SEC Betting Picks: Mississippi St Bulldogs at Alabama Crimson Tide

Mississippi St Bulldogs at Alabama Crimson Tide
Coleman Coliseum – Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Saturday, February 25, 2012, 6:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Alabama -6 1/2
Current Line: Alabama -5 1/2
Opening Total: 127 1/2
Current Total: 126 1/2
Opening Money Line: Alabama -260 / MSU +220
Current Money Line: Alabama -245 / MSU +205

JaMychal Green returns from a 4 game suspension against Mississippi St in a critical SEC game. The Crimson Tide are 5.5 favorites at home.

Just two weeks ago, Mississippi St was 6-3 in the SEC and ranked in top 20 nationally. Since then the Bulldogs have gone on a 4 game losing streak that has dropped them to seventh place in the SEC including 73-64 at home against #1 Kentucky Tuesday night. The 19-9 Bulldogs try to right the ship as they take on the 18-9 Alabama Crimson Tide who are 7-6 in the SEC. Alabama has won 2 games in a row including 79-68 at Arkansas Thursday. The Crimson Tide lead the series 114-73 overall against Mississippi St including 72-16 in Tuscaloosa. Mississippi St won earlier this season in Starkville 56-52. The Bulldogs haven’t won in Tuscaloosa since 2007.

Mississippi St is coached by Rick Stansbury. The Bulldogs have wins over Texas A&M, Arizona, West Virginia, Utah St, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, LSU, Auburn, and Ole Miss. MSU has losses to Akron, Baylor, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Florida, Georgia, LSU, and Auburn.

Alabama is coached by Anthony Grant. The Crimson Tide have wins over Oakland, Maryland, Wichita St, Purdue, VCU, Oklahoma St, Georgia Tech, Georgia, LSU, Arkansas twice, Ole Miss, Auburn and Tennessee. Alabama has losses to Georgetown, Dayton, Kansas St, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, South Carolina, LSU, and Florida.

Mississippi St is outscoring opponents 72-67 this season. The Bulldogs are shooting 45.8% from the field including 36.3% from 3 point range. MSU makes 69.8% of their free throws. The Bulldogs average 36.8 rebounds a game and have a rebounding margin of +3.1. MSU averages 12.9 assists, 11.9 turnovers, 6.1 steals, and 3.6 blocks a game. MSU opponents shoot 43% from the field including 34.3% from 3 point range. The Bulldogs force 10.8 turnovers a game.

MSU forward Arnett Moultrie averages 16.4 points, 10.8 rebounds to lead the team, and 1.1 assists a game. Guard Dee Bost averages 16 points, 3.3 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 2.1 steals a game. He leads the Bulldogs in assists and steals, and is shooting 34.6% from 3 point range. Rodney Hood averages 11 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 2 assists a game. Hood makes 38.1% of his 3 pointers. Renardo Sydney averages 10.1 points and 5 rebounds a game. Jalen Steele averages 8 points a game and is shooting 39.4% from 3 point range. Wendell Lewis leads the team in blocks with 1 a game. Forwards Shawn Long and Kristers Zeidaks are both out indefinitely or for the season.

Alabama is outscoring opponents 66-58 this season. Alabama is #12 in points allowed.  The Crimson Tide are shooting 45.5% from the field including 28% from 3 point range. Alabama shoots 70.5% from the free throw line. The Crimson Tide average 35.4 rebounds, and have a rebounding margin of +2.3. Alabama averages 12.7 assists, 13.2 turnovers, 7.7 steals, and 4.5 blocks a game. Crimson Tide opponents are shooting 38.4% from the field and 28% from 3 point range. Alabama is in the top 11 nationally in both categories.  Alabama forces 14.1 turnovers a game.

Alabama forward JaMychal Green averages 14.1 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.5 blocks a game. He leads the team in scoring, rebounding and blocks. However, he missed the last 4 games due to a suspension. Coach Grant reinstated him for practice, and said he will be available for this game. It is not known how much he will play. Tony Mitchell averaged 13.1 points, 7 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1 steal and 1.4 blocks a game. He is suspended for the rest of the season and has missed the last 5 games. Trevor Releford averages 12.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists to lead the team, and 2.3 steals a game to also lead the team. Levi Randolph, Andrew Steele, Trevor Lacey, Nick Jacobs, and Rodney Cooper also get significant minutes in the rotation. Lacey is doubtful with an ankle injury. Center Moussa Gueye is out for the season with a knee injury.

Alabama is 11-12 ATS and the total is 13-10 this season. Mississippi St is 12-15 ATS and the total is 14-12-1 this season. The home team is 6-1 ATS in the last 7 in this series. The Bulldogs are 9-2-1 ATS as an underdog including6-1-1 as one of 6.5 points or less, 6-2 as a road underdog, 2-5 against teams with winning records, 2-6 after a straight up loss, overall and in SEC games, 1-5 in road games against teams with winning home records, 0-4 in Saturday games, and and 0-5 after a cover. The Crimson Tide are 17-8-1 ATS as a home favorite, including 8-2 as a favorite of 6.5 points or less, 2-5 as a favorite, 2-6 at home against teams with losing road records, and 1-4 at home.

Mississippi St has struggled on the road this season, and historically hasn’t done well in Tuscaloosa. It will be interesting to see how Alabama plays with  Green returning after the suspension. If he feels pressure to score, he might force shots and affect the  team chemistry. Still I like Alabama to win at home.

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