No. 24 Alabama will be looking to snap its first losing streak of the season when it travels to Mississippi State on Saturday night. The Crimson Tide are coming off consecutive losses to Missouri and No. 4 Auburn. Mississippi State bounced back from a loss at Ole Miss with an 88-72 win over Georgia on Wednesday.
Crimson Tide overrated in betting marketAlabama has been inconsistent and unpredictable so far this season. The Crimson Tide picked up wins over then-No. 3 Gonzaga and then-No. 14 Houston in December, but they also lost to Iona and Davidson. They opened conference play with consecutive wins over then-No. 14 Tennessee and Florida, but they have followed those games with losses to Missouri and Auburn. Alabama was a 14-point favorite over Missouri and was a 3-point favorite against Auburn. The Crimson Tide have now covered the spread just once in their last eight games. They have won four of their last five games against Mississippi State, including an 85-48 win last March.
The Crimson Tide are an excellent offensive team, ranked ninth in adjusted efficiency. They are shooting the ball well from inside the arc, knocking down 57.3% of their attempts from 2-point range. Alabama also does a good job on the offensive glass, pulling down 33% of its misses. The Crimson Tide will have that aspect of their success challenged on Saturday night, as Mississippi State is one of the lengthiest teams in the SEC. Guard Jaden Shackelford leads Alabama with 16.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. Guard Jahvon Quinerly is scoring 15.4 points and guard Keon Ellis is adding 12.1 points per contest.
Bulldogs coming off blowout win over GeorgiaMississippi State went 9-3 during the non-conference portion of its schedule, losing to Louisville, Minnesota and Colorado State. The Bulldogs bounced back with a four-game winning streak, including an 81-68 win over Arkansas to open SEC play. They were originally scheduled to face Missouri on Jan. 5, but that game was postponed due to COVID-19. Mississippi State got back on the court last Saturday, losing at Ole Miss by 10 points. The Bulldogs bounced back on Wednesday, blowing out Georgia in an 88-72 final. They have been an excellent home team, winning nine of their last 10 games at Humphrey Coliseum.
The Bulldogs come into this game ranked No. 25 in adjusted offensive efficiency. Their strength has been on the offensive glass, where they rank No. 16 nationally in offensive rebounding percentage. They will try to use their height to their advantage again on Saturday. Mississippi State is not shooting particularly well from the perimeter, knocking down just 34.1% of its 3-point attempts. The Bulldogs will be facing an Alabama defense that is No. 54 in adjusted efficiency. Guard Iverson Molinar leads Mississippi State with 17.5 points and 4.5 assists per game. The Bulldogs have four other players scoring in double figures as well. Forward Tolu Smith is out for this contest.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Alabama has been overrated in the betting market over the past month, covering the spread just one time in its last eight games. The Crimson Tide are not putting things together like they were early in the season and, quite frankly, they are not a team that I have any confidence backing. Mississippi State is a lengthy team that is going to give Alabama trouble just like Auburn did. The Bulldogs are going to feast on the boards and should add another win to what has been an impressive stretch at home.
Full-Game Total Pick
Alabama is going to push the pace in every game it plays, but its outside shooting has rapidly declined over the last month. The Crimson Tide are shooting just over 30% from the 3-point line, which does not bode well for high-scoring games. Mississippi State would rather play at a slow pace, ranked No. 316 in tempo. The Bulldogs are also not hitting a high percentage of their 3-pointers, which means this game should be lower-scoring than oddsmakers expect. Alabama has gone under the total in each of its last five trips to Mississippi State.