SEC Tournament Championship Mega Guide: How to Bet Auburn-Tennessee
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Bruce Pearl and Admiral Schofield
SEC Championship Betting Odds: Auburn-Tennessee
- Spread: Tennessee -5
- Total: 145.5
- Time: 1 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
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Kentucky’s performance during the final three minutes of the SEC semifinal against Tennessee can only be described as an absolute abomination. The Wildcats led by eight with less than 180 seconds left in the game before the Vols came roaring back to win 82-78.
The one statistic that might explain Kentucky’s downfall: Minutes Continuity. The metric looks at the cohesiveness of the entire roster, measuring its combined minutes of playing time since the previous season. Tennessee ranks third in Minutes Continuity; Kentucky ranks 324th.
Tennessee will have continuity on its side again in the SEC Championship Game vs. Auburn, but the metric that might prove more crucial to Sunday’s contest is Bench Minutes.
With Sunday marking Auburn’s fourth game in four days, the more productive bench may decide the winner. Auburn has the edge, ranking 177th in Bench Minutes, compared to 255th for Tennessee.
These are the top two in the SEC in effective field goal percentage, but I trust Auburn’s pressure defense to be a difference-maker in covering the spread. In their previous meeting on March 9, Auburn was the beneficiary of 13 Tennessee turnovers. The Tigers came back from a six-point halftime deficit to win the game, 84-80, against the Vols.
It’s not unprecedented for the SEC Tournament champion to win four games in four days — 2000 Arkansas, 2008 Georgia and 2009 Mississippi State all did it.
This Auburn team has the Bench Minutes, 3-point percentage and turnover advantages to pull off the upset. With an over/under much lower (145.5) than their March 9 total of 164, I like grabbing the points here.
Expect Tennessee to play well enough to win the game for a shot at a No. 1 seed in the tournament, but I’ll be taking Auburn at +5 or better for the cover.
PICK: Auburn +5