Alabama vs. Georgia: NCAA Basketball Picks and Predictions

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Alabama vs. Georgia: NCAA Basketball Picks and Predictions
James Rojas #33 of the Alabama Crimson Tide on January 12, 2021 in Lexington, Kentucky. Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP

Sportsbooks have released their odds for a Saturday afternoon contest between Alabama and Georgia. It’s fun to bet on a game that you can follow on television. Be sure to check out the following analysis and best bet so that you can profit as well.

Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Georgia Bulldogs

Saturday, March 06, 2021 – 02:00 PM EST at Stegeman Coliseum

How To Beat Alabama: Size and Height

It’s important to consider for your sports betting that the following SEC teams have covered the spread against Alabama:

  • Mississippi State (twice)
  • Missouri
  • South Carolina
  • Arkansas

Those teams all covered against Alabama because they have some important things in common. One, they rank top-100 in height. Height is important against an undersized Alabama team that — as much as it may want to — cannot manage to attempt 60 three-pointers in a game. Bama struggled against these teams because they forced the Tide to compete with significant length in order to finish around the rim.

Two, these teams possess strong and physical players in the post. They have guys weighing at least 240 pounds who can knock Tide players around and bruise them on both ends of the court.

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How To Beat Alabama: X’s and O’s 

Footage reveals what Bama likes to do offensively. By playing with four or five guys behind the arc, by driving and kicking, by playing inside-out, and by executing slip screens, the Crimson Tide attempt the highest rate of three-pointers in the SEC.

Stout, individual rim protection is important against Bama because, in attacking inside, Bama wants to suck in the help defense in order to kick the ball outside. If rim protectors do not need help, then their teammates can stay locked onto Tide shooters behind the arc.

Physicality can help muck up a contest with Alabama, making it ugly. Turnovers can do the same, which is something that South Carolina — also a bruising type of team — regularly excels at forcing under Frank Martin.

Moreover, a team needs to have defenders who are strong in isolation, who can handle Bama players in one-on-one match-ups the way that teams like Florida could not when the Tide spread the floor.

Sahvir Wheeler #15 of the Georgia Bulldogs calls out to teammates Carmen Mandato/Getty Images/AFP

What Type of Team is Georgia? 

Unlike the teams that covered against Alabama, Georgia ranks 311th in height. This is an undersized Bulldog squad that is not physical.

Georgia regularly gets owned on the glass — it ranks last in the SEC in defensive rebounding rate — partly because it often allows easy shot attempts at the basket. Ranking last-place in the SEC in block rate, the Bulldog defense features minimal rim protection.

While they like to attack inside on the offensive end, they do not pound it in the post like strong post-up players do such as Arkansas’ Jaylin Williams in his season-high effort against the Tide. Instead, Georgia’s top two shot-takers by percentage are guards. This is a guard-centered offense that will try to spread the floor in order to create sufficient space inside for a drive to the basket.

So note for your NCAAB picks that, with their lack of size, lack of physicality, lack of one-on-one defensive ability, and lack of rim protection, the Bulldogs are not the type of team that is built to handle the Crimson Tide.

Can Alabama Make the Final Four?
Alex Reese #3 of the Alabama Crimson Tide shoots the ball. Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP

Alabama Offense vs. Georgia Defense 

In SEC play, Georgia has faced two teams that attempt a high rate of three-pointers: Auburn, which attempts threes at the conference’s third-highest rate, and Alabama.

Auburn scored over 85 points in both of its games against the Bulldogs. Alabama scored 115. Georgia knew that both teams primarily want to attempt three-pointers, but remained powerless defensively.

At 2:09 in the following video, you’ll see what the Bulldogs will want to do:

Bulldog defenders will meet the opposing ball-handler well behind the arc in an effort to deter him from attempting a three-pointer. But in focusing on the perimeter, Bulldog defenders opened themselves up inside and allowed the Tigers to be exceptionally efficient around the basket.

Bama is more efficient behind the arc than Auburn because of its balance. Four different Tide players convert at least 38 percent of their three-point attempts.

Also, Alabama is creative in getting open. At 14:00 in the following video, you see what I meant by slipping the screen.

Tennessee expects a staggered screen here. But the second screen never comes. By pretending to set a screen, John Petty induces Tennessee to switch. Two Volunteer players end up running into each other while Petty is wide open behind the arc.

Herbert Jones’ Defense 

Alabama center Herb Jones was named a Naismith Defensive Player of the Year Semifinalist. Ranking 278th in block rate, he provides the individual rim protection quality that Georgia lacks.

In Alabama’s close games or losses, Jones got into foul trouble and had to play fewer minutes. But with their lack of physicality, the Bulldogs rank 12th in the SEC in rate of free throws attempted. So Jones will be on the floor to punish Georgia for its desire to attack the basket.

Today is not a good situation for Georgia, although you might expect one since it’s the team's home finale. But under Tom Crean, Georgia has lost its regular season home finales by double digits.

Rather note that Bama is 3-0 ATS against Crean-coached Georgia, which is not built to beat Alabama and it shows on the NCAAB lines.

The Verdict 

Eight points is not a lot, especially for a team that has scored over 80 points in 11 different SEC contests against a team that has given up over 80 points in 10 different SEC contests.

With the threat posed by its SEC-leading three-point attack, Alabama will overwhelm the porous Bulldog defense. Defensively, Herb Jones will secure Bama’s highly-ranked interior defense against Georgia’s rim-attacking offense.

For the above reasons, bet on Alabama at your favorite sportsbook.

Best Bet: Crimson Tide -8 at +100 with BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

Crimson Tide -8(+100)
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*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.