Alabama vs South Carolina Odds, Prediction: Value on Gamecocks?
Photo by John Korduner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Gregory “GG” Jackson (South Carolina)
Alabama vs South Carolina Odds
-110o / -110u
|South Carolina Odds|
-110o / -110u
If you haven’t seen the recent news, Alabama‘s Brandon Miller has become — for lack of a better word — linked to the Darius Miles shooting.
Darius Miles texted Brandon Miller to bring gun used to kill Jamea Jonae Harris, police testify https://t.co/BfsquVwIoe
— AL.com sports (@aldotcomSports) February 21, 2023
Moreover, head coach Nate Oats had some questionable comments regarding the story.
There’s little to glean from Alabama’s situation this early in the news cycle, and I’m not in any place to make comments or assume anything.
Therefore, I’ll write this preview as if Miller is playing and Oats is coaching. But I urge our readers to heavily monitor the news before considering betting on this game.
Alabama has opened as 18-point favorites with a total of 148.
From a pure on-court perspective, Alabama looks like the best team in the country.
The recent loss to Tennessee is forgivable, given it was a very favorable spot for the Vols. Otherwise, the Tide have been nearly unbeatable.
The biggest takeaway from Alabama is best summarized by the Three Man Weave’s Jim Root:
No one is truly elite this year, but I think I believe this: Alabama’s best is better than anyone else’s best
Of course they don’t always access it, especially given their reliance on jump shots. But man, the top gear is high
— Jim Root (@2ndChancePoints) February 19, 2023
At its ceiling, Alabama is a nearly unstoppable athletic machine on offense — utilizing an elite rim-and-3 style — and an overwhelming force on defense — using lengthy drop coverage sets.
If I were to nitpick Alabama, I’d mention the guard play. Specifically, what’s going on with Jahvon Quinerly?
Quinerly’s minutes got ramped up in January, with him logging at least 20 minutes in five of six games between Jan. 21 and Feb. 8. But he then played only 11 minutes at Auburn and put together a horrific performance against Tennessee (17 minutes, three points, 1-for-5 shooting, six turnovers).
Quinerly’s on-court metrics seem excellent, as he runs more pick-and-roll sets than anyone else on the team and boasts the team’s highest assist rate. But he’s been relegated among a crowded backcourt.
I think Jaden Bradley might be a better fit. Bradley’s defense is much better (per EvanMiya’s DBPR metric), and he’s been way better in transition (1.176 PPP to .688).
Charles Bediako anchors the drop defense, and has become one of the better interior defenders in the SEC.
Of course, Miller makes the Crimson Tide’s clock turn. He leads all freshmen in points per game (18.7) with ruthless efficiency (1.096 PPP) while adding eight boards per game.
It was always a lost season for the Gamecocks as they attempt to rebuild from the Frank Martin era.
However, the results still feel disappointing.
GG Jackson’s numbers are underwhelming (especially his 92.4 ORtg), and the Gamecocks backed up a win over Kentucky with eight straight SEC losses.
The future looks just as murky as Jackson is a projected first-round pick.
But for now, Jackson is a big man that plays like a guard. He also just posted 20 points and seven boards in a win over LSU.
But of course, this was after getting benched for three games after dragging coach Lamont Paris on Instagram live.
The 82-73 victory over LSU was South Carolina‘s second win in three tries, representing its best streak of the conference season.
It’s been that type of year in Columbia.
There’s not much to talk about when it comes to South Carolina. The Gamecocks are probably due for some positive regression on offense (ShotQuality projects they should be scoring around 1.01 PPP instead of the actual .96).
Still, they get sucked into isolation sets and off-the-dribble 3s far too much.
Conversely, it’s a layup line against the Gamecocks’ defense, and they are due for no negative regression there.
Alabama vs South Carolina Betting Pick
I was already leaning towards betting on South Carolina before this Alabama situation happened. However, in light of the news, I’m not less confident about fading Alabama.
There’s a good chance Alabama looks sleepy Tuesday night. The Tide are coming off of a 50-point home win and could be looking ahead to home games against Arkansas and Auburn.
And that’s without even mentioning the off-the-court issues.
Sandwiched in between those two games is this road contest with lowly South Carolina. However, the Tide only won by three the last time they visited Columbia, granted it was a full two years ago.
However, and dare I say it, maybe the Gamecocks are starting to play better. Not only have they picked up wins in two of their last three games, but they have also covered in five of their last six despite the losses piling up.
Either way, I still like the spot for South Carolina, and the ShotQualityBets model projects the Gamecocks as only 12.3-point underdogs.
I’ll shoot my shot with South Carolina as a monster home underdog in a solid situational spot.
Pick: South Carolina +18
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