The Alabama Crimson Tide are good enough to beat Gonzaga in Seattle. They have beaten Houston and Tennessee, two Final Four contenders.
Yet, they have also lost to Davidson, Iona, and most recently the Missouri Tigers and were a huge disappointment for college basketball betting. They have great wins and bad losses on their resume.
They visit Mississippi State in a crucial game for both schools on Saturday evening. Which side is the best bet for college basketball picks?
Game: Alabama (11-5) at Mississippi State (11-4)
Location: Humphrey Coliseum – Starkville, MS
Day/Time: Saturday, 6 p.m. ET
Television: SEC Network
Alabama Crimson Tide at Mississippi State Bulldogs
Alabama Faces Proving-Ground Moment
Alabama might not be in a state of free-fall, but it is getting closer to that point, and they urgently need to put a halt to their losing ways.
They lost at a bad Missouri team last Saturday, and the Tide turned around and lost at home to archrival Auburn. There’s no shame in losing to Auburn. The Tigers might be the No. 1 team in the country.
However, there is absolutely no excuse for losing to Missouri, a horrible team that lost to Arkansas this past week by 44 points. Arkansas is struggling this season, so that tells you how awful Missouri is.
Alabama lost to that Mizzou team, an inexplicable result in a weird season. Alabama has been brilliant in its best moments and terrible in its worst moments. Great teams usually have a high floor and a very high ceiling.
Alabama has a high ceiling, but its floor is alarmingly low. There’s way too much variance between different versions of this team. Alabama might be the single most volatile team in the country. The Tide need stability.
Their 3-point shooting needs to improve, and they have to find ways to score more consistently.
Mississippi State Can’t Keep Missing Big Opportunities
Mississippi State’s record of 11-4 might be half a game better than Alabama’s 11-5 mark, but MSU has a far worse profile than Alabama. MSU doesn’t have the high-quality wins Alabama has.
The Bulldogs’ best nonconference victory is over Furman. Their win over Arkansas doesn’t look as good as many expected it to be, since the Hogs have struggled so much this season.
Mississippi State missed a chance to beat Colorado State. The Bulldogs also have losses to Louisville, Minnesota, and Ole Miss, which don’t look good.
They need to accumulate high-value wins, and if they let those chances slip away, they’re going to find it very hard to make the 2022 NCAA Tournament.
Their defense needs to answer the call here against Alabama. Allowing 82 points to Ole Miss in a recent loss is simply not acceptable for coach Ben Howland.
Which team Will Show Urgency?
Logic says Alabama should win this game, but logic would have said Alabama would beat Missouri by 20 points last Saturday, and yet the Crimson Tide lost that game outright.
Alabama should win, but you might simply want to stay away from this game if you bet online, given how undependable both teams are at the moment. This is a tough call in the sportsbook.