#3 Alabama Crimson Tide vs Auburn Tigers
Spread: Alabama -2.5
Money Line: Alabama -137 / Auburn +127
Overview and Betting Information
The #3 Alabama Crimson Tide (21-3) will take on their state-rival Auburn Tigers (17-7) on Saturday. This is the first time these two teams have met this season. Alabama currently leads the SEC, while Auburn trails them by four games in fourth place.
Alabama is 14-9-1 against the spread this season but has covered just two of their last five games. They’ve gone over the total 11 times but have been under in five of their previous seven.
Auburn is 12-12 versus the spread but has only covered five of their twelve home games this season. They’ve gone over the total 15 times, including in five of their last six games.
Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama has risen to number three in the country thanks to winning eleven of their last twelve games. The one loss was a shocker to an average Oklahoma team, but they also had impressive wins, easily beating Arkansas, Mississippi State, and Kentucky. Their offense is among the best in the country, ranking seventh in scoring (83.7 PPG) and first in rebounds (30.9 RPG). They also are third in the SEC in three-point percentage, making 35.3% of their attempts. Their defense has been decent this season, ranking sixth in the SEC in points allowed (68.7 PPG), fifth in steals (7.0 SPG), and first in blocks (4.1 BPG). Turnovers have been an issue as they rank last in the conference with 13.8 per game.
The Tide have had success thanks to a trio of stars in Brandon Miller (19.0 PPG, 8.3 RPG), Mark Sears (13.9 PPG, 1.4 SPG), and Noah Clowney (10.0 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 1.1 BPG). Miller is an elite offensive player ranking first in points and fifth in rebounds in the SEC. He’s been incredible defensively over their last five games, with four blocks and eight steals. He’s scored 30+ points three times this season and is making 44.4% of his threes. Sears is a fantastic shooter (42.6% FG, 38.6% 3PT) who is also an elite defender, averaging 2.2 steals over their last ten games. He’s been on fire from deep over their previous two games, making 64% of his threes. Clowney is a fantastic big man who ranked fifth in the SEC in rebounding (8.1 RPG). He can score well when playing 25 minutes or more and has been great on defense, with four blocks in his last two games.
Alabama’s stars are supported by a pair of guards in Jaden Bradley (7.8 PPG) and Jahvon Quinerly (7.5 PPG). Both shoot well from the field, with Quinerly being one of their better deep threats (35.1% 3PT). The senior guard has been playing well on offense over their last six games, averaging 9.5 points and 4.3 assists. Keep an eye on Charles Bediako on Saturday (5.6 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.6 BPG) as he ranks fifth in the conference in blocks. Those numbers have been down a bit as his minutes have decreased in the second half of the season, but he’s coming off a game against Florida where he blocked four shots.
After starting the season 16-3, the wheels have come off for the Tigers. They have lost four of the next five games and will be desperate for a win against their rival on Saturday. As bad as the skid has been, three games were decided by five points or less. Their shooting has been a major issue, as they rank fifth in scoring (72.3 PPG) and field goal percentage (44.2%), twelfth in free throw percentage (69%), and thirteenth in three-point percentage (29.2%). Their defense has also disappointed, ranking twelfth in points allowed (64.6%). They are aggressive, ranking second in blocks (5.7 BPG) and fifth in steals (8.3 SPG).
Auburn is led by Wendell Green Jr (13.9 PPG, 4.4 APG, 1.7 SPG), Johni Broome (13.7 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 1.0 SPG, 2.6 BPG), and Jaylin Williams (10.5 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.1 SPG, 1.0 BPG). Green is an incredible defender (3rd in SEC in blocks) and the Tigers’ top scorer, despite making just 37.8% of his shots. He’s been better over their last ten games, averaging 16.1 points, 5.6 assists, and 2.7 steals. While he scored 20 points against Texas A&M on Tuesday, he was a non-factor on offense against Tennessee with just nine points and a 20% field goal percentage. Broome has been their best player over the last six games, averaging 17.6 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks. He is making 52% of his shots this season and will be the Tigers’ best chance at an upset. Williams has struggled to score a bit over their last five games, but he’s been a defensive dynamo with six blocks and five steals.
The Tiger’s top players are supported by Allen Flanigan (9.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG) and KD Johnson (8.1 PPG, 1.0 SPG). Flanigan is a streaky scorer who can put up two or 20 points on any night. He rebounds well and has six steals over his last four games. Johnson has struggled with his shot, making just 35.4% of his attempts. He is a solid defender and scored in double digits in three of his last four games. Don’t sleep on Dylan Cardwell (4.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 1.6 BPG), as the big man has six steals and averaged 14 points over their last four games.
Free Pick: Over 148.5
Three of the last five meetings between these teams have been decided by four or fewer points, with Auburn winning three of the previous five. While Alabama is the better team, the combination of the rivalry and Auburn’s play at home has us leaning towards over. With neither defense playing that well and a ton of offensive talent on both sides, we should be in for a shootout. Alabama has plenty of scoring options, and Auburn has had one of the top players in the country over the last few weeks in Broome.
We’re taking the over on Saturday and expect an exciting game.