Alabama vs. Texas A&M Odds
Alabama erased a 17-point second-half deficit against Auburn on Wednesday to lock up the SEC regular-season title. The Crimson Tide are pegged right now to be the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament, but all of the off-the-court stuff taking place has to be taking a toll on the team.
With this game really not meaning much to them, they could get caught napping.
Texas A&M is 14-3 in SEC play this season and has already locked up the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament. Buzz Williams has his team set up to be a No. 7 seed in the NCAA tournament, but a win over the No. 1 projected overall seed could push the Aggies up to a six seed.
The reason the Crimson Tide are so good and so difficult to beat is because of how elite they are at both ends of the court
Alabama is 19th in the country in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency, per KenPom, and it’s a mixture of elite shot selection, elite spacing and putting up a massive amount of the most valuable shots on a basketball court: at the rim and behind the 3-point line.
Image via ShotQuality
If you could say Alabama has a weakness on offense, it would be its efficiency from beyond the arc. The Crimson Tide are 10th in the country in 3-point rate, but they’re only shooting 34.5% from beyond the arc. A lot of that has to do with only 28% of their 3-point attempts being graded as “open.”
The Crimson Tide are also turning the ball over at an incredibly high rate, ranking 232rd in turnover percentage on offense, which is something you cannot do against Texas A&M.
One thing that has plagued Nate Oats for some time is the fact that Alabama’s defense was far from elite. This season, though, Alabama is one of the best defensive teams in the country, ranking second in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency.
It’s really quite amazing how good they are at defending jump shots, as the Crimson Tide are second in effective field goal percentage allowed, fourth in 3-point field goal percentage allowed and first in 2-point field goal percentage allowed.
Not only that, but they are also allowing the 21st-lowest 3-point rate in the nation, as well.
Against any other team they would matchup amazing, but Texas A&M is almost solely reliant on getting to the free-throw line and grabbing offensive rebounds, which are two areas that Alabama struggles in defensively.
Texas A&M is a much different offense than most of the top 25 teams around the country.
The Aggies are not a great jump shooting team, as they are seventh in the SEC in effective field goal percentage, ninth in 3-point field goal percentage and sixth in 2-point field goal percentage.
However, they get to the free throw at the third-highest rate in the country and when they get there, they are shooting 77% in conference play.
Texas A&M relies on 26% of its points on offense to come from the free-throw line, which is the second-highest average in the country, per KenPom.
The Aggies also are top-10 in the country in offensive rebounding percentage, so they get a ton of second-chance opportunities, as well.
Both of those areas are huge against Alabama, which is outside the top 130 in both categories.
Texas A&M owns a very average defense in a lot of areas, but the areas it’s elite in are perfect for this matchup with Alabama.
First off, Texas A&M is 63rd in PPP allowed in transition, while Alabama is a top-40 team in transition frequency, per ShotQuality.
The Aggies are force turnovers at a top-50 rate, which is a problem for Alabama.
Texas A&M has been good at defending at the rim, allowing only 56% in conference play.
Alabama vs. Texas A&M Betting Pick
With Alabama already having wrapped up the SEC regular-season title and locked into a No. 1 seed in March Madness, this is a great spot for Texas A&M to pull off an upset.
The Aggies’ ability to get to the free-throw line at an ungodly rate — along with their elite offensive rebounding — should help them be efficient offensively.
On the other end of the court, Texas A&M’s ability to force turnovers and defend the rim at a high level should force Alabama into a lot of low-quality 3-point shots, so it will just come down to whether those shots are going in or not.
I like the value on the Aggies at +2 (BetRivers) at home, with this game not meaning much to Alabama.
Pick: Texas A&M +2
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