College Basketball Jan. 29, 2009: Mitch Picks Alabama at Arkansas

Mitch WilsonSenior Writer IJanuary 29, 2009

Alabama (12-7) at Arkansas (12-5)

The Line: Arkansas -5 1/2

A few short weeks ago, this young Arkansas team looked like they were ready to make a nice run this season and were proving they could stand on the national stage with anyone. After beating Texas and Oklahoma, most thought the Hogs would have their way in the SEC, which was full of rebuilding teams; the Razorbacks haven't won since SEC play started, losing their last four in a row.

On the other side of the court, Alabama is a team in turmoil. Expectations have turned to disappointment and a midseason coaching change. While at the college level it's rare we see a change in the middle of the season, we see one here at Alabama. The results of such experiments usually don't turn out well.

While I don't think Bama's season becomes an outright disaster, I don't think the big turnaround starts tonight at Arkansas.

Alabama is 6-8 against the spread, while Arkansas is 5-5 against the number. Neither of these teams has covered in a while in SEC play, as Alabama is 0-4 against the spread in the conference and Arkansas is 0-5. Alabama has dominated against the spread in this series, covering eight of the last 10 and four of the last five in Arkansas.

I don't see these trends happening in this one. What I generally see in situations like this is teams come out fired up to try to get their new coach a win but run out of gas and eventually get him his first win in friendlier surroundings, like their own home court.

Mitch's Pick: Arkansas -5 1/2


See all of Mitch's College Basketball picks against the spread