The Alabama Crimson Tide won the SEC Championship last year and will begin their defense of the conference title with a second-round matchup against the Vanderbilt Commodores on Thursday night.
It won't be an easy road back to the top for Alabama who enters as the No. 6 seed but is expected to defeat Vandy, with college basketball betting lines opening with the Tide as 5.5-point favorites.
Here are our best free college basketball picks and predictions for Alabama vs. Vanderbilt for Thursday, February 9, with tipoff at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Alabama vs Vanderbilt odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
This line opened with Alabama installed as a 5.5-point favorite with the Over/Under at 147. As of 9:30 a.m. ET, the total has ticked up to 147.5 with some books at 148.
Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until tip-off and be sure to check out the full college basketball odds before placing your bets.
Alabama vs Vanderbilt predictions
Predictions made on 3/10/2022 at 10:30 X.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
If you're signing up for a new sportsbook for the 2021-22 college basketball season, here are two of the best bonuses available:
USA: College Basketball Parlay Bet & Get with Caesars! Live from Wednesday to Sunday, can be used once a day! Place a $20+ parlay on 4+ legs +400 odds on College Basketball and get a $10 Free Bet. Claim Now
Canada: Bet $1, get $100 in free bets when you sign up with BetVictor! Sign Up Now
Alabama vs Vanderbilt game info
• Location: Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL
• Date: Thursday, March 10, 2022
• Tip-off: 8:30 p.m. ET
• TV: SEC Network
Alabama at Vanderbilt betting preview
Alabama: No injuries to report.
Vanderbilt: No injuries to report.
Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Commodores are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games as an underdog. Find more NCAA betting trends for Alabama vs. Vanderbilt.
Alabama vs Vanderbilt picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
The Commodores are fresh off an 86-51 rout of Georgia last night and are now an incredible 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games. That includes a February 22 clash with Alabama where they lost in a 74-72 nail-biter but covered as 4-point home dogs. Now the Vanderbilt spread is up to +5.5 but at a neutral site while playing on a back-to-back.
The Crimson Tide can get buckets in a hurry but they've taken a massive step back from last year's squad that won this tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16. To be fair, they looked like championship contenders earlier in the season, especially after defeating Gonzaga on December 4, but since then they've fallen well short of expectations, going 12-11 straight up and just 5-18 against the spread.
The Tide comes in on a two-game skid, falling to LSU in overtime on Saturday after getting pummelled 87-71 as 10-point home faves against Texas A&M last Wednesday.
They are 13th in the country in adjusted offensive efficiency according to KenPom and they shoot a sizzling 56.5% from 2-point range — good for 10th best in the nation. That said, they've struggled defensively where they rank 327th in the country, allowing 76.2 points per game.
While the Commodores don't shoot the ball well and their offense can be a bit too reliant on Scottie Pippen Jr. (20.5 points and 4.2 assists per game), they should be able to put up points against this porous Bama defense.
Although the Tide might be able to justify giving up 100 points to Auburn and 90 to Kentucky, they also surrendered more than 80 points against the worst teams in the SEC in Missouri, Mississippi, and Georgia. Hell, they were actually the only team in the conference to lose to UGA outright, hitting the low point of their season on January 25 when they were defeated 82-76 in Athens.
Vandy plays much harder on the defensive end of the floor than Bama with the Commodores holding opponents to a 42.2 FG%. And while they are playing on consecutive nights, their domination of the Bulldogs yesterday allowed head coach Jerry Stackhouse to empty his bench and rest key starters.
With Vandy 7-0 ATS in its last seven games as an underdog, we're taking the points against one of the worst ATS teams in the country.
Prediction: Vanderbilt +5.5 (-110)
This number opened at a daunting 147 and is steadily ticking up but given Alabama's play this season we're going to keep playing the Over.
We mentioned that the Tide rank near the bottom of the country in scoring defense and those numbers have gotten even worse over the last two months with Alabama surrendering 79.1 ppg over its last 17 games.
The only reason Alabama has managed to stay competitive is due to an offense that ranks 12th in the country with 80.1 ppg. The Tide have a guard-dominated lineup with three players averaging over 12 ppg, led by Jaden Shackleford and his 16.6 ppg.
That shoddy defense and high-scoring ability combined with a pace that ranks 16th in the nation in adjusted tempo has led to plenty of entertaining shootouts for this Bama team.
Despite some high O/U numbers all season the Tide have gone 19-7 O/U in their last 26 games. Meanwhile, the Commodores have gone 9-3 to the Over in their last 12 games and have dropped at least 72 points in five of their last seven contests.
Prediction: Over 147.5 (-110)
Alabama has been one of the worst ATS teams in the country since Christmas and we're not jumping off that money train now. Especially against a Vanderbilt squad that is 10-1 ATS in its last 11 and feels like it let one slip away with a close loss against this same team just 16 days ago.
Add in the fact that Vanderbilt is finally 100% healthy after dealing with assorted injuries for much of the year and shouldn't be too affected by what was essentially a warmup last night, and we love the Commodores on the spread.
That said, we expect money to come in on the defending SEC champs throughout the day and might wait to see if we can get an even better number before tipoff.
Pick: Vanderbilt +5.5 (-110)
Did you know that if you parlayed our Alabama vs. Vanderbilt picks, you could win $26.45 on a $10 bet?
Use our college basketball parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.