Mississippi State vs. Alabama Betting Preview for Wednesday: Can Bulldogs Bring Down the Tide?

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Brandon Miller #24 of the Alabama Crimson Tide puts up a three over Kentucky Wildcats on January 7, 2023. Brandon Sumrall/Getty Images/AFP

NCAAB Pick: Alabama -12.5 (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Alabama -12.5 (-108)
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Alabama basketball is playing like the best team in college hoops at the moment, and fans are getting used to seeing Alabama win by double digits.

In fact, Alabama has not lost a game since Christmas, and each of those wins was by at least 12 points.  

This is thanks to a deep bench, star athletes in the frontcourt, and the emergence of Brandon Miller as the best player in the SEC.

Miller has incredible range, and he handles the ball incredibly well despite his size. He can run the floor and score at every level, so you always have to account for him.  

Alabama returns home against Mississippi State, a team that has lost four straight games.

Since the Bulldogs are reeling, this could get ugly quickly. However, Mississippi State has remained competitive in some of these games, so they might bounce back in Coleman Coliseum.  

Let’s break down this game and take a closer look at the NCAAB odds so we can find the values we need before making our NCAAB picks in top matchups like the Bulldogs and the Crimson Tide.  

Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Alabama Crimson Tide 

Wednesday, January 25, 2023 – 09:00 PM EST at Coleman Coliseum 

What Makes Alabama So Good? 

Alabama basketball has thrived this year, but what makes this year different than others? The Tide has had five-star talents in the past.

Nate Oats has had depth. Why does this year look different?  

For starters, Brandon Miller is better than any player that has come through Alabama in recent years. Collin Sexton, Herb Jones, and Kira Lewis were all stars.

Still, Miller is on another level. He is 6’9” with a three-point percentage over 45%.

That level of efficiency should not be possible.  

Well Rounded All Over

Also, Alabama is better at rebounding this year. The Tide averaged 46.4 rebounds per game, which leads all of college basketball. They also average over 13.5 offensive boards a game, so this team is great at getting second-chance opportunities.  

When you piece this all together, you have a team that is good at scoring and maximizing opportunities.

The stars are there, but the real beauty of this team is the ability to play at its own standard regardless of competition. That’s why Alabama is 13-6 against the spread this season.  

If you’re rooting for Alabama’s downfall, I have some bad news. They might be getting better.  

The Return of Nimari Burnett 

Nimari Burnett was a five-star recruit who chose Texas Tech, but he transferred to Alabama. Last year, he missed the entire season with an injury.

He was a key contributor at the beginning of the year, but a wrist injury in December put a halt on his growth.  

Well, Burnett made his return for Alabama in the Tide’s latest game. He only played five minutes, but he had a defensive impact and grabbed a few rebounds.

On the Rebound

He is working his way back up to a regular role, but he should see more minutes against Mississippi State.  

Burnett is a solid defender who can contribute on the offensive side, but his absence has led to the development of Jaden Bradley.

Bradley has improved as a starter for Alabama, but Burnett will likely be back in the starting lineup once he is fully back in game shape. Either way, both players will see plenty of reps.  

What Can Mississippi State Do?

So Mississippi State has a challenge in Tuscaloosa. However, the Bulldogs have one of the best defenses in the SEC.

This team loves to slow down the pace of play, so this will truly be a battle of opposing styles.

Will Mississippi State slow down the Tide, or will Alabama speed up the Dawgs? 

Mississippi State will also have to have an answer for Brandon Miller.

The trick is to keep the ball out of his hands as much as possible. You need to double him if you can, but throwing unique defensive patterns will keep him out of rhythm.  

Picks and Predictions 

Alabama is great at covering the spread at home, and they won by 40 points the last time they were in Tuscaloosa.

I expect the Tide to easily cover the spread against a team that has failed to win in four straight games.  

However, Mississippi State is also good at limiting opposing scoring.

Even on this losing streak, no one has scored more than 70 in a game. Because of this, I expect the Tide to both cover the spread and hit the under.

This combination is rare, but I don’t see Mississippi State finding offensive success against the Tide defense in Tuscaloosa.  

Remember, fans from the Magnolia State or the Cotton State who are looking to make a wager on this game should be sure to check out our top-rated Mississippi and Alabama betting sites.

NCAAB Pick: Under 139.5 (-108) at Heritage Sports

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Under 139.5 (-108)
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