(14-3, 7-5 ATS)
Alabama Crimson Tide
(10-7, 5-8 ATS)
The Kentucky Wildcats made a real statement last week when they blasted both the Auburn Tigers and LSU Tigers by a combined score of 160-98. However, they are already 0-1 on the road both SU and ATS this year in SEC play, a trend that the Alabama Crimson Tide hope to exploit in Tuesday’s prime college basketball betting affair.
The Cats are going to be a club that drives us crazy all year long. You won’t find a more talented team in the nation, as there are just a ton of NBA players on this team (which doesn’t even include Enes Kanter, who is ineligible!). However, this is a squad that makes a ton of mistakes and often tries to do things that are virtually impossible. Though sheer talent will carry them to a number of wins this year, their youth and inexperience could prove costly down the stretch when things really count come March. Still, for a team that really only goes six players deep, averaging 80.0 points per game is awfully impressive and makes for some very gaudy stats. Terrence Jones is the leader of the pack at 18.6 points per game this year, and he is getting it done in the pain as well at 9.0 boards per game. If he is in some trouble though, Josh Harrellson is averaging 9.5 points per game and has four double-doubles to his credit on the campaign. Brandon Knight, like Jones, is a freshman and is likely playing in his only season here in Lexington, and he is putting up 17.5 points per game. He also has 66 assists, and though he isn’t John Wall by any stretch of the imagination, we know that he is clearly going to be a great point guard at the next level as well.
And then there is Alabama, which is a significantly less talented team, but is also one that is 9-0 this year when playing in Tuscaloosa. It’s all about the defense for the Tide, as they are holding teams to just 56.8 points per game this year and are holding squads down to just 35.8 percent shooting from the floor. Of course, a lot of this has been the product of a horrifyingly easy schedule that isn’t going to help out its RPI any, but Alabama knows it still has a chance to make some noise in the relatively weak SEC West this year. Tony Mitchell and JaMychal Green are the two key stars on the inside that can do some real damage for the Crimson Tide. The two of them are averaging a combined 29.8 points and 15.3 boards per game, and they have blocked 49 shots between them. Keep an eye on Chris Hines as well. He might not be the scorer that Green and Mitchell are in the post, but he is averaging 7.0 boards per game and has 29 blocks as well.
Be very careful, Kentucky. This is a game that can sneak up on the Cats. The Tide are good enough to win this game on the inside, and they can force Kentucky into some of those shots that we have been talking about that they are capable of making, but are very, very difficult. If one of these stars doesn’t have any absolutely out of this world night, Alabama might be able to pull off the upset.
NCAA Basketball Free Pick: Alabama Crimson Tide