Alabama is on the rise in bettors and a legitimate title contender

It would be pretty funny if Alabama finally didn’t make the Final Four for the college football playoffs this season but did make the men’s basketball Final Four.

And not only does Alabama look like a team that could make a Final Four in basketball, the Crimson Tide could win it all.

Alabama has been a force lately. Purdue is No. 1 in the nation and deservedly so with their 19-1 record, but Alabama is the best team right now. The Crimson Tide is 17-2 and has wiped out teams since losing to Gonzaga on Dec. 17. Since then, they’ve won all eight games by double digits. Seven of those wins were against SEC opponents. Alabama was also great for weather. The Crimson Tide has lapped the spread seven times in a row.

Mississippi State isn’t a bad team (57th in the KenPom rankings), but they are a huge 13.5-point underdog at BetMGM for Wednesday night’s game in Alabama. And it’s hard to find a reason to bet on the state of Mississippi.

Alabama is led by freshman Brandon Miller, a 6-9 freshman who is a contender for National Player of the Year and is a top-three pick in most NBA mock drafts. Alabama has more than Miller, however, with a strong team that plays fast, forces a lot of misses on defense, and scores a lot of 3-pointers. Perhaps the Crimson Tide’s reliance on 3s will be a problem in a one-and-done tournament when they have an evening off, but all the ingredients are there to win a championship.

Alabama is +1000 at BetMGM to win it all this season, third best odds in esports. You might want to hold this ticket in March.

Alabama forward Brandon Miller, 24, has led a huge upswing for the Crimson Tide.  (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

Alabama forward Brandon Miller, 24, has led a huge upswing for the Crimson Tide. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

Here’s the first look at the sports betting table for Wednesday:

Top 25 College Basketball Action

Seven top-25 teams are in action in college hoops on a busy Wednesday.

There is a game between two top 25 teams as No. 19 UConn host No. 13 Xavier. UConn was the story of the early part of the season but has cooled of late. The Huskies are 6.5 point favorites, which seems a little high. Xavier’s only loss in the last 13 games was a one-point loss at DePaul last week.

A 10 game night in the NBA

It’s a busy night in the NBA, too. The Brooklyn Nets vs. Philadelphia 76ers on ESPN would have been an amazing game if it weren’t for Kevin Durant’s knee injury. The Nets weren’t the same without Durant, and the 76ers are 5.5-point favorites.

We could see a pretty funny duel between the two players who have teamed up for the last four Milwaukee MVP awards as Nikola Jokic’s Denver Nuggets take on Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. But Jokic was struggling with a hamstring injury, Denver played in New Orleans on Tuesday night and Jokic (along with Jamal Murray) was able to sit. The Bucks are 7.5-point favorites and are keeping an eye on the injury report as tip-off nears.

The best of the rest

The Farmers Insurance Open begins Wednesday with a good field heading into the PGA Tour event in Torrey Pines. Jon Rahm is the clear favorite at +450, Xander Schauffele is second at +1100.

There are five games in the NHL, with the top game being the New York Rangers at the Toronto Maple Leafs, with the Leafs considered the +165 favorite.

What’s the best bet?

It’s not the hottest matchup, but I’ll go with the Oklahoma City Thunder as a 1.5-point underdog at home against the Atlanta Hawks. The Thunder are 8-0-1 against the spread in their last nine games and are progressing much faster than expected this season.