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South Alabama vs. Arkansas State - 3/12/19 Sun Belt Tournament First Round College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Arkansas State at South Alabama
Date & Time Tuesday March 12, 2019, 8:00 PM (EDT)
Mitchell Center
Mobile, AL
The Line
South Alabama Jaguars -4.5 -- O/U: 143
TV Channel
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John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

The Arkansas State Red Wolves and the South Alabama Jaguars meet in a Sun Belt tournament first round matchup in college basketball action from the Mitchell Center on Tuesday.

The Arkansas State Red Wolves come into the conference tournament as the #9 seed, finishing the regular season with a 13-18 overall record, including 7-11 in conference play. The Red Wolves gave themselves some tough opposition in the non-conference portion of their schedule, with losses to Syracuse and Minnesota on the road as well as posting wins over Missouri State, FAU and Evansville at home. Consistency was a major issue for the Red Wolves as Arkansas State only mustered up back-to-back wins just once during conference play while boasting multiple 3-game losing streaks. Ty Cockfield led the Red Wolves in scoring and assists with 22.4 points and 3.2 assists per game while Marquis Eaton was A-State’s 2nd leading scorer with 11.3 points per game and Grantham Gillard averaged 10 points with a team-high 5.7 rebounds per game as the Red Wolves’ 3rd double-digit scorer on the year. As a team, Arkansas State is averaging 73.9 points per game on 41.9% shooting from the field, 33.8% from behind the arc and 73.7% from the foul line this season.

The South Alabama Jaguars enter the tournament as the #8 seed after finishing the regular season with an overall record of 15-16, including 8-10 in conference play. South Alabama started the year getting crushed in a 43-point loss to Auburn as well as defeats at the hands of Southern Miss and Texas A&M, but rebounded with wins over Chattanooga and Tulane. South Alabama was streaky for the most part in conference play, starting 2-0 before rattling off 5 straight losses, followed by three straight wins and followed that up with 3 straight losses. The Jaguars ended things by alternating wins and losses in each of their last 5 games to finish the regular season. Josh Ajayi led the Jaguars in scoring and rebounding with 16.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game while Trhae Mitchell came 2nd with 14 points and 7.5 rebounds as well as a team-high 3.6 assists per game. Rodrick Sikes is South Alabama’s 3rd double-digit scorer with 12 points per game. As a team, South Alabama is averaging 73.1 points per game on 46.1% shooting from the field, 36.6% from behind the 3-point line and 67.5% from the foul line this season.

Arkansas State is 5-12 ATS in their last 17 games overall and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Tuesday games while the under is 4-1 in their last 5 conference games. South Alabama is 12-5-1 ATS in their last 18 games overall and 3-7-1 ATS in their last 11 Tuesday games while the over is 5-2 in their last 7 games against a team with a losing record. Arkansas State is 0-4 ATS in the last 4 meetings between these two teams and 1-3-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings between these two teams at South Alabama.

The 8-9 matchup can be one of the harder matchups to try to predict in any tournament, as the teams can be very evenly matched and anything can happen. However, South Alabama has been the more trustworthy team ATS in my opinion and the Jaguars beat the Red Wolves at home by 8 points just over a month ago, so given the success that South Alabama has had ATS in this matchup, I’ll lay the points with the Jaguars here.

South Alabama -4.5

Chris has been a sports fan from when he was old enough to pick up a basketball and was a standout offensive lineman throughout high school and college. Chris uses that same instinct, determination and drive to analyze trends and statistics to find and produce winners on a consistent basis. Chris has been writing for Sports Chat Place since 2016 and covers a wide array of sports from college and pro football, college basketball, hockey and baseball.

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