Basketball Plays of the Day for January 4: Free NCAA Basketball Picks

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Will Soucie #0 of the North Alabama Lions guards Julian Strawther #0 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Robert Johnson/Getty Images/AFP

To start ASUN play, North Alabama will take on Lipscomb in an intriguing matchup.

Who will win? Let’s look for a hint by breaking down the NCAAB odds for this matchup.

North Alabama Lions vs. Lipscomb Bisons

Tuesday, January 04, 2022 – 08:00 PM EST at Allen Arena

Betting Preview

To start ASUN conference play, Lipscomb will invite North Alabama to Allen Arena in what should be an interesting game.

The North Alabama Lions haven't had any signature wins this season. At 7-6, they've knocked off four non-ranked opponents and a bunch of lower-tier teams. But at least North Alabama has knocked off those lower-tier teams. The Lions only played one "winnable" game against a team that compared close to North Alabama.

That was against Manhattan, where they lost on a neutral court, 55-51. Other losses include Miss State, Iona, Auburn, UCF, and Gonzaga. So keep that in mind when you're looking at the stats for North Alabama. This team is pretty much better than the stats convey right now.

On the other hand, Lipscomb beat Dayton earlier this year, but that was during a stretch where Dayton was just playing absolutely horrible basketball. Dayton ended up losing to UMass Lowell, Lipscomb, and Austin Peay (ranked 311) all at home. So I'm not going to put too much stock into Lipscomb's win over Dayton.

Recently, Lipscomb has lost to Tennessee Tech and Tennessee State, two teams in the bottom 75 of college basketball and just put away Alabama A&M (Ranked 321), by just three points, at home. Lipscomb also lost by about 30-40 points to Belmont, Florida State, and LSU.

Now let's break down the game.

Betting Analysis

North Alabama isn't the best offense in the world. The Lions are shooting an effective field goal percentage of 42 percent, but I'd expect North Alabama to win the glass in this game and second chances around the rim.

The Lions won't be afraid to shoot the long ball, despite shooting just 31 percent from deep. Lipscomb, on the other hand, is allowing teams to shoot 39.2 percent from long range. North Alabama should have plenty of opportunities to drain the long ball in this game.

North Alabama is also spectacular at the line, hitting 78.7 percent of foul shots in this game. To cover this game, foul shots will need to be hit. North Alabama doesn't get to the line all that much, but in conference play, both teams could become a little more aggressive.

The Lions essentially win most games using their defense. They've held opponents to a 46.3 percent effective field goal percentage while forcing turnovers 21 percent of the time. This is great news knowing that Lipscomb is turning the ball over 23.3 percent of the time.

North Alabama has held opponents to 30.9 percent from long range and 46.3 percent from inside. Plus, while the Lions aren't that great at defensive rebounding, Lipscomb is only bringing down 17.9 percent of offensive rebounds, which is literally the worst number in college basketball for offensive rebounding.

So if North Alabama can limit Lipscomb from the field, like they've done to most teams this season, the Lions will get a lot of stops on the first shot of the game. Both teams love to shoot from distance more than anything. Lipscomb is also one of the most inexperienced teams in the nation, at 348th.

Expert Prediction

I know that Lipscomb will get back Ahsan Asadullah, and he's an important piece to what they want to do. But he only played 17 minutes against Alabama A&M and scored seven points with three turnovers.

So give me North Alabama against the spread for my NCAAB pick tonight.

NCAAB Pick: North Alabama +4 (-118) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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North Alabama +4 (-118)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.