Friday SEC Tournament Betting: Is South Carolina Getting Too Many Points vs. Auburn?
Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Frank Martin
The SEC Conference Tournament is one of the most competitive and exciting in the country.
The top four teams advanced straight to the quarterfinals, so today we look at a South Carolina team that surprisingly earned a bye agains an Auburn team coming off a convincing second-round win.
Let’s take a deep dive on Auburn-South Carolina (3:30 p.m. ET) in the SEC quarterfinals.
Betting Odds: Auburn Tigers vs. South Carolina Gamecocks
- Spread: Auburn -8
- Over/Under: 147
- Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
Auburn (23-9) is coming off an 81-71 win over Missouri in the second round of the SEC Tournament. The Tigers covered by a half point, but have been very average against the spread. Auburn is 14-12-2 ATS including just 5-8-1 on the road.
South Carolina (16-15) enjoyed a surprisingly successful season, earning the No. 4 seed in the tournament at 11-7 in conference play. The Gamecocks are 14-13 ATS this season but 5-0 ATS in the last five games against Auburn.
These two teams met on Jan. 22, and South Carolina won 80-77. The Gamecocks used their SEC-best 3-point defense to hold the Tigers to 28% (7 of 25) from beyond the arc. That is an essential skill, since Auburn produces a conference-best 45.2% of their points from 3P range. This held true in Auburn’s opening win against Missouri, making 12 three-pointers against the Tigers.
On the offensive side, South Carolina actually owns the highest 3P efficiency of any SEC team in conference play. The Gamecocks are 40.9% as a team from 3P, even better than Auburn at 39.4%.
South Carolina will also welcome back second-leading scorer A.J. Lawson (13.9 ppg) from an ankle sprain. Over the previous five games before getting injured against Alabama on Feb. 26, Lawson shot a blistering 62% (16 of 26) from 3P range.
In addition, Auburn ranks dead last in SEC play at defending the 2P. Gamecocks senior center Chris Silva (14.8 ppg, 7.5 rpg) had a monster game of 32 points and 14 rebounds in their previous win over the Tigers.
South Carolina’s Frank Martin has done a fantastic job with the Gamecocks, and giving him eight points on a neutral court is gambling charity. This will be a close game, and one that the Gamecocks could easily win. With their superior perimeter defense and return of Lawson, grab South Carolina and the points.
The Pick: South Carolina +8