Wednesday College Basketball Betting Odds & Picks: Auburn vs. Alabama, Oklahoma vs. Iowa State
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images: Pictured: Devan Cambridge
As we approach the end of conference play, many Power 5 teams are jockeying for position to qualify for the NCAA Tournament or improve their seeding.
Today we start with the SEC, where an old rivalry between No. 11 Auburn and Alabama is once again on display. Next, we take a look at an Oklahoma team in a prime revenge spot as it makes a push toward the NCAA Tournament.
Wednesday College Basketball Odds & Picks
Odds as of Wednesday morning and via DraftKings, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
Auburn vs. Alabama
- Spread: Auburn -6.5
- Over/Under: 156
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN2
No. 11 Auburn (21-2) is out for revenge when it hosts in-state rival Alabama. The Tigers are on a six-game winning streak and are just one-half game behind Kentucky and LSU in the SEC. One of their two losses this season came at Alabama about a month ago.
Auburn just finished a brutal stretch of their schedule with four consecutive wins at Mississippi (83-82 2OT), home to Kentucky (75-66), at Arkansas (79-86 OT), and home to LSU (91-90 OT).
Alabama (13-10) has struggled lately, losing three of its past four games. The Crimson Tide barely won their last game at Georgia, winning 105-102 in overtime. They are an impressive 16-7 ATS but only 1-4 ATS in their last five games.
The Tigers are fantastic on the boards, ranking 14th overall in offensive rebounding and first in SEC play in defensive rebounding percentage. This will be a huge mismatch for Alabama, which is still without junior 6-foot-7 forward Herbert Jones (9.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg) due to a fractured wrist.
The Crimson Tide bring a dangerous (in a bad way) turnover combination to Auburn Arena, ranking 257th in defensive turnover percentage while providing their opponents with an average of 15.7 turnovers per game (326th overall).
Even with Jones in the lineup, Alabama has struggled on the road in SEC play. The Crimson lost at Florida, Kentucky, and LSU with wins at Vanderbilt (without Nesmith) and the overtime escape at Georgia.
The Tide’s SEC-best 54.3% 2P in conference play will be tested by Auburn’s imposing frontline of Isaac Okoro (12.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg), Anfernee McLemore (7.7 ppg, 1.4 bpg), and 6-foot-11 senior center Austin Wiley (9.7 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 1.5 bpg).
Auburn will get a huge boost from the return of senior forward Danjel Purifoy (9.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg) who missed the last game with the flu.
I love this revenge spot for Auburn against a short-handed Crimson Tide team that has hit its worst stretch of the season. The Tigers need to keep pace with LSU and Kentucky and are an impressive 13-0 at home.
The Pick: Auburn -6.5
Oklahoma vs. Iowa State
- Spread: Oklahoma -10.5
- Over/Under: 144.5
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN2
Oklahoma (15-8) is coming off an impressive 69-59 home win over West Virginia. The Sooners have played very well in their Big 12 home games, going 5-1 with their only blemish a 66-52 loss to Kansas. They are 3-1 ATS in their last four home games and have covered three consecutive games.
Iowa State (10-13) has struggled in Big 12 conference play, especially on the road. The Cyclones are 0-6 in conference road games and will play the rest of the season without star sophomore guard Tyrese Haliburton (15.2 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 6.5 apg) who suffered a fractured wrist in their last game against Kansas State. They are just 11-12 ATS including 1-4 in their last five conference road games.
The loss of Haliburton will severely limit an Iowa State offense on both ends of the floor, but especially on defense. The Cyclones rank dead last in conference play in adjusted defensive efficiency, effective field goal percentage defense, 2P%, and 3P% defense. He serves as their leading rebounder while averaging 2.5 steals per game, which is ninth-best in the nation.
The Sooners are a disciplined basketball team under head coach Lon Kruger, ranking 13th in the nation in offensive turnover percentage per KenPom. They are a well-balanced team with the 64th most efficient offense and the 49th-best defense.
Oklahoma features a three-headed scoring attack of junior Brady Manek (15.8 ppg, 41.7% 3P), senior Kristian Doolittle (14.7 ppg, 37.3% 3P), and junior Austin Reeves (14.3 ppg, 37% 3P last four games). The Cyclones’ league-worst defense will be likely to struggle to contain these three, especially without Haliburton.
Oklahoma will be set for revenge at home and is unlikely to repeat its 15-turnover performance from the 81-68 loss at Iowa State in early January. I’m going with the Sooners to score a big home win in a critical game for their NCAA Tournament hopes.
The Pick: Oklahoma -10.5