The Alabama Crimson Tide have lofty expectations befitting a No. 2 seed in the 2021 NCAA Tournament as they prepare to face the 15th-seeded Iona Gaels in a first-round matchup of the East Region on Saturday afternoon in Indianapolis. It matches the highest seed in school history for the sixth-ranked Crimson Tide (24-6), who captured both the SEC regular-season and postseason tournament titles. Like Alabama, the Gaels (12-5) have ripped off six consecutive victories under legendary coach Rick Pitino after winning the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament.
Tip-off is at 4 p.m. ET at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The winner advances to play either Connecticut or Maryland in the updated March Madness bracket. William Hill Sportsbook lists the Crimson Tide as 16.5-point favorites, while the over-under for total points scored is 147 in the latest Alabama vs. Iona odds. Before making any Iona vs. Alabama picks, be sure to see the college basketball predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated an impressive profit of over $2,500 for $100 players on its top-rated college basketball picks against the spread. It has also returned almost $500 on all top-rated college basketball picks this season. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Alabama vs. Iona in the NCAA Tournament 2021. You can head to SportsLine to see its picks. Here are several college basketball odds and trends for Iona vs. Alabama:
- Alabama vs. Iona spread: Alabama -16.5
- Alabama vs. Iona over-under: 147 points
- Alabama vs. Iona money line: Alabama -2000; Iona +1000
- ALA: The Crimson Tide are 18-0 when scoring at least 80 points
- IONA: The Gaels are making their fifth straight NCAA appearance
Why Alabama can cover
It speaks to the Crimson Tide's talent level that fourth-leading scorer Herbert Jones, who averaged 11.2 points, became the third player in SEC history to be named both the Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. Jones and USC's Evan Mobley are the only players in the country that are Naismith semifinalists for top overall player and defensive player. He registered double-doubles in both the SEC semifinals and championship game.
Sophomore guards Jaden Shackelford and Jahvon Quinerly rank 1-2 in scoring for Alabama at 14.2 and 12.7 points, respectively. Shackelford buried five 3-pointers in the SEC title game vs. LSU while third-leading scorer John Petty Jr. (12.3) led the team with 70 3-pointers this season. Despite coming off the bench in all three SEC Tournament games for the Tide, Quinerly wound up scoring 47 points and earning Most Outstanding Player honors.
Why Iona can cover
Senior guard Isaiah Ross led the Gaels in scoring during the regular season at 20.5 points per game, but he struggled with his long-range shooting in the MAAC Tournament, connecting on only 3-of-18 3-point attempts. Ross scored in double figures in all but two games this season and had three games with at least 30 points. Ross shot 48.9 percent from the floor and 41.8 percent from behind the arc during the regular season.
Second-leading scorer Asante Gist averaged 12.2 points in the regular season but has elevated his play down the stretch. The senior guard is averaging 16.3 points during the six-game winning streak, reaching double figures in each contest. Freshman forward Nelly Junior Joseph, the MAAC Newcomer of the Year, had a double-double (12 points, 11 rebounds) in the tournament title game after going for 13 points and nine boards in the semifinals.
How to make Iona vs. Alabama picks
The model is leaning over on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 149 points. It also says one side of the spread has all the value. You can only see the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Alabama vs. Iona? And which side of the spread has all the value? Visit SportsLine right now to see which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the computer model that has crushed its college basketball picks.