Free Picks: The Roaring Wave of Alabama

Alabama vs Maryland March Madness
Alabama Crimson Tide vs Maryland Terrapins, NCAAB, Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Alabama’s defense is something else. Despite allowing almost 70 points per game, Bama’s best offense is their defense. They force turnovers, their perimeter defense smothers opponents, which leads to long rebounds that result in fast breaks and they force their opponents into uncomfortable shots. Maryland kicked UConn to the curb, but like their Big Ten brethren these Terrapins could be sent packing early.

Swallowed Alive

Against quality opponents, Alabama’s interior defense becomes their top priority. They hold their opponents to a mere 44% inside and are constantly breathing down their opponent’s necks. The Crimson Tide hold their opponents to 28.5% from deep, which should slow down Maryland’s perimeter attack that shoots 35.3%. Maryland has played 15 quality games this year going 5-10 in these games, their perimeter shooting decreases to 33.9% and they themselves get smoked from three allowing opponents to shoot 36%.

Alabama’s defense is so effective because they have an overwhelming amount of length. They have seven rotation players who are 6’5 or taller, which matches up incredibly well against Maryland. Maryland is one of the longer teams in the country and despite being a less talented team than past years, they have had success with their size. However, they will be in a tough match-up against Alabama who will take away this strength from Maryland. One of my free picks is Maryland under 67.5 points, Maryland will want to muck this game up and as mentioned will struggle to score. (-118 Bet10)

Jaden Shackleford, Jahvon Quinerly, John Petty Jr. are just a few of the Jumping J’s on Alabama who will overwhelm Maryland. Nate Oats has his team shooting 46.6% of their field goal attempts from the perimeter and will look to capitalize with their potent perimeter attack. Alabama has made as many 23 three-pointers in a game this season, and while I do not expect them to make that many, when Alabama makes 12 threes they are 12-0 SU and 9-3 ATS. Alabama’s rapid pace will speed up Maryland and make them uncomfortable, similar to that of Baylor against Wisconsin on Sunday.

With all that being said the choice is clear: take Alabama’s spread and ride this team to the Final Four. They are a high quality team and they know exactly who they are, they will not overlook opponents and they will make a statement against Maryland. NCAAB odds have Bama as a 5.5 point favourite, which makes my BetPicks best bet a comfortable play.


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  • The Over has cashed in 14 of Alabama’s 31 games this season
  • Alabama is 15-12-1 ATS as favourites this season
  • The Over has cashed in 12 of Maryland’s 29 games this season
  • Maryland is 6-9-0 ATS as underdogs this season

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Josh Saslove here, I am a passionate sports fan and have been consumed by sports for as long as I can remember. I have been a sports bettor for the past 4 years, starting out with betting on college basketball parlays. I currently write pieces for BetPicks, but have my own blog space. I am an avid fan of the Ottawa Senators, Toronto Raptors, Kansas City Chiefs and Toronto Blue Jays, so I know what it's like to cheer for the underdog. The 2017 ECF run by the Ottawa Senators and the Raptors 2019 NBA title are probably my fondest memories as a fan, as well of course the Chiefs Super Bowl win in 2020. I am also a big music fan and have been called Mac Miller by strangers on several occasions.