Grambling State vs Alcorn State: College Basketball Prediction (1/31/22)
The Alcorn State Braves will host the Grambling State Tigers at the Whitney Complex in Lorman, Mississippi. Both teams have struggled this season, combining for a 15-25 record thus far. With that being said, each team’s found success in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). Alcorn State leads the conference with a 6-2 record, while Grambling State boasts a 5-2 record. According to KenPom, the Braves are projected to win the SWAC with a 13-5 record. The Tigers aren’t projected to finish the season as strong, as they’re expected to end with a 9-8 conference record. In this article, I’ll break down my favorite bet for the Grambling State vs Alcorn State game.
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These teams have been opposites against the spread (ATS) so far this season. Alcorn State’s looked elite, recording a 15-5 ATS record. They’re beating the spread by an average of 4.8 points per game. They’ve also covered in 66.7% of their short list of home games this season.
Grambling State hasn’t found nearly as much success. They enter this game with a 7-11 ATS record, failing to cover by an average of 0.9 points per game. They’ve also been worse on the road, covering in only 33.3% of those games, and failing to cover the spread by an average of 3 points per game.
This is an interesting game in the aspect that both of these teams have found tremendous success at the free throw line. Alcorn State leads the SWAC in free throw percentage, while Grambling State ranks second. Both teams have found the ability to get to the line in conference play as well. Overall, the Tigers and Braves rank second and third in percentage of points from free throws in conference play.
The big difference between the teams is their abilities to create offense in different ways. Alcorn State ranks third and second in the conference in three-point and two-point percentages this season. Grambling State ranks in the bottom half of the SWAC in both categories. The Braves also rank better in each category outside of the conference, even though they played the second-most difficult non-conference schedule in the NCAA this season. Keep in mind, the Tigers have played the 11-most difficult non-conference schedule, so they aren’t far behind.
A major part of this game will be extra possessions through steals. Alcorn State’s struggled with ball control throughout the season, although Grambling State hasn’t been able to force steals up until this point. The most interesting aspect comes on the Tigers’ side. They’ve struggled with turnovers throughout the season, but they haven’t in conference play. Grambling State’s played some of the best teams at forcing turnovers this season, including Texas Tech, Iowa State, and UAB. Alcorn State’s found success in terms of steal throughout the season, and that success has continued through conference play.
Both of these teams should find plenty of success at the line. Although I slightly favor Alcorn State in this aspect, it’s unlikely they blow out Grambling State at the line. It’ll come down to the remainder of their offense along with extra possessions.
Can Grambling State hit their three-point attempts? This is where the game will lie. Alcorn State’s allowing their opponents to shoot 38.3% from deep in conference play. With that being said, they haven’t been allowing a ton of three-point attempts. Furthermore, Grambling State isn’t an offense that focuses heavily on their three-pointers. I prefer Alcorn State in this aspect, as the Tigers have struggled to defend the three throughout conference play, and the Braves are shooting 38.2% in those games.
Alcorn State’s consistently been undervalued by Vegas throughout the season, while Grambling State’s been overvalued. The Braves have covered in seven of their last nine games. The Tigers have been playing better in recent games, but Alcorn State boasts the skillset to beat them. They should see plenty of free points at the line, along with open looks from beyond the arc. This spread is a bit too close at the moment.
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