BettingbytheNumbers Pick of the Day, 01/24/2024
Sports & Travel

BettingbytheNumbers Pick of the Day, 01/24/2024

#8 Auburn Tigers @ Alabama Crimson Tide (6:30 pm CT on ESPN)

For today’s pick of the day, we are headed to SEC Hoops for another edition of the Iron Bowl. #8 Auburn is headed to Alabama looking as good as they have in years and are expecting to beat their long-time rivals. The Tigers are 16-2 and have one of the nation’s best defenses. Meanwhile, Alabama comes into the game with a 12-6 record, scarred by some early season losses (mostly against good teams). Both teams should show up tonight and make for a great game, so let’s get into the pick.

Team Previews:

Auburn is the hottest team in basketball, with their last loss on 12/02. Bruce Pearl always has good defensive teams, but this one is in the top 3 in the country. And the Tigers offense has gotten better as the year has gone on. One thing to note- while Auburn’s defense has been good, they dominate at limiting opponents on 2s. But they could be better at stopping the 3, which will need to be where Alabama tries to attack.

Alabama, on the other hand, is finally starting to come into form. While the Tide racked up some early season losses, the opponents in many of those were top 25-30 teams (Purdue, Creighton, Arizona). While Bama got a six-game win streak going, they were railroaded on the road against an elite Vols team on Saturday. This is a massive get-back spot against your biggest rival, who is as good as they have been in a long time. Sometimes Alabama lives and dies by the 3, but when it’s hitting, and they can get the pace going, they are as good as any team in the country.

Line Movement:

The line opened at most books with Bama as -1.5 to -2 favorites. They are now -3.5 at nearly every book. There is very little value in the cash vs. tickets, as the Tide has a good chunk of the money and tickets, and the line has moved slowly with it. I am not making any picks here based on these lines, but there is a chance this line keeps pushing toward the Tide before tip-off.

Pick: Alabama -3.5

I am going with Alabama to win and cover the 3.5 here. The Tide will try to get this Auburn team moving up and down the court and not let them stifle a slow-moving half-court offense. Alabama is going to shoot many threes, and tonight, those 3s are going to drop. They had a bad performance on Saturday and know the importance of getting a win here. It’s a rivalry game, and I get the home favorite at less than 5? Sign me up – give me the Tide. This feels like a must-win game for Alabama (or close to), which is a game Auburn doesn’t want to lose. Motivation will help Alabama, and they can get it done at home.

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