NCAA Basketball Wednesday Betting Preview: Expect Plenty of Points when Alabama visits Arkansas

SI Gambling analyst Roy Larking focuses on two ACC and SEC matchups on his Wednesday college basketball betting card.
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No. 11 Florida State at Miami

In-state rivals meet when Florida State visits Miami for an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup tonight. The Seminoles vs. Hurricanes contest is slated for 8:30 p.m. ET at the Watsco Center in Coral Gable, Fla. This is the second meeting between these teams this season. Florida State cruised to an 81-59 win, and covered as 12-point favorites, at home back on Jan. 27. The Seminoles have won six straight against the Hurricanes. That includes a 99–81 victory at home and an 83­–79 win on the road last season.

Florida State (13-3, 9–2 ACC) enters this contest on a three-game winning streak. The Seminoles head to Miami following a 79–72 win in Pittsburgh against the Panthers on Saturday. Florida State covered as 6.5-point favorites after draining two free throws with ten seconds left in the game. Prior to that, in a battle of the top two teams in the ACC, the Seminoles posted an impressive 81–60 win against No. 7 Virginia at home on Feb. 15. FSU jumped out to a 45–25 halftime lead and covered as 2.5-point favorites.

Miami (7–13, 3–12 ACC) is playing out the string on a rough season and enter this contest having lost seven of their last eight games. Miami is playing a second straight home game following an 87–60 blowout loss to Georgia Tech as 4-point underdogs on Saturday. The Hurricanes made just six of 21 shots from the field, during the first 20 minutes, and trailed 48-18 at halftime. Prior to that, Miami lost 71–61 on the road to Notre Dame and played well but lost 80-76 to No. 16 Virginia Tech in overtime at home.

Scoring has been an issue for Miami as they are averaging just 66.1 points-per-game (ppg) and have scored 61 or fewer points during six of their eight games. That will be a problem against Florida State who are averaging 79.3 ppg on offense. The numbers are much closer on defense as the Seminoles are allowing 69.1 ppg while the Hurricanes are giving up 70.9 ppg. Miami is missing several players due to injury while Florida State is at full health. The number is big, for a road team in a rivalry battle, but I like the Seminoles to cover.

Pick: Florida State Seminoles -11 (-110) at DraftKings

Betting Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook – Game Time 8:30 p.m. ET

Betting Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook – Game Time 8:30 p.m. ET

Bet on College Basketball All Season at DraftKings


No. 6 Alabama at No. 20 Arkansas

The top two Southeastern Conference teams clash when Alabama visits Arkansas. Tipoff for the Crimson Tide vs. Razorbacks contest is slated for 9:00 p.m. ET at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Ark. This is the second meeting this season. The Crimson Tide rolled to a 90–59 win, as 2.5-point favorites at home, during the first game on Jan. 16. Prior to that, Arkansas had won six straight in this series. That includes an 82–78 win in Alabama as 3.5-point underdogs during the lone meeting last year.

Alabama (18–5, 13–1 SEC) heads to Arkansas after an 82­–78 win against Vanderbilt at home on Saturday. It was a surprisingly close contest as the Commodores rank last in the SEC standings. The Crimson Tide shot just 25.6% from three-point range (10 of 39) and failed to cover as 14-point favorites. That was a second straight home game for Alabama who crushed Georgia 115–82 as 13-point favorites on Feb. 13. The Crimson Tide are 1–2 straight up and against the spread versus AP Top 25 ranked teams.

Arkansas (17–5, 9–4 SEC) is playing a second straight home game and return to action after their match against Texas A&M was cancelled on Saturday. Prior to that, the Razorbacks defeated Florida 75–64 as 4.5-point favorites at home on Feb. 16. That was Arkansas’ seventh straight victory against an SEC opponent and they covered the point spread in six of those contests. The Razorbacks are 5–0 straight up and 4–1 ATS during their last five home games. Four of those victories were by at least 11 points.

This is a battle of high-scoring squads as Arkansas is averaging 82.5 ppg and Alabama is scoring 80.9 ppg on offense. Neither team defends very well as the Razorbacks are allowing 70.1 ppg and the Crimson Tide are giving up 70.5 ppg on defense. Expect a lot of shots from beyond the arc in this game. Alabama is 250 of 694 from three-point range while Arkansas has drained 175 of 517 three-point shot attempts. While I am leaning towards Arkansas at home, the better play is betting OVER on the game total.

Pick: Alabama vs. Arkansas OVER 155.5 points at DraftKings

Betting Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook – Game Time 9:00 p.m. ET

Betting Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook – Game Time 9:00 p.m. ET

2020–21 NCAA Basketball Betting Record: 25-21 ATS


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