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College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions: Auburn vs. Alabama (Tuesday, Jan. 11)

College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions: Auburn vs. Alabama (Tuesday, Jan. 11) article feature image
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Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Jaden Shackelford (Alabama)

  • The Auburn Tigers are undefeated in SEC play, but they are short underdogs against the Alabama Crimson Tide on Tuesday.
  • Can the Tide bounce back after a disappointing loss to Mizzou on Saturday?
  • Doug Ziefel breaks down the matchup and his best bet below.

Auburn vs. Alabama Odds

Tuesday, Jan. 11
9 p.m. ET
ESPN
Auburn Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+1.5
-110
156
-110o / -110u
N/A
Alabama Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-1.5
-110
156
-110o / -110u
N/A
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The SEC takes center stage, as the fourth-ranked Auburn Tigers head to Tuscaloosa to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Bruce Pearl has his guys off to a roaring start, as the Tigers currently sit atop the SEC with a 14-1 record while being undefeated in conference play.

Auburn has seemed to thrive under the competition of league play, as it has already taken down a previously-undefeated LSU team. The Tigers have since followed that victory up with two more wins, both coming by double digits.

After their latest upset loss to Missouri, the Crimson Tide are hanging onto their top-25 ranking by a thread. I say latest as these types of losses are nothing new to this Alabama team.

Yes, the Crimson Tide have beaten the likes of Houston, Gonzaga and Tennessee, but their latest loss adds to an upset list that includes Iona and Davidson.

Now, the Tide get to return home where they have been far better against top-notch teams. But the question remains: which Alabama team will we get in this matchup?


Auburn Tigers

Expect Tigers’ Efficient Offense to Stay in Rhythm

This Auburn team is very stout defensively, but its offense has proven that it is not far behind. The Tigers are 22nd in adjusted offensive efficiency and average nearly 81 points per game.

The majority of their points come from the trio of Jabari Smith, K.D. Johnson and Wendell Green Jr. Each have been highly productive this season, as they all have offensive ratings over 100 while maintaining the top three usage rates on the team.

What makes the trio and the Auburn offense as a whole difficult to contain is that everyone has to be accounted for. Take the Tigers’ last three games, for example. Johnson led the team against Florida with 23 points. Green then led Auburn in scoring against South Carolina with 22. Lastly, against LSU, Smith was tied as the team’s leading scorer with fellow forward Walker Kessler.

Kessler is also someone who needs to be mentioned as he stands at seven-foot-one, and his offensive game is ever-improving.

This trio that may now be forming into a quartet of scorers for Auburn will be tricky for Alabama to deal with. Alabama is already not the most impressive defensive team, as it ranks 131st in effective field goal percentage allowed.

The Crimson Tide will also be at a significant size and rebounding disadvantage as Kessler is taller than anyone on their roster.

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Alabama Crimson Tide

Bama Will Need to Shoot the Lights Out Again

In one of their biggest wins of the season against Houston, which is a phenomenal defensive team, the Crimson Tide shot exceedingly well. They shot 52% from the field and nearly 40% from 3.

The thing is, they shot that well and won by only one point in the final seconds. I doubt they will be so lucky this time around.

Luck and hot shooting aside, this Alabama offense certainly cannot be discounted. The trio of Killer Js, Jaden Shackelford, Jahvon Quinerly and Juwan Gary, have been outstanding. Just like the Auburn trio, each of them can catch fire and carry the Tide.

While the Killer Js will get most of the attention, Keon Ellis has emerged as an unsung option. The senior guard has been a consistent source of production, as he averages 12 points and six rebounds per game, though the metrics show just how deadly he can be.

Ellis has the highest offensive rating on the team and the highest true shooting percentage. If Auburn does not account for Ellis, he can burn them.

For all the offensive firepower the Alabama offense presents, it will be met with defensive ice from the Tigers. Auburn is seventh in adjusted defensive efficiency.

Most importantly, the Tigers are also seventh in 2-point percentage allowed.

This is key against the Tide, as they rank eighth in 2-point percentage.


Auburn vs. Alabama Betting Pick

I expect the Crimson Tide to bounce back well from their loss. It will also help that they are at home in this one, but defense travels. The Tigers have the ability to close out and contest along with the size to maintain control on the boards. Not to mention their offense will put up points.

My initial thought was to lean toward the over, and it certainly deserves a look at 156, but I think the wrong team is favored here, and we need to jump on that value.

Take Tigers to get the job done.

Pick: Auburn +1.5

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