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SEC Tournament Betting Odds & Analysis

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Tennessee Volunteers (+160)

Tennessee comes into the SEC Tournament riding high, winning 7 of their final 8 games of the regular season. That is how the Vols ended up securing a double-bye in the tournament but can they cut down the nets in Nashville for the second time in 3 years?

The Vols are led by senior forward Dalton Knecht on offense. The potential SEC Player of the Year can turn it on anytime, as we saw against Auburn when he scored 23 points in the final 12 minutes of the game. But the key on offense will be to get the rest of the starters rolling early.

Senior guards Josiah-Jordan James and Santiago Vescovi struggled mightily early in the season finale loss to Kentucky, which led to the duo being ineffective throughout the rest of the game, combining for just 8 points & shooting 2/14 from the floor. This lack of production from two senior starters played a key role in the loss on Saturday. If Tennessee can get these two, as well as PG Zakai Zeigler & C Jonas Aidoo, going early, Knecht will be able to distribute the ball instead of forcing the game to go through him.

It is definitely worth noting that Tennessee’s defense is no joke, ranking 3rd nationally in KenPom. So even if they do find themselves having an off night offensively, then they can certainly still win any game while relying on their defense.

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Auburn Tigers (+200)

The Tigers are probably the most well rounded team in the SEC, ranking 14th on offense & 6th on defense according to KenPom. They also have been getting great contributions from their bench, who ranks 5th in the country in points per game (34.23).

Bruce Pearl’s squad is led by Junior forward Johni Broome. He averaged 16.3 ppg & 8.5 rpg in the regular season. Both are top 10 in the SEC. If the big man gets going early, the Tigers have proven they are hard to stop. But the scoring doesn’t stop there. Auburn has two other double digit scorers in Jaylin Williams (12.9) and Chad Baker-Mazara (10.3) which highlights the depth of this Tigers squad.

Where this team has struggled, however, is in quad 1 games. They are just 1-7 in 8 quad 1 games this season with their lone win coming in February vs. rival Alabama. Unfortunately for the Tigers, they will have to put together multiple Q1 wins if they are going to win this tournament.

This team certainly has the talent, on paper, to play with any team in the country. But their lack of success against quality teams could be the key to an early exit in Nashville.

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Alabama Crimson Tide (+500)

Alabama comes into the conference tournament sporting one of the best offenses in the country (2nd nationally per KenPom). They have four players averaging double digit points per game in potential SEC Player of the Year Mark Sears (21.1), guard Aaron Estrada (13.4), forward Grant Nelson (12.0), and guard Rylen Griffen (11.1). The Crimson Tide are also not afraid to let it fly from deep.

They are 4th in the country in three point attempts per game (30.5), 3rd in made three’s per game (11.2), and 32nd in three point percentage (36.86). But it’s not like they are just chucking from deep every possession. They are 13th in the country in effective FG% (.564%).

Their offense will determine how far they go in this tournament, and the NCAA Tournament. That is because their defense ranks 102nd in the country, per KenPom. Alabama has 9 quad 1 losses, and they gave up at least 80 points in all 9 games. They also have a quad 2 loss to Ohio State where they allowed 92 points.

One key advantage the Tide have coming into the tournament is they have won here before, last year in fact. While their roster looked a bit different last year, both Sears and Griffen were on that team. We’ve seen offenses get hot in March before. When that happens, those teams are very hard to stop. Alabama will always have a ‘puncher's chance’ in every game they play from here on out.

Kentucky Wildcats (+500)

Kentucky hit a bit of a rough patch in the middle of their season that left some fans wondering if they would get the coveted double bye in the conference tournament. But the Wildcats finished the season strong, winning 8 of their final 9 contests. This team is riding high and definitely has great value to cut down the nets in Nashville.

The Wildcats boast one of the top offenses in the country (6th per KenPom) and their offensive attack could come from almost anywhere on the court. Antonio Reeves, Rob Dillingham, Reed Sheppard, and Tre Mitchell all double digit scorers. They are also very smart with their shots, ranking 8th in effective FG% nationally.

Much like Alabama, they are not very strong on the defensive side of the ball. According to KenPom, they have the 92nd ranked defense in the country. However, they have shown the defense can step up if necessary. As previously mentioned, they held two of Tennessee’s most experienced players to under 10 points in their most recent win. They also only gave up 59 points in a win at Auburn last month.

John Calipari stated earlier in the season that this team was built for March, and they are certainly playing the best basketball of the season this month. Kentucky will look to claim another SEC Tournament victory this week. A title they have not held since 2018.

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