Auburn vs Jacksonville State Prediction: Can Jacksonville St Put up a Fight?

Auburn comes into this game after having a fantastic season while Jacksonville State didn't even win their conference tournament and finds themselves in the big dance. Let's break down the matchup.
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Auburn vs Jacksonville State Prediction: Can Jacksonville St Put up a Fight?

Auburn comes into this game after having a fantastic season while Jacksonville State didn't even win their conference tournament and finds themselves in the big dance. Let's break down the matchup.

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Auburn vs Jacksonville State Prediction 

Auburn has been one of the surprises of the season as they elevated their game to another level and at one point, were the number one ranked team in the nation. Auburn has been a really stout defensive team this year with their length and athleticism as they are currently ranked eighth in adjusted defensive efficiency, eighth in defensive effective FG%, and fourth in defensive 2-point%.

Walker Kessler is an elite rim protector and blocks or challenges nearly every shot at the rim. Jabari Smith is 6’10" with guard-like skills and might be the number one overall pick in the NBA draft. He is a nightmare to guard as he can shoot over anyone and can get to the rim off the dribble.

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On the offensive side of the ball, Auburn has been inconsistent at times as they are ranked 24th in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency but are ranked 155th in off effective FG%, and 258th in 3-point shooting as a team. Auburn also plays at a very fast pace as they are ranked 40th in the country in adjusted tempo and 71st in lowest average time of possession at 16.8 sec per touch.

They will frequently look to use their athleticism to get out in transition as they will have a huge advantage there in this game. Another thing that Auburn struggles with is guarding without fouling. Auburn is ranked 288th in defensive foul rate this season. Makes sense considering how physical the SEC was as a whole, but they will need to clean that up here as Jacksonville St is very physical and has multiple guards capable of getting to the rim off the dribble.

 Jacksonville St got their automatic qualifying bid in one of the weirdest ways imaginable. They lost to Jacksonville in the semis and Jacksonville lost to Bellarmine in the championship, but Bellarmine is ineligible for post season play due to their recent transition to Division 1.

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So, because of this, the regular season A-Sun champs get the automatic bid which happened to be Jacksonville St. With that being said, Jax St is no slouch as they were probably the best team in the A-sun all season. Jacksonville St is a very good offensive team as they are ranked 25th in the nation in off eff FG% and 11th in 3-point shooting. Where Jacksonville St struggles is with taking care of the basketball as they are 282nd in offensive turnover%.

They will need to sure up their handle against a very quick and athletic Auburn defense if they want to keep this game close. Jacksonville St has also been solid on defense this year as they are ranked in the top 100 in defensive effective FG% and defensive 2-point%, so they do a good job of defending the paint.

They also do a good job of defending without fouling as they are sixth in the nation in lowest defensive foul rate. This will be huge as auburn is a very physical team and Smith, Kessler, and Green are all capable of getting looks at the rim, so if Jacksonville St can block/hinder shots at the rim without fouling, it could keep them in the game longer than most people expect.

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Jacksonville St is a very solid and athletic team who can knock down perimeter shots at a high clip. They faced Alabama earlier this year as nearly 17-point underdogs and were only down by one at halftime and only lost by six. Their length and athleticism can keep them in the game, and Darian Adams is a sniper from the outside.

Adams is shooting 37% from three, Gibbs shoots 41% from three, King shoots 45% from three, and Finch is at 36% from deep so they have four guys who can all keep them in the game with the outside shot. I think this spread is a bit too high so my strong lean for this game is Jacksonville St +16 -112 and a slight lean to the OVER 138.5 as my final score prediction for this game would be 79-68 Auburn. My official pick for this game is JACKSONVILLE STATE +16 at -112 for 1U

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Auburn vs Jacksonville State Pick

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Joey has spent the last 6+ years betting on sports with a focus on basketball and baseball. Basketball is his main focus, and not many people know more about mid-major basketball than him. Whether you need advice on a Saturday night primetime game or a Tuesday night back-alley SWAC/MEAC game, Joey is your man.

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