In one of the most exciting matchups this weekend in college basketball, the Alabama Crimson Tide roll into Norman to face the Oklahoma Sooners. If one took an average college basketball season, an Alabama-Oklahoma matchup wouldn’t get that many excited. Lets take a look at our Alabama at Oklahoma prediction and betting pick!
But that’s all different this year. In a strange COVID season where Kansas, Kentucky, Duke and North Carolina are all having down seasons, these two teams both have legitimate chances to win their conferences this season and make a deep tournament run. Both teams are coming in hot and scoring, outscoring teams that usually beat them by double digits.
#9 Alabama (14-3)
Alabama is coming into Norman with a nine-game winning streak, including two wins against Kentucky and a win over currently #7 ranked Tennessee. Other than a close game against Auburn, Alabama has been winning these nine tough matchups with ease, scoring 80+ points seven times and 90+ three times. Their defense has also been dominating recently as well. In that nine-game stretch, taking out the 93-90 shootout with Auburn, the most points Alabama has given up is 75 against LSU. Alabama won that game 105-75.
The star of this show? Senior guard John Petty Jr., who has been a scoring machine this year. Averaging 14 points a game, he has been tearing up opposing defenses with his 3-pointers as of late. In his last five games, he has dropped 22 3-pointers on 46 attempts (48%), while dropping eight alone in Alabama’s matchup against Mississippi State.
Given the staunch defense of the Tide, and Petty Jr. at the helm, Alabama has fallen into a formula that their football team is very familiar with: score a lot of points and hold the other team to half of your score.
#24 Oklahoma (10-4)
When looking at how Oklahoma is performing coming into this matchup, it’s actually hard to believe that Oklahoma is ranked 24th while Alabama is all the way up at 9th. While the Sooners are not as hot as the Tide leading to this matchup, Oklahoma has definitely taken care of business in the month of January. Winning their last four, and six of their last eight, Oklahoma has managed to beat both #9 Kansas and #5 Texas in the last week.
Not only are the Sooners beating very good teams (while the Tide are beating average teams), three of the Sooners four losses have come against teams ranked in the top 15. They lost very close games to #15 Texas Tech and #6 Kansas, while also losing at #2 Baylor. Oklahoma has already redeemed their loss to the Jayhawks, and will have a chance against Texas Tech next week.
Who has led the Sooners to beating these prestigious programs? A senior guard of their own Austin Reaves, who is one of the most productive players currently in the Big 12. Not only is Reaves a scoring machine, he is also a stat machine: he leads the Sooners in points, assists, rebounds and minutes per game. Five times this year he led his team in points, assists and rebounds, while leading in rebounds 12 of the 14 games the Sooners played so far. He has clearly grown into a leadership roll on the floor, because when he isn’t scoring, he is able to get the ball in the hands of sophomore guard De’Vion Harmon, who is averaging 13 points a game himself.
Alabama at Oklahoma Prediction & Pick
Looking at the schedule of both teams, it seems odd that Oklahoma is ranked so much lower than Alabama. Vegas knows this, because Oklahoma is a -1.5 favorite over #9 Alabama.
It’s hard not to pick Oklahoma to win this one straight up, given the value of the position and the likelihood they are going to win. The play though should be on the spread, which is very possible given the close games the Sooners have been in this year.
In terms of the game total, expect the UNDER to hit here at 153.5. From a pure analytical standpoint, Oklahoma just isn’t statically able to put up the kind of scores Alabama has been used to. This game won’t be 90-93. Even if Alabama wins it won’t be 90-75. We are looking at a lower scoring, close game.
ATS Pick: OU -1.5 – 1 Unit
O/U Pick: Under 153.5 – 1 Unit