College Basketball Odds & Player Props: Will Alabama Cover Spread Vs. Auburn?
Ahead of this heavyweight SEC matchup, it may seem odd that No. 8 Auburn is a underdog at unranked Alabama. The Crimson Tide are stationed at against the spread. Meanwhile, the total is . Let’s break down why the betting market doesn’t favor the “better” team for these college basketball odds.
college basketball odds: auburn at alabama
Situational Spot Favors Alabama
If you’re unfamiliar with this term, situational spots aim to reveal conditions in which programs have exceeded or underperformed their normal level of play — relative to the moneyline or spread. Not only are the Tide aiming to rebound from Saturday’s blitzkrieg in Knoxville, but the Tigers are also riding an 11-game winning streak. Therefore, this matchup represents a buy-low, sell-high spot for those who buy into this notion in general.
For reference, opening odds had Alabama lined as a 2.5-point home favorite.
Will Auburn Stumble?
Bruce Pearl’s team boasts a top-10 offensive and defensive efficiency. It’s highly effective around the rim at both ends — highlighted by allowing the fifth-lowest near-proximity (layups, dunks, tip-ins) field goal percentage versus the average opponent (per Haslametrics). Not only does that showcase the Tigers’ elite athleticism collectively, but 6-foot-10 Johni Broome is one of the nation’s premier bigs as well.
Nevertheless, their strength of schedule is barely considered among the top-100 rankings. To date, their stiffest matchups came via the season-opening loss to Baylor and a double-digit home win over Texas A&M. The Aggies have dealt with a batch of injuries, but they’re an upper-echelon SEC unit. Given the stage of the campaign, this game is arguably their biggest test, especially since it’s at a hostile venue.
Moreover, Auburn has let up the lowest 3-point clip (26.7%) in SEC play. That is a blessing and a curse. The Tigers’ pressure defense has earned credit for their footprint around the arc, but their positive fortune will only last so long. For context, the conference average in this department is 32.0%. Nate Oats’ attack owns the league’s No. 1 perimeter scoring rate, to boot.
Yet, as college basketball scribe John Gasaway identified, the SEC ranks No. 28, 22, 29, 32, and 30 within 32 D-I conferences for 3-point accuracy since the current line was lengthened to the FIBA range before 2019-20. Hence, their defensive metrics are unlikely to endure a massive dip.
Utilizing Power Ratings
According to my college basketball power rankings, Auburn and Alabama are separated by a tick over two points on a neutral court. As previously noted, the market jumping all over the Tide isn’t shocking. However, that doesn’t mean you should impulsively fade the market steam.
Conversely, Haslametrics projects a final score of 82.1-81.7, favoring the Tigers by the slimmest of margins. Erik Haslam, who owns and operates this analytics site, will return to the Outside Shots podcast in March. TheLines.com’s managing editor Stephen Andress and I will have a new episode, previewing the weekend slate, available on Friday. Subscribe on Apple, Spotify, or watch on our YouTube channel.
college Player Props: Alabama vs. auburn
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Where Can You Bet On College Basketball Player Props?
Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia all outlaw betting on college props. There are also 10 other states that match the guidance of banning in-state school prop betting.
Virginia allows betting on in-state schools but not props on in-state players. The remaining states with sportsbooks allow wagering on college props, including in-state teams.
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