Iona vs. Alabama March Madness Game Analysis, Odds, Picks and Predictions
March Madness betting sites favor the home team by 17 points when the Iona Gaels and the Alabama Crimson Tide play on Saturday in college basketball action from Hinkle Fieldhouse. According to the best online sportsbooks, the No. 2-seeded Alabama Crimson Tide (24-6) are massive chalk against the MAAC champs Iona Gaels (12-5) in this East Region first-round clash at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
The Tide are returning to the big time for the second time in four years. They are riding a six-game winning streak. They clinched the regular season and tournament conference titles together for the first time since 1987.
The line for this game has not moved since the opening number. However, the total is a different story. It jumped four points up to 147. This is a head-scratching move to say the very least. In particular, if we consider the recent betting trends for both teams are going down instead of up.
Iona vs. Alabama March Madness Odds by MyBookie.ag
|Iona||+17 (-110)||147 (-110)||+1200|
|Alabama||-17 (-110)||147 (-110)||-1900|
Betting Iona Gaels
The Gales are road underdogs at betting sites. The Gaels have won six games in a row. They are 5-0-1 against the spread in that span. After a 60-51 win over the Fairfield Stags. As eight-point faves in the MAAC Tournament championship game last Saturday.
Fairfield was a surprise opponent after they went 7-11 in the conference. As well as 10-17 overall. One could make the same argument concerning Alabama in the SEC Tournament final. The takeaway is that Iona head coach Rick Pitino is creme de la creme in college basketball.
He is taking his fifth different program to the NCAA Tournament. Say what you will about Pitino, but he knows how to get his players motivated and bring out the best in them. This school is further evidence of that. Iona will be making its fifth consecutive appearance in the big tourney as well.
Betting Alabama Crimson Tide
The Tide is betting sites’ big fave. This is the best Bama team since 2002. That was the last time they had such a high seed. This year’s version might be just a little bit better. But we’ll find out about that soon enough, since they have never made it to a Final Four.
Alabama did advance to the Elite Eight in 2004. However, they fell to the UConn Huskies en route to the national championship. More importantly for this game, though, is that the Tide have won their first game in the big tournament in two of their last three outings.
That despite being seeded No. 9 or No. 10. Alabama head coach Nate Oats is no Pitino, but he is more than two decades younger. He is on a similar path after leading both this school and the Buffalo Bulls to the big tourney in his first two rodeos.
Iona vs. Alabama March Madness Picks
Let’s take Iona. The Gaels appear to be a trendy pick in this game. It is not hard to see why. Iona has settled into a nice groove in their last six games. They have notched 70 or more points in four of those games. Alabama has been gaining steam too with 70 or more points in five in a row. The Tide should get the win here but the line seems large enough for Iona to get the cover.
These are two top-notch head coaches who are among the best in the game. This might be the greatest X’s and O’s clash in the entirety of the first round. Their players are more than able to light up the scoreboard, but it will not happen here. This will be a low-scoring game that will go under the total.