Needless to say, it has been a tumultuous week for Alabama basketball. The Tide went on the road for what theoretically should have been a walkover against a hapless South Carolina squad, but the home team’s crowd was rowdy and they shot the lights out. As a result, the Tide had to eke out an overtime win as soon-to-be lottery pick Brandon Miller put the team squarely on his shoulders. So, how did a nailbiter against a team that has zero postseason aspirations affect the team’s odds of winning a national title this season?
According to DraftKings sportsbook, not much at all, as it turns out.
Alabama has the second best odds to win the NCAA tournament championship at +900, meaning that a $100 bet would pay $900. They are behind only Houston at +650 and just ahead of Kansas at +950. This is rare air for an Alabama program that, while historically the second best in the SEC, has never advanced past the Elite Eight.
There is plenty of work to do yet. Tomorrow Alabama takes on Arkansas in what will be a battle of lottery picks in Miller and Nick Smith, Jr. Smith was absent for Alabama’s 15 point win in Fayetteville last month, but poured in 26 points to lead the Razorbacks to a 97-65 drubbing of Georgia in the last outing. His return has Arkansas fans hoping for a deep postseason run. If you’re looking for a lottery ticket pick, the Hogs could be decent at +6000 to win it all and +1300 to make the Final Four.
After that, Alabama closes the season with Auburn and Texas A&M, both at +8000 to cut down the nets. The road isn’t going to be easy, especially with the external noise that is undoubtedly destined to follow them, but the Tide are still positioned well to challenge for their first basketball national title.