Texas & Alabama Give Scoreboard Operator Extra Work

Willie Bee

Friday, December 22, 2017 1:14 PM UTC

Friday, Dec. 22, 2017 1:14 PM UTC

Known more for their football programs, Texas and Alabama can also play some hoops and we have a free college basketball pick for their Friday night fight in Birmingham.

Texas Longhorns vs Alabama Crimson Tide

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Free NCAAB Pick: Over 137Best Line Offered: at Heritage

Talk about a great way to head into the Christmas break for a couple of dancers we expect to see next March, and on what is usually a slow Friday night to boot. That’s what we have in store when the Texas Longhorns travel to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide.

The 9 PM (ET) tip can be found on ESPN2, and it’s technically a neutral-site affair at Legacy Arena in Birmingham. We know better with a very pro-Crimson Tide crowd in the stands for the Big-12-SEC confrontation that finds Alabama 2½ point chalk at 5Dimes with 137 for the scoreboard target. Both leagues appear to be deeper this season as the Longhorns and Tide enter the fracas with the same 8-3 records and ranking 38/42, respectively, on the latest KenPom chart.

Tough Conference Openers Await ‘Horns & Tide

It’s the final tune-up for their approaching conference schedules, and each side will face tough opponents 7-8 days from now to get those started. Texas will face five ranked teams among its first eight Big 12 games, beginning with the Kansas Jayhawks coming to Austin a week from tonight. Alabama hosts No. 8/9/7 (AP-Coaches-KenPom) to open the SEC fixture on Dec. 30, then won’t face another ranked team until Oklahoma comes to Tuscaloosa on January 27.

The Longhorns arrive in Birmingham on a 2-game win streak, but an inconsistent group of shooters have made them a bad play against the NCAA basketball odds with only one cover in their last six lined affairs. Playing the ‘under,’ however, has been profitable with 4-straight winners. The Crimson Tide have been in a win one-lose one rut since Thanksgiving and have also covered just one game in the last six, though four of those tilts went ‘over’ the marks.

Series History, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick

The lucky 13th meeting between the schools finds the Longhorns with an 8-4 advantage that dates to their victory in the first contest 70 years ago. Most of the clashes are ancient history, but the squads did get together in Austin a little more than a year ago. Texas posted a 77-68 win as 3½ point chalk, the final having plenty to get past a 128½ point total. Alabama has covered just one of its last five games against Big 12 schools while the Longhorns are 4-1 ATS vs. the SEC.

A reported 37 NBA scouts will be in the stands at Legacy Arena tonight, and not all of them are coming to see Mo Bamba of Texas. I’m going to get behind the shooters on both sides with my free college basketball pick and play the ‘over.’

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