The Mississippi State Bulldogs (12-7) visit the Alabama Crimson Tide No. 2 (17-2) Wednesday night. Promotion ends at 9:00 p.m. ET. Below we continue our college basketball odds series with a Mississippi state prediction for Alabama, a selection and a guide.
Mississippi State has lost seven of its last eight after starting 11-0 and sits 1-6 and 12th in the SEC. The Bulldogs covered 39% of their games while falling 60% under the projected total. Alabama has won eight straight seasons and is 7-0 undefeated and first in the SEC. The Crimson Tide covered 67% of their games while completing 50%. This will be the second matchup of the season between the two teams. Alabama covered and defeated Mississippi State 78-67 in Starkville in December.
Here are Mississippi State-Alabama college basketball odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
College Basketball Odds: Mississippi State-Alabama Odds
State of Mississippi: +11.5 (-110)
Alabama: -11.5 (-110)
Above: 142.5 (-115)
Below: 142.5 (-105)
Here’s how to watch Mississippi State vs. Alabama
Television: SEC Network
Time: 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT
*Watch college basketball LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why the state of Mississippi could cover the spread
Mississippi State is in free fall as they have lost seven of their last eight games. After an 11-0 start, the Bulldogs rose to 15th in the AP poll but are now unranked and in the bottom division of the SEC. However, the underlying metrics still suggest Mississippi State is a solid team as they rank 57th in KenPom and 62nd in NET. While they’ve gone 10-0 in Quad 3 and 4 matchups, the Bulldogs are only 2-6 in Quad 1 and 2 games. As a result, Mississippi State does not currently intend to compete in the NCAA tournament.
Mississippi State is a defensive team that loves to slow down the game and screw it up on the inside. The Bulldogs rank sixth in defense (58.3 opp. PPG) and ranked No. 324 in pace. They keep opponents at the 14th lowest field goal percentage nationally (39%) and do a great job of forcing turnovers. The state of Mississippi is enforcing a turnover of 20.8% of opponents’ property – the 13th highest rate in the country. While they’re an average rebound team overall, the Bulldogs are demons on the offensive glass. They lead the country in offensive rebounds per game (12.6 ORPG) and rank 50th in overall rebound rate.
Offensively, the Bulldogs sometimes struggle to score points as they only have one player who averages more than nine points per game. Senior Big Man Tolu Smith leads the team with 13.7 PPG while his 8.1 RPG ranks fifth in the SEC.
Junior guard Shakeel Moore serves as their X factor tonight given his recent goal breakouts. Despite averaging just 8.2 PPG for the season, Moore has been red hot lately. He has averaged 13.5 PPG over the past four games.
Why Alabama could cover the spread
Alabama continue to climb in the AP poll as they sit in second place tonight with just two losses. Those two losses were to UConn and Gonzaga – two teams in the top 20. The advanced metrics love the Crimson Tide as they finish #3 on KenPom and #3 on NET. That’s largely thanks to an outstanding 10-2 record in quad 1 and 2 matchups. Her six Quad 1 wins are the third most in the country. Alabama is currently the No. 1 guard in the NCAA tournament.
Unlike their opponents today, Alabama offers an elite offense that loves to go up and down. The Crimson Tide sit third in scoring (84.1 PPG) and play at the fourth fastest pace in the country. They are deadly deadly from beyond the arc, ranking ninth in threes made per game (10.3). Alabama also does an excellent job of making the free two line, as they average the third most free throws per game (18.4). Defensively, the Crimson Tide has a solid unit that excels at protecting color and blocking shots. They rank 15th in blocks per game (5.4), but their real strength at the bottom lies in their rebound. Alabama leads the nation in rebounds per game (46.4) while also holding the 14th highest rebound rate.
Alabama is led by freshman phenom Brandon Miller. Miller is a likely top-5 pick in next summer’s NBA draft and leads the SEC with 19.8 PPG. He also ranks fourth in the conference for rebounding with an 8.3 RPG. He has 30-plus points in two of his last three games and should be in for another big night after dropping 19 points and 11 rebounds to Mississippi State in their earlier meeting.
Mississippi State-Alabama final prediction and selection
Alabama is rolling as no team has come within 10 points of them since December. Expect that to continue tonight as they have covered six of their nine home games.
Final Mississippi State-Alabama Prediction & Selection: Alabama -11.5 (-110)