No. 21 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Kansas State Wildcats
Saturday, 12/17/11, 10:00 PM EST, TV: ESPNU
Opening Point Spread: Alabama PK
Current Betting Line: Alabama -2
Opening Total: 126
Current Total: 125
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
Alabama travels to Kansas City to take on the Kansas State Wildcats in a neutral site contest inside the Sprint Center. The Crimson Tide snapped a two-game losing streak by picking up a 62-54 win over the Detroit Titans as 14.5-point home favorites last time out. Head coach Anthony Grant made a lineup change to add some size in the contest and it definitely worked. “We felt we needed to make a change, just from a lineup standpoint,” commented Grant in practice this week. “The next step is to understand what the roles are.” Alabama is 2-0 ATS this year as a neutral court favorite of three points or less.
The Crimson Tide continue to be one of the best defensive teams in the country, allowing just 55.3 points per game this season, which is 11th-best among all teams. Offensively, the team is led by JaMychal Green and Tony Mitchell, as both are averaging a team-best 15.4 points per game. Alabama will be looking to gain revenge from an 87-74 loss as a 3.5-point home underdog on Nov. 19, 2009.
Kansas State returns from its week-long break for final semester exams and will be hosting a game in tonight’s venue for the fifth consecutive year. Wildcats head coach Frank Martin should have his boys ready in facing Grant’s squad, as both played together during their high school days in Miami. It’s important to note that the roster may be looking ahead to its trip across the Pacific in playing the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Classic from Dec. 22-25. Kansas State is 7-9 ATS on a neutral floor the last two-plus campaigns.
The Wildcats have four players that average in double figures—led by freshman forward Thomas Gipson, who is averaging 14.0 points and 8.1 rebounds per game in just 25.6 minutes of action. Kansas State loves to pound the class in averaging 36.6 points in the paint and 19.9 points off second-chance opportunities. Turning it on in the second half is also a staple of this team, averaging 40.6 points on 51 percent shooting in the final 20 minutes, which is much better than its 30.9-point average in the first half.
Bettors will likely back the Crimson Tide due to their 8-2 ATS mark as a favorite of 6.5 points or less, while the Wildcats are 0-4-2 ATS when getting points on a neutral court.
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