SEC tournament Round 2 odds, predictions and best NCAA basketball bets

Mar 14, 2019 |

The SEC tournament really gets going Thursday with four Second Round matchups on tap in Nashville, including several NCAA Tournament bubble teams where a win or two could go a long way to impressing the selection committee. We deliver you the must-read betting notes to help you crack the odds for the SEC tournament.

Arkansas Razorbacks vs Florida Gators

Odds: FLA -3, 134.5 O/U @ Points Bet
Start Time: 1:00 p.m. ET Bridgestone Arena, Nashville
Season Series: FLA 1-0 SU/ATS, 0-1 O/U

Eighth-seeded Florida pulled out a 57-51 road triumph as 2-point favorites when these teams met back in January, but coach Mike White's team comes in on a three-game skid while the ninth-seeded Razorbacks finished the regular season on a high note with a 3-0 mark in March.

The Gators have been maddingly inconsistent this season. They’ve shown flashes, like winning on the road at LSU, but are 3-7 ATS in conference play when laying points and are 0-5 ATS when favored by 5.5-points or more. Meaning they seem to play down to the level of their competition.

This matchup is a classic clash of styles. Florida is the lowest scoring team in the SEC at 68.3 points per contest, while Arkansas scores 76.3 points per game. Florida is last in the SEC in Pace, while Arkansas is first. And while the Gators are the team that will be touted for their defense in this matchup, the Razorbacks aren’t to shabby when it comes to opponent field goal percentage – 42.6 percent compared to Florida’s 42.2. It’s Arkansas high pace that creates more opportunities for opponents.

That said, Florida’s inability to consistently hit shots is going to burn them here. Arkansas will move the ball well (second in SEC in assists per game) to create scoring opportunities. Take the points with the dog here.

 

Missouri Tigers vs Auburn Tigers

Odds: AUB -9, 134 O/U @ Points Bet
Start Time: 3:00 p.m. ET Bridgestone Arena, Nashville
Season Series: Auburn 1-0 SU/ATS, 1-0 O/U

No. 12 Missouri advanced to the Second Round of the SEC tournament thanks to a massive 30-points from junior guard Jordan Geist in Wednesday’s 71-61 win over Georgia. But things get much tougher for Mizzu in Round 2 as it faces the fifth-seeded Auburn team that defeated them 95-58 at the end of January.

While Missouri prides itself on defense, allowing just 67.3 points per game and limiting opponents to 32 percent shooting from 3-point range (second best in the SEC), it’s the offense that has stepped up. Mizzu has scored 70.3 points over the last four games, up from its season average of 66.9 points per game. However, all the credit goes to Geist for the Georgia game. Overall, the team shot just 41.5 percent from the floor and 27.3 percent from 3-point range. That could spell trouble against the other Tigers, who limited Mizzu to 28 percent shooting from deep and forced 20 turnovers.

Auburn has a great and deep offense. The 80.8 points per game trails only Tennessee and LSU in the SEC. The Tigers are led by experienced guard play (always a big plus come tourney time). Senior Bryce Brown and junior Jared Harper average 15.7 and 15.2 points respectively, while combining to shoot 39.1 from deep.

But guess what? Auburn can play defense too, allowing just 68.5 points per game and they get after the ball. The Tigers lead the SEC in steals per game. It may seem like a lot of points to lay in a tourney game, but Auburn will smother Mizzu and will run away with this one in the second half. Take the favorite.

Alabama Crimson Tide vs Ole Miss Rebels

Odds: Ole Miss -2.5, 142.5 O/U @ Points Bet
Start Time: 7:00 p.m. ET Bridgestone Arena, Nashville
Season Series: Bama 1-0 SU/ATS, 0-1 O/U

No. 7 Ole Miss enters the second round of the SEC Tournament on Thursday with a NCAA Tournament berth likely locked up, but their opponent, 10th-seeded Alabama will likely need a nice run if they want to go dancing this season.

Some say the Rebels stumbled a bit down the stretch, with a three-game losing streak before a season ending win over Missouri. But, we beg to differ. Those losses came versus Tennessee, at Arkansas and versus Kentucky. The Rebels lost those three games by a combined seven points and covered the spread as an underdog in each.

Alabama on the other hand, closed its regular season going 2-6 SU and 1-7 ATS. The Tide struggled with turnovers (giving up 47 points off miscues in its previous two games) and ranks 301st nationally in free-throw shooting (66.9 percent).

Meanwhile, junior guards Breein Tyree (18.5 points per game) and Terence Davis (15.5 points) combine to form the highest-scoring guard duo in the SEC and lead an Ole Miss offense that is third in the nation from the foul line, hitting 78.5 percent of its attempts.

Hitting your free throws is such a huge aspect of the college game and with oddsmakers expecting this to be a tight contest, it could make all the difference in the world. Take a hard look at the favorite here.

Texas A&M Aggies vs Mississippi State Bulldogs

Odds: MSU -8, 142 O/U @ Points Bet
Start Time: 9:00 p.m. ET Bridgestone Arena, Nashville
Season Series: MSU 1-0 SU/ATS, 1-0 O/U

Sixth-seeded Mississippi State closes out the Second Round of the SEC Tournament when it takes on No. 11 Texas A&M. The Aggies were the last team the Bulldogs faced in the regular season, outlasting them in a 92-81 shootout as 10.5 point faves.

Mississippi State is the fourth highest scoring team in the SEC at 77.3 points per contest and are the best 3-point shooting team in the conference, hitting 37.9 percent of its attempts. They are led by senior guard Quinndary Weatherspoon, who averages 18.5 points and is shooting over 40 percent from deep.

While Texas A&M isn’t an overly great offensive team (70.9 ppg) they will be aided in this matchup by Mississippi State’s offense first mentality. The Bulldogs rank third to last in the SEC in opponent field goal percentage.

This matchup probably won’t hit 173 again, but the total of 142 is far too low. Take the Over.

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