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College basketball expert Mike Spector gives his prediction for the highly anticipated Tuesday night SEC matchup between the Alabama Crimson Tide and Auburn Tigers.
ANALYSIS

Alabama vs. Auburn Prediction: Can the Crimson Tide Bounce Back Against Their In-State Rival?

The Auburn Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide saw their rankings change significantly with yesterday’s AP Top 25 release. Auburn climbed four spots to No. 4 after two convincing conference victories. Alabama fell the furthest of any team in the latest poll, tumbling to No. 24 after a surprising road loss to Missouri. Can the Crimson Tide earn a big bounce-back victory, or will Auburn continue to build its case for being the best team in the conference?

Here are our picks and predictions for the SEC matchup between Auburn and Alabama.

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Alabama vs. Auburn Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

Date: Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Game Time: 9:00 p.m. ET

Where To Watch: ESPN

Click Here for Alabama vs Auburn Odds

Alabama vs. Auburn Line Movement

Alabama vs. Auburn Prediction

Though Auburn entered last week as a top ten team, there were still some doubters in their case to be considered a national title contender. There are not likely to be as many of those doubters entering this week, as Auburn has won three straight SEC games by an average of 14 points. The Tigers have now won 11 consecutive games since a double-overtime loss to Connecticut, and just one of those victories was by fewer than nine points.

While standout freshman Jabari Smith is the first person mentioned when anyone discusses Auburn, sophomore guard Wendell Green has largely gone under the radar. Green has been sensational for the Tigers over the last month, averaging 15.6 points, 4.9 assists, and 4.7 rebounds. He has provided complementary scoring to Smith, along with fellow guard K.D. Johnson who averages 12.8 points per game.

Alabama head coach Nate Oats will be the first one to tell you that his team’s road loss to a 7-7 Missouri team is inexcusable. It was the Crimson Tide’s worst defensive performance of the season, as they allowed four Missouri players to score at least 15 points, while the Tigers shot 49.2% from the field. However, most concerning for Alabama was that Missouri got to the free-throw line at will and knocked down 22 of their 27 free throw attempts.

Auburn has the most intimidating frontcourt in all of college basketball, as Jabari Smith and Walker Kessler are a big reason the Tigers are the nation’s best shot-blocking team (21.9% block rate). However, Alabama’s guard-heavy attack of Jahvon Quinerly, Jaden Shackelford, JD Davison, and Keon Ellis will mitigate this strength. The Crimson Tide will have no problem playing “small ball” in an attempt to force Bruce Pearl to play his two big men together in limited spurts. Look for the Crimson Tide to attempt even more 3-pointers than usual, given Auburn’s shot-blocking prowess, which means the game’s outcome will hinge on their ability to make shots. 

Alabama has won 17 straight home games, with their biggest home win this season coming against Tennessee. The Crimson Tide overcame a 7-for-31 3-point shooting night to grind out a win over the Volunteers, which should give Alabama backers some confidence that they can beat Auburn even with an off-shooting night.

The Crimson Tide are 0-6 in their last six games as favorites. However, we like them in a buy-low spot tonight and will claim their ugly loss to Missouri was nothing more than a result of looking ahead to this rivalry game.

Alabama vs. Auburn Pick

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Mike Spector brings unmatched knowledge and insight into the game of football, and more importantly the process of betting on NFL football. Mike is the #2 ranked expert in FantasyPros' NFL betting contest

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