With Missouri on the sidelines due to a self-imposed postseason ban, we have just one contest to start the opening round of the 2016 SEC Basketball Tournament in Nashville, TN.
No.12 seed Tennessee takes on No.13 Auburn and Southeastern Conference is putting them through the paces, with the winner finishing up around 9:00 pm local time and having almost no time to prepare for 2:30 start on Thursday against Vanderbilt, who will have huge crowd edge.
It has not been pleasant season for either team, with the Vols 13-18 and 6-12 in conference play and the Tigers 11-19 and 5-13 in league action. For NCAAB picks, let’s breakdown this matchup.
ATS Record - 14-15-1
Away Record - 1-14 and 6-9 ATS
Favorite Record - 7-4 and 4-7 ATS
3 or More Days Rest - 4-10 and 4-9 ATS
Off a SU Loss - 9-8 SU and ATS
ATS Record - 12-17
Away Record - 3-12 and 4-10 ATS
Underdog Record - 6-16 and 8-14 ATS
3 or More Days Rest - 7-9 and 7-8 ATS
Off a SU Loss - 7-11 SU and 8-10 ATS
In checking with basketball bettors who follow the SEC closely, despite Tennessee having NCAA basketball odds which opened at 3.5-point, with them favored, with total of 145.5, most do not expect a close game no matter who wins. With veteran coaches like Rick Barnes and Bruce Pearl, both understand how to prepare teams for tournaments, while the players do not always respond accordingly, the thought is one team will buy in and win by touchdown (only in the SEC) or more.
Auburn has three three key seniors in Cinmeon Bowers (10.7 PPG), Tyler Harris (13.9) , and Jordon Granger (4.8 PPG). Like any seniors, you don’t want your career to end and this trio will do whatever it takes, because there is no postseason tourney in their future. Having lost leading scorer Kareem Canty in earlier February, first for “conduct detrimental to the team”, then leaving program all together, that left quite a void.
Auburn has to be smarter in shot selection and not settle for three’s and attack more. The only downside of them taking the ball to the rim is when they get fouled. The Tigers are only connecting on 62.8 percent from the charity stripe and since the odds show this as tighter game, if Auburn expects to win, draining free throws is imperative.