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Picks, predictions for No. 8 Alabama vs. No. 21 Mississippi State on December 28

Alabama opens SEC play with a road matchup versus Mississippi State.

Dec 20, 2022; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide guard Jahvon Quinerly (5) drives the ball against Jackson State at Coleman Coliseum. Ncaa Basketball Alabama Vs Jackson State Will McLelland / USA TODAY NETWORK

The No. 8 Alabama Crimson Tide head on the road to open SEC play versus the No. 21 Mississippi State Bulldogs. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. ET from Starkville, MS, and the game will air on SEC Network.

Let’s take a look at the odds and lines on DraftKings Sportsbook and make some picks.

No. 8 Alabama vs. No. 21 Mississippi State odds

Spread: Alabama -2
Over/Under: 139.5

Alabama (10-2, 0-0 SEC) averages 83.7 PPG and is shooting 43.9 percent from the field, including 34.0 percent from beyond the arc. The Crimson Tide has won five of their last six games, including a recent 20-point win over Jackson State. It’s been a balanced effort for Alabama heading into SEC play, as their defense forces 12.2 turnovers per game. Forcing the Bulldogs into costly turnovers, and making them earn their points from the charity stripe could prove to be the x-factor in coming away with the win.

Mississippi State (11-1, 0-0 SEC) is hoping to bounce back from their first loss of the season, 58-52 defeat to Drake in which they coughed up the ball 17 times while shooting just 67.3 percent from the free throw line. The Bulldogs have notably been stingy on defense this season, which will be key in limiting the Crimson tide, who has averaged 83.7 PPG heading into this matchup. On the season, Mississippi State ranks third in college basketball in points per game allowed, surrendering just 52.6 points per game to their opponents.

The Pick: Alabama -2

The Bulldogs’ record on paper looks admirable, but their strength of schedule falls outside the top 200. In comparison, the Crimson Tide looks like a potential championship contender after knocking off then No. 1 Houston a couple of weeks back. Take Alabama to cover in this one, as they have been outperforming the spread in true road games this season by +7.3 points per game.