Iona vs Alabama March Madness Odds, Picks and Predictions March 20

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Updated: March 15, 2021

Clock Icon Mar 15, 2021 – 1:36 PM ET

The No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide meets the Ghost of March Madness Past when they take on the No. 15 Iona Gaels and famed head coach Rick Pitino on Saturday. 

The Crimson Tide won the SEC Tournament in a tight finale, extending their winning streak to six games (4-2 ATS), and are now one of the biggest Round of 64 college basketball betting favorites (before First Four matchups are played) on the board, giving 17 points to Pitino’s Gaels. Iona is the MAAC champ after winning four straight (3-0-1 ATS) as a No. 9 seed.

Here are our free March Madness picks and predictions for Iona vs. Alabama in the Round of 64 on March 20.

Iona vs Alabama odds

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Alabama opened as a 17-point favorite versus Iona in the Round of 64 with the Over/Under total hitting the board at 145.5 points and jumping up to 146. Check back later for a full report from Patrick!

Check out the full line movement for this game

Iona Gaels vs Alabama Crimson Tide betting preview

Injuries

Iona: None.
Alabama: Josh Primo G (Questionable)

Find our latest NCAA basketball injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Under is 5-2 in the Crimson Tide’s last seven games overall. Find more NCAA betting trends for Iona vs. Alabama.

Against the spread (ATS) pick

If it were a lesser-known head prowling the Iona sidelines, the Gaels may have the element of surprise in this Round of 64 matchup. But with Pitino on patrol and all the March Madness history he brings to Indianapolis, the Crimson Tide won’t overlook the Gaels – even with a spread this size.

Alabama is a matchup nightmare, running opponents into the hardwood with the ninth-fastest tempo in the country and attacking relentlessly with an average time of 14.1 seconds per offensive possession. The Tide are second in offensive efficiency and can easily drop 80-plus points on opponents.

Iona’s defense strapped it down during the team’s MAAC title run, allowing an average of just under 54 points per game through those four victories, but hasn’t faced an offense like Bama’s this season. The Gaels busted some bubbles en route to the Big Dance and Pitino solidified his place among the all-time best coaches, but that’s where the fun ends. 

The Crimson Tide have done well against big spreads this season, going 5-1-1 ATS when laying double-digit chalk.

PREDICTION: Alabama -17 (-110)

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Over/Under Pick

Iona wouldn’t dare try to run with the Crimson Tide, which means Pitino will likely try to slow things down and keep the ball out of Alabama’s hands as much as possible. The Gaels did just that in the MAAC Tournament, switching gears from 72.8 possessions per game in the regular season to just 65.5 in the conference postseason.

For everything Alabama does right with the basketball, the Tide are just as good without it. They’re second in KenPom.com’s hallowed adjusted defensive efficiency metric (a calling-card stat for Final Four teams) and have a lockdown defender in Herb Jones, the SEC’s Defensive Player of the Year. 

Alabama forces almost 16 turnovers per game, or a turnover on more than 21 percent of its opponents’ possessions. The Gaels have struggled with ball control at times this season, coughing up 15.6 turnovers an outing, and will have a tough time running their offensive sets against the swarming Crimson Tide defenders (Alabama allows a mere 11 assists per game). 

PREDICTION: Under 146 (-110)

Covers March Madness betting analysis

First half prop pick

Whenever March Madness odds give you a big spread in this tournament format, you run the risk of big faves taking their foot off the gas in the second half in hopes of conserving energy and protecting starters from injuries. 

While I’m confident Alabama will “Roll Tide” over this 17-point spread, you can buy a little insurance with Bama -9.5 in the first half of Saturday’s game. The Tide posted an average first-half margin of +9.3 points through three SEC Tournament games, so putting the boots to Iona early and often won’t be too much of a chore.

PREDICTION: Alabama first-half -9.5 (-110)

Iona vs Alabama betting card

  • Alabama -17 (-110)
  • Under 146 (-110)
  • Alabama first-half -9.5 (-110)

March Madness parlays

Did you know that if you parlayed today’s March Madness Iona vs. Alabama picks, you could win $59.58 on a $10 bet?

Use our March Madness parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.

Where can I bet on March Madness odds?

March Madness is one of the most popular times of the year for sports bettors, which of course makes it one of the busiest times of the year for online sportsbooks. Every betting site will offer March Madness odds but the top sites are safe and secure, offer a wide range of banking options, and give you a ton of markets for each game. Check out the best March Madness betting sites in your region.


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