Texas A&M-CC vs Alabama Odds, Picks: First-Half Play to Make

Texas A&M-CC vs Alabama Odds, Picks: First-Half Play to Make article feature image

Getty Images. Design by Matt Roembke/Action Network. Pictured from left: Brandon Miller of Alabama and Trevian Tennyson on Texas A&M-CC

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi vs Alabama Odds

Thursday, March 16
2:45 p.m. ET
Texas A&M Corpus Christi Odds
-110o / -110u
Alabama Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Historically, 1 vs. 16 matchups haven't resulted in the best on-court product, but they have produced some of the best storylines in March Madness history.

The storyline at play here in this matchup between Alabama and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi is truly one of David vs. Goliath proportions.

Texas A&M-CC was founded in 1947 and has a current enrollment of just 10,800 students. Given this small undergraduate population, the school's campus is located on its own island.

The Islanders have earned this matchup with top overall seed Alabama by winning four games in a row to end the regular season before taking home the Southland Tournament crown.

In addition, the Islanders needed to outlast Southeast Missouri State on Tuesday night in the First Four.

Although there are many teams in similar positions, this seems to be slated as the quintessential "happy-to-be-here" spot for Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

In order to pick a betting angle that best reflects this unique style of matchup, let's take a look at the odds and make a prediction for Texas A&M-Corpus Christi vs Alabama.

Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders

What the Islanders have been able to do in the Southland has been truly impressive.

In his second year, head coach Steve Lutz was able to return 71.1% of his production from a team that finished 23-12 a season ago, ultimately falling short in the First Four.

This storyline of the Islanders falling short in the First Four a season ago makes their victory over SEMO on Tuesday night all the more sweet for Lutz's squad.

In addition, the Islanders had to overcome the loss of Southland Defensive Player of the Year Terrion Murdix, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Southland title game. Murdix led the Islanders in assists while adding 13.4 points per game.

Although the Islanders have been able to overcome Murdix's absence in back-to-back critical games, this will be a whole different story against Alabama's offense.

In particular, Alabama has attempted the seventh-most 3-pointers in the country, shooting 47.8% of its total field goal attempts from beyond the arc.

Even with Murdix, this is an area the Islanders have struggled in, allowing their opponents to attempt 41.2% of their field goal attempts from deep (305th nationally).

This inability to guard the perimeter is the result of an Islanders team that lacks size. Texas A&M-CC is the fifth-shortest team in the country, according to average height.

I expect Alabama to come out and make a statement on the offensive end despite the momentum and storylines the Islanders bring with them.

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Alabama Crimson Tide

What was most impressive about Alabama's run to the SEC Tournament title was its play on the defensive end.

The Crimson Tide have quietly climbed to No. 3 nationally in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, allowing just 68.5 points per game.

Where Alabama has really made a statement is in its ability at the rim on both ends of the floor.

Defensively, the Tide rank first in the country in near proximity field goal percentage, allowing their opponents to convert just 46.63% of their layups, dunks and tip-ins, according to Haslametrics.

One of the big takeaways from Alabama's win over Mississippi State was Charles Bediako's defense anchoring performance.

Based on the shots taken, Tolu Smith was expected to score 10 more points, but repeatedly failed to beat Bediako in the post. pic.twitter.com/iGtsEuFuD3

— ShotQuality (@Shot_Quality) December 30, 2022

These opportunities near the rim have already been a problem area for an undersized Islanders team that ranks 338th in the same category on the offensive end.

Although the Tide are known to take their fair share of 3-pointers ,when they create penetration, they're just as effective.

Alabama ranks 29th in the country in mid-range field goal percentage, which will be a highly effective area of its offense against a Corpus Christi defense that ranks 341st nationally in 2-point percentage defense.

Overall, the size and athleticism Alabama possesses will simply be too much for the Islanders to contain on either end of the floor. That's especially true when Alabama gets closer to the basket.

Texas A&M Corpus Christi vs. Alabama Betting Pick

It's never easy making picks in these 1 vs. 16 matchups when spreads have inflated to the mid-20s.

With that being said, I believe there's an angle on Alabama that presents value, given its ability to utilize its size advantage on both ends of the floor.

Defensively, look for Charles Bediako to continue his stellar play, anchoring an Alabama defense that's elite at defending the rim.

On the other size, Brandon Miller and Alabama's offense should be able to get to the rim at will, opening things up for the outside shooting.

Rather than take a full-game bet on the Tide and risk them sitting starters late, I look to the first-half line as the best investment.

Early in the season against Arizona and Oklahoma, the Islanders faced half-time deficits of 13 and 22, respectively. I expect a similar outcome in the first half on Thursday afternoon.

Pick: Alabama -11 1H (Play to -12.5)

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