Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#765 Alabama 152 vs.
#766 Ole Miss -2.5
Saturday, February 22, 2020 at 8:30pm EST
Written by Chris Kubala

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It’s a battle of teams from the SEC on the college hardwood in the Magnolia State in search of a victory. The Alabama Crimson Tide is on the road as they travel to face the Ole Miss Rebels Saturday night. Alabama comes in off a 74-68 home loss to Texas A&M in their last game Wednesday night. Ole Miss was defeated 71-68 on the road by Missouri Tuesday night in their last contest. The Crimson Tide leads the all-time series 86-43 and has won the last two meetings. That includes a 62-57 win in the second round of the SEC Tournament in the most recent matchup on March 14, 2019.

Alabama Crimson Tide Searching for Consistency

Alabama failed to follow up on a win over LSU at home as they turned around and fell to a middle of the pack Texas A&M team in their last contest. The Crimson Tide enter this game 14-12 overall and 6-7 in conference play on the year for first-year coach Nate Oats. Alabama opened the season losing four of their first six games to start the season. The Crimson Tide then seemed to embrace the whirling dervish system as they won 10 of their next 13 games, including home wins over Auburn and Kansas State, to improve to 12-7 on the year. Since that point, Alabama has dropped five of seven and enter this contest ninth in the SEC standings.

The Crimson Tide piles up an average of 82.6 points per game on the year, putting them second in the nation in scoring offense. Alabama pulls down 40.2 rebounds per contest while dishing out 14.3 assists a night. The Crimson Tide are ranked a dismal 336th in scoring defense by giving up 78.8 points per contest. Kira Lewis Jr. leads the team with 17.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and five assists per game. John Petty Jr. (15 points, seven rebounds) and Jaden Shackelford (14.7 points, 4.3 rebounds) average in double figures this season. Alex Reese, Herbert Jones, James Bolden and Javian Davis each put up at least 5.7 points a night. Alabama shoots 43.9 percent from the floor as a team. The Crimson Tide sinks 11 three-point field goals per game while shooting 35.2 percent from beyond the arc. Alabama is struggling at the free throw line as they convert just 70.2 percent of their chances at the line this season.

The numbers according to KenPom show that Alabama should be better than their record this season. Alabama is 38th in offensive efficiency and 94th in defensive efficiency this season. The Crimson Tide is 59th in effective field goal percentage (52.4 percent), 74th in three-point shooting and 67th in two-point shooting (52.2 percent) this season. Defensively, the Crimson Tide stands 56th in effective field goal percentage defense (46.5 percent) and 42nd in three-point field goal percentage defense (30.2 percent) this season. Alabama is a fast-paced team as they are third in the nation in tempo with an average of 75.5 possessions a night.

Ole Miss Rebels Looking to Pick Up Home Win

Ole Miss has had their share of issues this season and it’s going to be tough for Kermit Davis to get things going in the right direction again. The Rebels started the season with four straight victories before a stretch that saw them lose three of four games, including a 41-point blowout on a neutral floor against Oklahoma State where the margin of victory was greater than the number of points the team scored (37) in the contest. Ole Miss rebounded with four straight wins but dropped six straight to fall back to .500 on the year. The Rebels have split their last eight games but come in off back to back road losses at Kentucky and at Missouri. Ole Miss enters this game 13-13 overall and 4-9 in the SEC, leaving them in a tie for 11th in the conference standings with two weeks to go.

The Rebels are averaging 69.4 points per contest on the year, which puts them 227th in the nation in scoring offense. Ole Miss is grabbing 34.1 rebounds per contest and dishes out 13 assists per game this season. The Rebels are 118th in the nation in scoring defense as they give up 67.2 points per contest. Ole Miss is led by Breein Tyree, who puts up 20.3 points a night. Blake Hinson puts up 10.3 points plus five rebounds a night. KJ Buffen kicks in 9.9 points plus 6.1 boards a night while Devontae Shuler chips in 11.2 points and 4.7 rebounds plus 3.5 assists per contest. Khadim Sy, Austin Crowley and Bryce Williams are key pieces in the rotation for second-year coach Kermit Davis. Ole Miss shoots 43.1 percent from the field as a team on the year. The Rebels sink 6.2 threes per game while shooting 32.7 percent from downtown. Ole Miss is mediocre at the charity stripe, cashing in 72.4 percent of their attempts.

Looking at the numbers from KenPom, Ole Miss has some decent metrics going for themselves. The Rebels are 148th in the nation in offensive efficiency and 65th in defensive efficiency on the year. Ole Miss is close to average in pace as they are 196th in tempo with 68.1 possessions per game this season. The Rebels are 6th in three-point field goal percentage defense (28.1 percent) and 137th in offensive rebound percentage allowed (27.1 percent) this season. Ole Miss is foul prone as they are 322nd in the nation by allowing .409 free throw attempts per field goal attempt this season.

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Neither side has been overwhelmingly consistent this season and it shows in the fact that they sit near the .500 mark. Alabama lives and dies by the three-point shot and it has cost them several games this season. The Crimson Tide is going to have their work cut out for them here in that department against a Rebels team that has defended the perimeter well. Alabama is going to have to work inside and get to the line in an effort to get Ole Miss to sag their defense in a bit. That’s not really the Crimson Tide’s style and it might be too much of an ask. Alabama is just 3-6 on the road and with Ole Miss’s style of defense, it might be a challenge for them offensively. Give a slight edge to the Rebels here.

Prediction: Ole Miss Rebels -2.5

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No team in the nation is more in love with the three-point shot than the Crimson Tide, who jack up an average of 31.2 triples a night. That can go one of two ways. When they're hitting, as we've seen on several occasions this year, the point totals can go through the roof. If they're cold, you might as well forget about seeing a ton of production. Alabama is second in the nation in scoring but they are going to be challenged to find a different style here. Ole Miss will take some of the air out of the ball and force the Crimson Tide into changing their style or taking contested shots from the perimeter. That all adds up to this one ending up under the total.

Prediction: 153.5
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.