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Tuesday night action in the Mitchell Center features an exciting Alabama showcase between the Southeastern Conference's Auburn Tigers and the Sun Belt's South Alabama Jaguars. Both of these schools are undefeated through two contests so far, with Auburn beating Davidson and South Alabama winning against Southern Miss most recently. These schools met last season with the Tigers winning easily 101-58. Auburn opened as eight-point favorites and the total opened at 146 and a half. Tip is set for 8:05 PM ET.
Tigers Thinking TournamentCoach Bruce Pearl's men looked sharp last time around, beating a solid Davidson team 76-66. Auburn was in control for basically the whole game and aside from the foul trouble, looked like a championship quality team. The Tigers also had 15 turnovers and will need to take better care of the basketball. Auburn is a paint oriented team, scoring 30 from the paint in their last game after struggling to shoot the three, only making 25%. "That's the first time they've had to close one out, and I thought they did a great job," said coach Pearl.
The Auburn Tigers are led by a three-headed monster in the form of Samir Doughty, Isaac Okoro and Danjel Purifoy. The trio combined to average 43 and a half points per game after the first two contests. Freshman sensation Okoro will be a key part of Auburn's long term success, as the youngster is shooting 73.3% from the field along with 50% from three so far. Center Austin Wiley has been the biggest reason Auburn has established paint dominance, scoring nine points a game to go with nine and a half rebounds.
Jaguars Jump Off To Great StartThe South Alabama Jaguars headed into this season with high expectations, after being named the preseason favorite to win the Sun Belt conference. They have started things off on the right page after their most recent victory over rival Southern Mississippi 75-69. Trhae Mitchell grabbed a steal and hit two clutch free throws late to seal the deal for South Alabama. The team shot 44.4% from the field and were lead by senior stud Josh Ajayi with 30 points on the night.
Ajayi has been the face of the operation for the Jaguars, averaging 21 and a half points with ten rebounds on the new season. Trhae Mitchell has been solid with 13 and a half points per game, and has been outstanding on the defensive side with five blocks per game. Guards Andre Fox and Chad Lott have been contributing as well, averaging 13 and 12 points per game respectively. South Alabama relied on it's defense as the team only grabs 34 and a half rebounds a game and shoots the ball just under 50%.
Trends for this game provided by oddsshark.com
- Auburn is 5-1 ATS their last 6 games overall
- Auburn is 4-2 ATS their last 6 times playing South Alabama
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I love the Auburn Tigers in this in-state contest. Coach Bruce Pearl has his team primed and ready for another deep tournament run, and if they can cut back on the turnovers and foul problems, this Auburn team will be extremely dangerous. I expect the Tigers to come out of the gate very similarly to their last game with a hot start and to control the game from start to finish. Auburn simply has more talent than the Jaguars, and it will show Tuesday night. Neither team shoots the three-ball well, but I don't expect that to play a factor in this game. Auburn has historically dominated this match and rightfully so. The Tigers won last year 101-58 and I don't see any reason this game will be much different.
Prediction: Auburn Tigers -8
Full-Game Total Pick
I like the over here in a contest that I see having no lack of scoring. I expect Auburn to work out some of their kinks this week in practice, mainly the turnovers and fouls, and I expect them to play efficient, smart basketball. Both schools haven't shot the ball well from the three point range, but that only leaves both team with room to improve. These two teams combined for 159 points in this contest last year, and given both's up and down defense I expect the same here. I saw a key trend that may help as well: the total has gone over in six of the last eight games the Auburn Tigers have played.
Prediction: Over 146.5