South Carolina vs. Alabama
Tip off: 3:30 PM EST
Spread: ALA -9
Bet at Bookmaker, where these odds were drawn from.
The Gamecocks have regressed a little from last year’s 14-16 campaign, and have won only 10 of their 30 games this season. They rank near the bottom in all major statistical categories and have lost 10 of their last 11 games, 6 of which were lost by double digits. The lone win came against Georgia on February 15th and they haven’t won back to back games since their four game win streak (against horrible opponents) in late December.
Their 2-14 conference record only leads us to believe this will be the final Gamecock’s game of the year. On the other hand, there is the fact that they did beat Alabama when they faced them on January 25th. That could mean this is a potential upset. In the previous matchup, Bruce Ellington hit a driving shot with 1.4 seconds remaining to lift the Gamecocks to the first of only two conference victories. 42 of the 56 Gamecocks points came from the trio of Malik Cooke, Damontre Harris, and Ellington. Cooke paced them with 18 points on 6 of 11 (1-4 threes) shooting, while also leading the team in minutes (34).
Cooke is leading the team in scoring with 12.5 points per game and he’s third on the team in rebounding with 4.8 boards per contest. His defense has also been superb, as he’s managed 1.7 steals per game and 0.8 blocks, while also leading the team in minutes (31.1 per game). The aforementioned Ellington chips in 10.6 points per game as well, and four other Gamecocks’ players average 5 points per game or more, as they are a deep team with a 10 man rotation. They do not, however, record many assists on their baskets, averaging only 10 assists per game as a team, a true indicator of poor ball movement. What’s worse is that they turn it over 13 times per game, as well. It’s hard to win with numbers like those.
Gamecocks Betting Trends:
OVER 4 of the last 5 contests, 2 M/L wins.
Alabama has been consistently good over the past two seasons. They won 25 games last year and finished with a 12-4 conference record. They haven’t been quite as good this year, with a 20-10 overall record and a 9-7 SEC record, but they are still a formidable opponent and should likely be making another NIT appearance this month.
The Crimson Tide have been hot lately. They’ve won four of their last five games, including impressive wins over Tennessee and Arkansas. They dropped their last contest by 9 points to Ole Miss, but will have a great chance at redemption today in what promises to be a low scoring contest, with college basketball oddsmakers setting the total at 116.
The Tide average 65 points per game, with over half of that coming from the trio of JaMychal Green, Tony Mitchell, and Trevor Releford. Green, a 6’8″ senior, has been a four year starter for Alabama and is having another fine season, though not really much improved over last year, or the years prior. Still, his 13.8 points per game and 7.3 boards per game are a valuable contribution for the Tide and he also is a factor defensively, blocking 1.4 shots per game and coming up with nearly a steal per night (0.7). His free throw shooting must improve, but he finishes well around the rim and he’s been one of the better forwards in the SEC over the last few years. He’s a very good offensive rebounder and he corralled 13% of Alabama’s missed shots last year. His involvement with the US Team in the World University games was impressive too. Nbadraft.net compares his pro upside to J.J. Hickson, but I think he has the potential to be far better.
Crimson Tide Betting Trends:
Alabama is 4-1 SU in their last 5 games and the total has gone UNDER in 5 of their last 6. The total has also gone UNDER in 7 of the last 8 games against the South Carolina Gamecocks.