NCAA Tournament Betting: Charleston vs. Alabama Picks, Prop Bets and Odds

Annie Nader
Annie Nader@ANader33
NCAA Tournament Betting: Charleston vs. Alabama Picks, Prop Bets and Odds

Very few things on the sports calendar can match the excitement and unpredictability of the NCAA Tournament. So why not add betting to the mix via the college basketball odds at FanDuel Sportsbook?

The 2024 edition of the big dance has arrived, and here at FanDuel Research, we'll have you covered with a betting guide for each game.

All college basketball odds come from FanDuel Sportsbook, and lines may change after this article is published.

NCAA Tournament Betting Picks

Charleston vs. Alabama Betting Odds

Date and Time: Friday, March 22nd, 7:35 p.m. ET

Spread: Alabama -9.5 (-110)

Total: 173.5


  • Charleston +350
  • Alabama: -465

Charleston vs. Alabama Statistical Breakdown

Advanced stats from KenPom, Bart Torvik and numberFire.

Charleston Cougars

  • numberFire Ranking: 104th
  • Bart Torvik Ranking: 99th
  • KenPom Ranking: 98th
    • Adjusted Defensive Efficiency Ranking: 176th
    • Adjusted Offensive Efficiency Ranking: 58th
    • Adjusted Tempo Ranking: 59th

Alabama Crimson Tide

  • numberFire Ranking: 11th
  • Bart Torvik Ranking: 15th
  • KenPom Ranking: 13th
    • Adjusted Defensive Efficiency Ranking: 112th
    • Adjusted Offensive Efficiency Ranking: 2nd
    • Adjusted Tempo Ranking: 9th

Charleston vs. Alabama Best Bet

Alabama 1H -5.5 (-110)

This is a close call, but ultimately, backing the Alabama Crimson Tide for a first-half cover seems like the best move.

To put it simply, the Charleston Cougars are outmatched and seem primed to get outrun in this matchup.

Both teams play at a super fast pace, giving credence to the lofty 173.5 over/under on tap. But Alabama's tempo and offensive efficiency are unmatched.

The Crimson Tide are the only team in college basketball to rank in the top 10 of both pace and offensive efficiency. They throw a lot at opposing teams, meaning a solid enough defense is necessary in order to keep up.

Charleston's 176th-ranked adjusted defense probably won't cut it.

This season, the Cougars went up against three teams that eventually received NCAA Tournament nods (Duquesne, Vermont, and FAU). They let up an average of 84.3 points in these games, despite just one of their opponents ranking in the top 25 of adjusted offense.

Throw Mark Sears and company at the Cougars, and the Crimson Tide look capable of pulling away with an early lead.

Sears is one of the best natural scorers in college basketball and should look to take over early. Charleston has yet to face a team of Alabama's offensive caliber. I think the better, more experienced program will reap the early benefits of a high-paced showdown, which is why I'm siding with a first-half cover.

Look for Charleston to regroup after halftime and adjust to the pace of play. The Cougars come in 16th in three-point rate, so their ability to knock down threes and eventually match Alabama's pace is slightly steering me away from Alabama -9.5 at -115.

Charleston vs. Alabama Prop Bet

Mark Sears Over 21.5 Points (-122)

For a game that features a 173.5-point over/under and a pair of teams that rank in the top 60 of pace, we're getting an awfully good deal on Mark Sears' points prop.

On the season, Sears is averaging 21.2 points per game. He has scored over 21.5 points in 56.3% of his games.

But once we adjust this split to only account for games where Sears played at least 30 minutes, he is clearing 21.5 points at a stellar 70.8% rate.

Sears averages 33.0 minutes per game. Given the single-elimination nature of this tournament, and Charleston's ability to fight back in the second half, I'd expect Sears to log at least 30 minutes on Friday.

But whichever way you spin it, these -122 odds, which imply just a 54.9% probability, show value.

Alabama and Charleston both rank in the top 20 of three-point rate. We should see a ton of threes go up in this one, so I'm encouraged that Sears leads the Crimson Tide in three-point makes and touts a team-leading 43.1% three-point percentage.

But Sears doesn't need to get it going from downtown in order to clear his points prop. In fact, he scored 22 points in his most recent game despite going 0-for-4 from three-point land. His ability to score on drives or in transition is appealing, especially when going up against a fast-paced yet so-so defense.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.