The non-conference season continues with a Monday night matchup when the Arkansas State Red Wolves head to Tuscaloosa for a contest opposite the No. 23 Alabama Crimson Tide.
Both groups are entering Monday’s matchup coming off losses; Arkansas State is looking to end a two-game losing skid, while heavily favored Alabama suffered its first home loss of the season to Clemson. Both groups can light up the scoreboard, and the college basketball odds reflect this with their 165.5-point opening total.
I take a closer look with my free college basketball picks as I preview Arkansas State vs. Alabama on Monday, December 4.
Arkansas State vs Alabama best odds
Arkansas State vs Alabama picks and predictions
The Arkansas State Red Wolves haven’t gotten off to a good start and now must face an Alabama Crimson Tide with fire in their eyes after losing at home to Clemson.
The Red Wolves have played a couple of Top-40 KenPom.com teams thus far and lost by 14 at Iowa, but their only wins this season have come against schools ranked 280+ on Pomeroy’s rankings.
Arkansas State is one of the more experienced groups in D1 play, but it doesn’t have much size, its bench isn’t very deep, and outside of its 34.5% success rate from downtown, the Red Wolves haven’t shot the ball very well from anywhere else.
Turnovers have been a big issue. They commit 14.8 miscues per game, and opponents have turned those turnovers into an average of 18.5 points per game, which will not fly tonight against the Crimson Tide.
Alabama boasts the No. 2-rated offense on KenPom, scoring 77+ points in each of its last five games. The Crimson Tide play lightning-fast basketball, shoot fast in the clock but can knock down shots from everywhere, and even drain 79% of their attempts from the charity stripe.
What the Crimson Tide haven’t done very well is defend, which could allow the Red Wolves to drain triples, pushing toward a high-scoring game and an excellent opportunity to target the total.
The Red Wolves and Crimson Tide will play this contest at breakneck speed. Alabama cruises down the court and jacks up shots quickly into the shot clock, averaging 15.7 points per game from turnovers, and will benefit greatly from a Red Wolves transition defense allowing 18.5 points per game from coughing up possession.
Arkansas State may not shoot the ball well, but it still finds a way to average 74 points. The Red Wolves play at an above-average pace and, like Alabama, shoot the ball quickly into the clock. Dyondre Dominguez is one of three Red Wolves averaging 13 points, and the junior swingman adds 8.9 rebounds per contest.
Finally, Alabama has a loaded offense that Arkansas State will struggle with. The Crimson Tide can get what they want on the offensive end, and their transition game should net them at least 20-25 against the turnover-prone Red Wolves. Arkansas State can shoot and score in the mid-70s. The tempo will be there, there are enough good shooters on both sides, and the Over is your best bet.
My best bet: Over 164 (-110 at DraftKings)
Arkansas State vs Alabama same-game parlay
I like this game to end well Over the oddsmakers’ total. Alabama has an Over/Under record of 6-1 to the Over and scored 77+ in all its games and 100+ in three of their seven matchups this season. Arkansas State has also scored 100+ once this season, and I expect a defense-optional, high-scoring affair.
The spread was something I was trying to avoid, but SGP markets for this matchup are scant. Alabama is 4-3-0 against the spread overall but 4-1-0 ATS at Coleman Coliseum, facing an Arkansas State group with a 1-3-0 ATS record as the away team this season.
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Arkansas State vs Alabama spread and Over/Under analysis
Alabama opened as a huge -22 to -23 favorite; if anything, the number will likely increase. Alabama has covered as many as -29.5, -22 points, and -20.5 points at home this season.
Arkansas State hasn’t covered much but did cover a +20.5 spread at Iowa. However, the Red Wolves are just 1-3-0 ATS as the away team, but the way they shoot the triple and the Crimson Tide’s reluctance to guard the perimeter kept me away from the spread as a best bet.
Something I am looking forward to, if one of the bookmakers even offers it, would be the Over on Alabama guard Mark Sears’ scoring prop. Sears averages 20 a night at home, but he’s exceeded that number in three of his last four and has a sweet matchup.
I am hoping for an alternative scoring prop market, and if one becomes available, I will look to play something like 23+ at plus money. Sears has been hot and knocking down 51% from downtown this season. He’ll have a great matchup to do so. If I can’t get an alternative number, I would only play a plus-money Over scoring prop at Over 21-23 points.
Arkansas State vs Alabama betting trend to know
The Over is 4-1 in Crimson Tide’s last five home games. Find more college basketball betting trends for Arkansas State vs. Alabama.
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Arkansas State vs Alabama game info
|Coleman Coliseum, Tuscaloosa, AL
|Monday, December 4, 2023
|8:00 p.m. ET
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