College Basketball Picks: Alabama vs. Colorado Prediction & Point Spread: March 29th 2011
Both Colorado and Alabama rolled through the early rounds in the NIT with all of their games coming at home. Looking at the records, we see pretty much identical marks as Colorado is 24-13 overall including 18-2 at home and 6-11 away from home while Alabama is 24-11 overall including 19-0 at home and 5-11 away from home. The significant different is the home records as the Tide finished perfect on the season but not both teams head to MSG for this semifinal matchup.
This game opened as a pickem but Alabama got the early money and is now a 2.5-point favorite in most spots. We have to decipher if this is the correct move and should Alabama actually be favored in this game. The short answer is yes. Based on power ratings, the Tide are 38th while Colorado is 57th and the big difference here is the Alabama defense. Tough defense has been the key, as in its last game Alabama forced four turnovers on four consecutive possessions to kick off an 11-2 run.
The Tide are ranked fifth in effective field goal percentage and seventh in defensive efficiency and while they will be tested against a strong Colorado offense, the defense typically has the advantage. The big matchup for Alabama will be trying to contain Alec Burks who is averaging 20.5 ppg this season. That will be assigned to Trevor Releford who has played tough defense against some of the best point guards in the country this season, so he certainly won’t be intimidated.
The early part of the season was tough for Alabama but it has responded well. After losing to Iowa and St. Peter’s as favorites, the Tide are a perfect 16-0 in their last 16 games as a favorite, going 13-2-1 ATS in those games. The small number certainly helps as Alabama is a perfect 4-0 ATS as favorites of seven points or less while Colorado is 0-2 ATS as an underdog of 2.5 or fewer points. The Buffaloes are also 0-6 ATS away from home following a game as a home favorite this season. 3* (761) Alabama Crimson Tide