Alabama is in a tough spot for bettors and is a legitimate title contender

Alabama is in a tough spot for bettors and is a legitimate title contender

Alabama is in a tough spot for bettors and is a legitimate title contender

It would be pretty funny if Alabama didn’t end up making the College Football Playoff Final Four this season, but it did make the men’s basketball Final Four.

And not only does Alabama look like a team that could make a Final Four in basketball, the Crimson Tide could win the whole thing.

Alabama has been a force lately. Purdue is No. 1 in the country and deservedly so with a 19-1 record, but Alabama is the better team right now. The Crimson Tide are 17-2 and have eliminated teams since a Dec. 17 loss to Gonzaga. Since then they have won all eight games by double digits. Seven of those wins came against SEC opponents. Alabama was great among punters as well. The Crimson Tide has covered the spread seven straight times.

Mississippi State isn’t a terrible team (ranked 57th by KenPom), but they are a huge 13.5-point underdog at BetMGM for Wednesday night’s game at Alabama. And it’s hard to find a reason to bet on Mississippi State.

Alabama is led by freshman Brandon Miller, a 6-9 freshman who is a national player of the year contender and the No. 1 pick in most NBA drafts. Alabama has more than Miller though, with a deep team that plays fast, forces a lot of turnovers on defense and will take a lot of 3-pointers. Maybe the Crimson Tide’s reliance on the 3 will be an issue in a tournament that will only happen if they have an off night, but all the ingredients are there to win a championship.

Alabama is +1000 at BetMGM to win it all this season, the third best odds in the sport. You might want to hold this ticket in March.

Alabama forward Brandon Miller (24) led a huge surge for the Crimson Tide.  (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

Alabama forward Brandon Miller (24) led a huge surge for the Crimson Tide. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

Here’s a first look at Wednesday’s sportsbook:

Top 25 College Basketball Action

Seven top-25 teams are in action on a busy Wednesday in college hoops.

There is a game between two top 25 teams as No. 19 UConn hosts No. 13 Xavier. UConn was the story of the early part of the season, but has cooled off lately. The Huskies are 6.5 point favorites, which seems a little high. Xavier’s only loss in its last 13 games was last week’s one-point loss at DePaul.

A night of 10 games in the NBA

It’s a busy night in the NBA, too. Brooklyn Nets at Philadelphia 76ers on ESPN would be a fantastic game if not for Kevin Durant’s knee injury. The Nets haven’t been the same without Durant, and the 76ers are 5.5-point favorites.

We could have a pretty entertaining matchup between the two players who have combined for the last four MVP awards in Milwaukee as Nikola Jokic’s Denver Nuggets take on Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. But with Jokic battling a hamstring injury, Denver played at New Orleans on Tuesday night, and Jokic (along with Jamal Murray could sit). The Bucks are 7.5-point favorites and are watching the injury report as the upset looms.

The best of the rest

The Farmers Insurance Open begins Wednesday with a good field for the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines. Jon Rahm is the clear favorite at +450, with Xander Schauffele second at +1100.

There are five games in the NHL with the New York Rangers at the Toronto Maple Leafs as their top game, with the Leafs a +165 favorite.

What’s the best bet?

Not the sexiest matchup, but I’ll go with the Oklahoma City Thunder as a 1.5 point home underdog against the Atlanta Hawks. The Thunder are 8-0-1 against the spread in their last nine games and are coming along much faster than expected this season.

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