign. They had a lightning quick 81-possession game against Bradley on opening night.
In its third year under the current coach’s regime, South Dakota State might have eyes on the tournament. Nate Oats and Alabama’s desires are much grander, with their sights on the Final Four.
Villanova transfer Jahvon Quinerly has blossomed into the star that many expected when he was a highly, heralded recruit. He’ll be tasked with running the point on Oats’ offense, which will be high tempo and spread out.
The Tide have ranked in the top six in terms of shortest possession length and the top 20 in 3-point rate in Oats’ first two years in Tuscaloosa. They will look to run-and-gun at every opportunity.
While Quinerly will be the initiator, Jaden Shackelford will likely be the primary scoring option. He led the Tide in scoring last season and has managed more than 460 total points in each of his two collegiate years.
The Crimson Tide offense will be fiery no matter what, but they will make their bones on the other side of the floor.
Alabama finished last season ranked third in the nation in defensive efficiency, per KenPom. If Oats can keep the Tide ranked among the nation’s elite defenses, the sky is the limit for this team.
Alabama can outscore anyone, but the Tide won’t need to do so if it is getting consistent stops and forcing turnovers.
South Dakota State vs. Alabama Betting Pick
This is a very intriguing early-season matchup that will go a long way to determining the fortunes of the two teams involved.
If Alabama is going to be a top-five team and threaten for the SEC crown or a top seed in March, this is not a game where it can mess around. The Jackrabbits are too talented and experienced, so the Tide can’t allow them to hang around into crunch time.
If the Tide are an elite team, they’ll run away from South Dakota State.
At the same time, if South Dakota State is going to be one of the premier mid-majors and set itself up for postseason success, the Jackrabbits will challenge the Tide, or at least keep things close deep into the second half.
Because of how these teams play, shooting success (or luck, if you prefer to think of it that way) will be a huge factor. Both teams will push the tempo and shoot as many 3s as they can.
If both teams shoot about as expected, Alabama is too good elsewhere on the court for South Dakota State to keep up. If either team gets extraordinarily hot or cold, this game will look drastically different.
One thing is sure: there will be points scored in Tuscaloosa tonight. The total for the entire game is all the way up to 162, a massive number for college hoops.
That will certainly be in range, but the first half number of 77 at DraftKings feels like a safer pick, with each team coming out shooting to set the tone.
Pick: 1st Half Over 77