2019 SEC Tournament Betting Odds, Preview: Top Half of Bracket Provides Opportunity
John Reed-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Auburn guards Bryce Brown (2) and J’Von McCormick celebrate win over Tennessee
- The SEC tournament will get underway on Wednesday, March 13 in Nashville, Tenn., with two first round matchups between the four lowest seeds.
- Despite being the third-lowest seed in the top half of the bracket, Auburn is the favorite to make it through to the conference final.
- Kentucky (+155) enters as a slight tournament favorite over Tennessee (+160), as the Wildcats seek their fifth consecutive SEC championship.
The SEC tournament futures odds look extremely strange on the surface. The No. 4 seed South Carolina Gamecocks are one of four teams with a double bye into the quarterfinals, yet they are priced at 95-1 to cut down the nets.
Meanwhile, No. 5 seed Auburn is priced at 4-1 — despite the fact that it would need to win a game just to get to South Carolina. And I didn’t even mention the fact that the No. 1 seed LSU has odds north of 8-1.
On the other hand, the bottom half of the bracket has the two best teams in the SEC in Kentucky and Tennessee that could meet in a mouth-watering semifinal. Two schools from Mississippi might have something to say about that first, however.
Let’s dive into the bracket and look for some value in the futures market.
2019 SEC Tournament Odds, Format
- Who: All 14 SEC teams
- Format: Top 10 seeds receive a bye; top 4 a double-bye
- When: March 13-17
- Where: Nashville, TN
- How to Watch: SECN, ESPN
- Defending Champion: Kentucky
First Round Thoughts
The bottom of the SEC standings has teams that are either still grinding or already tapped out.
Vanderbilt, which went winless during conference play, and Georgia fall into the latter. The Bulldogs went 1-11 over their past 12 games — and scored 46 and 39 points in their final two games of the season.
Missouri and Texas A&M appear to at least still have some fight left and should advance to Thursday’s action. I don’t see either making it past the quarterfinals, but I will be targeting both on Wednesday.
Pick to Win
The defending champion Wildcats are the most likely champion. They are the favorite (although not by much) and you could make a solid case for Tennessee (+160) — but until someone takes out the ‘Cats in this event, it’s their tourney to lose. Kentucky will be going for its fifth consecutive SEC tourney title.
The likely return of Reid Travis makes all the difference on the defensive end against Tennessee (UK’s potential semifinal opponent) as we saw in the first matchup in Lexington.
I don’t see any value in Kentucky or Tennessee at their respective futures prices, especially considering a potential semifinal would be lined around a PK. If you have access to a running moneyline parlay card, that should provide better value than either future. Or you can just manually roll over UK moneyline throughout the tourney.