SEC Basketball Matchup Odds: Vols Small Favorites at Florida
Tennessee Hosts Auburn on Saturday
It’s another strong schedule in the Southeastern Conference, beginning with a couple of interesting games on Wednesday, and a few solid games on Saturday. Saturday’s Auburn vs. Tennessee game is the only SEC game involving two ranked teams. The Florida Gators have a big week, with games against Tennessee and Kentucky.
Wednesday, Feb. 1
The No. 2 Tennessee Volunteers (18-3) visit the Florida Gators (12-9) for a decent Wednesday game. The SEC basketball matchup odds have the Volunteers -5.5 and a total of 132.5. The Gators are 5-3 in SEC play, but have a tough schedule with games against Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama on tap.
Florida can play defense but the offense isn’t anything to get excited about. That could spell trouble against Tennessee, which is No. 1 in adjusted defensive efficiency. Florida doesn’t shoot the ball well and it doesn’t hit the offensive glass very well.
Tennessee is No. 2 in the country in offensive rebounds and the Gators will have to box out and keep Tennessee from getting many second chances. The Vols are one of the better teams in college basketball against the spread, going 13-8 ATS so far.
Georgia (14-7) visits Auburn (16-5) and the Tigers are coming off back-to-back losses. The SEC basketball matchup odds have the Tigers favored by 12 with a total of 140.5. Georgia won the first meeting between the two teams, 76-64, and Auburn is looking for a bit of payback.
This would be a perfect spot for Auburn, except for the fact the Tigers have Tennessee on deck. Still, Auburn is better offensively and defensively. The Tigers score 54.6% of their points from 2-point range, where Georgia is a bit weaker defensively. Auburn is probably the right side, but with Tennessee on deck it’s hard to make the Tigers one of your NCAA best bets.
Missouri (16-5) is favored by 10 against LSU (12-9) and the total on the game is 145.5. LSU isn’t much of a threat offensively, although it won’t need to be as the Tigers aren’t a good defensive team. Missouri can score, however, ranking No. 3 in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency.
The Tigers are No. 6 in the nation in 2-point field goal percentage, while LSU is No. 246 on defense. The teams who have beaten Missouri tend to be strong defensive teams and LSU isn’t one of them. Missouri is coming off a big over over Iowa State, so there could be a bit of a letdown bit Missouri is probably the right side in this one.
Saturday, Feb. 4
This one isn’t one of the marquee games of the day but it is a decent battle between two evenly matched teams. Expect the SEC basketball matchup odds to have the Commodores close to a 4-point favorite and a total near 138. Vanderbilt has Tennessee on deck after this one, so you have to expect the Commodores will go all out to win this one.
The Commodores shoot the 3-pointer frequently, although they’re not that great at it. For Mississippi, the key will be getting some offensive rebounds to make-up for its poor shooting.
Tennessee is going to be close to a double-digit favorite at home in this one with a total near 132. It’s not as though Auburn is a bad team, it just that Tennessee is better than the Tigers on offense and defense. Tennessee is 7-1 in SEC play and rides its defense to victories.
The lone advantage Auburn has in this one is the Tigers’ offensive rebounding ability. Allowing too many offensive rebounds is as close to a weakness the Volunteers have on defense. Auburn doesn’t shoot the 3-pointer well at all and the Tigers are solid on defense. If the total is 131 or higher, the under offers a little value in this one.
The Bulldogs will be close to 4-point favorites with a total near 142 in a game featuring polar opposites. The Tigers like to run the ball and are No. 3 in offensive efficiency. The Bulldogs like to slow it down and are No. 8 in adjusted defensive efficiency.
Mississippi State is a horrible shooting team but help themselves on the offensive glass, where Missouri really struggles. It’s hard to trust the Bulldogs in a close game, as they shoot just 62.4% from the foul line. It’s not a bad spot for the Bulldogs from a betting standpoint, but still a little hard to pull the trigger on such an offensively challenged squad.
A decent game between Florida and Kentucky, where the SEC basketball matchup odds will have the Wildcats about 4.5-point favorites. The total should be pretty close to 137. Florida’s defense can keep the Gators in the game. It’s a question if its offense can score enough to be there at the end. Florida doesn’t shoot the 3-pointer well, which is the weak link for Kentucky on defense.
The Wildcats are tough at home and this is one that could go either way. The Wildcats are solid from 3-point range and the Gators defend the 2-pointer better. That could be all Kentucky needs to cover the number here.
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