SEC Tournament Odds & Prediction: 4 Picks for Arkansas vs. Texas A&M, Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt, More

SEC Tournament Odds & Prediction: 4 Picks for Arkansas vs. Texas A&M, Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt, More article feature image
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Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images. Pictured: Oscar Tshiebwe (Kentucky)

  • The SEC Tournament rolls on Friday with four quarterfinal games.
  • Cooper Van Tatenhove broke down all four matchups and came through with picks for Arkansas vs. Texas A&M, Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt and more.
  • Check out Van Tatenhove's betting angle for all four SEC quarterfinal games below.

After a thrilling Thursday of basketball, the SEC quarterfinals are set.

Mississippi State was able to survive an overtime scare from a Florida team that was able to be competitive without star center Colin Castleton.

The Bulldogs were lifted by a 28-point performance from Tolu Smith, who seemed to get whatever he wanted on the interior down the stretch.

TOLU SMITH FOR THE WIN

Mississippi State beats Florida
pic.twitter.com/XPlNelaU6I

— Barstool Sportsbook (@BSSportsbook) March 9, 2023

For Rick Barnes and Tennessee, a 70-55 victory over Ole Miss went a long way towards the Volunteers building confidence as they now attempt to make a run without star point guard Zakai Zeigler.

A 20-point performance from senior Josiah-Jordan James — who has missed significant time due to injury — didn’t hurt either.

Much like Mississippi State, Arkansas was a 3-point attempt away from being knocked out by Auburn in its opening-round matchup. The Razorbacks looked much improved on both ends of the floor and were able to get a much-needed 25 points from their bench.

That offensive production will be critical against a stout Texas A&M defense.

To wrap things up, Kentucky will look to keep its hot streak going against a Vanderbilt team that took down the Wildcats in Rupp Arena last Wednesday.

The Commodores were able to outlast an LSU team that struggled for most of conference play, but put together two respectable performances in postseason play.



Mississippi State vs. Alabama Odds

Friday, March 10
1 p.m. ET
ESPN
Mississippi State Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+7.5
-110
136.5
-110o / -110u
+255
Alabama Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-7.5
-110
136.5
-110o / -110u
-320
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Although Smith and the Mississippi State offense was able to outlast Florida, the Bulldogs must now match up against an Alabama squad that has been on a mission all season.

This will be a step up for the Bulldogs' offense, as they face an Alabama defense ranked No. 1 in the SEC in Adjusted Efficiency.

The Crimson Tide have played great team defense, allowing their opponents to score just 42.4% of their baskets off an assist, the 24th-lowest rate in college basketball.

This team defense will shine against a Bulldogs offense looking to create in the half-court. Mississippi State scores 59.9% of its baskets as the result of an assist and ranks 333rd nationally in Adjusted Tempo, averaging just 64.1 possessions per game.

This slow-paced offensive style has not produced consistent results for the Bulldogs, as they rank 320th nationally in effective field goal percentage and 363rd in 3-point percentage.

On the other end, Brandon Miller and the Crimson Tide will look to take advantage of a Bulldogs defense that struggles to defend the perimeter. Mississippi State allows the third-most points in the SEC from 3-point range.

This is a recipe for disaster against a Nate Oats offense attempting the 10th-most 3-point attempts in college basketball.

Look for the Tide to make a statement in their opening game of the SEC Tournament.

Pick: Alabama -7.5 (Play to -9)

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Tennessee vs. Missouri Odds

Friday, March 10
3 p.m. ET
ESPN
Tennessee Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-6.5
-102
141.5
-110o / -110u
-255
Missouri Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+6.5
-120
141.5
-110o / -110u
+205
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Rick Barnes and the Volunteers are moving onto the quarterfinals after handling business against an Ole Miss team that had a disappointing 2022-23 campaign.

The Volunteers now match up with a Missouri team that earned a No. 4 seed and a double-bye through its play on the offensive end.

Kobe Brown and the Tigers utilized their experience to rank ninth nationally in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency. Missouri ranks third in the SEC in offensive turnover percentage, turning the ball over on just 15.7% of its offensive possessions.

Taking care of the basketball will be critical against a Volunteers defense that ranks 21st nationally in turnover percentage.

On the other end, the Tigers have also been able to create turnovers and rank sixth nationally in turnover percentage (24.5%).

If Missouri is able to limit Tennessee’s advantage on the offensive glass, I expect it to keep things close, as the Tigers did in their first matchup with the Volunteers.

The Tigers were able to take down Tennessee at home on Feb. 11 behind a 21-point performance from Brown.

Look for Zeigler’s absence to be felt against the pressure and experience of Missouri’s defense. Meanwhile, the Tigers' offense will do enough to find answers against a stout Tennessee defense.


Arkansas vs. Texas A&M Odds

Friday, March 10
7 p.m. ET
SEC Network
Arkansas Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+1.5
-115
137.5
-110o / -110u
-104
Texas A&M Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-1.5
-105
137.5
-110o / -110u
-115
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Texas A&M has quietly come to form in the past month, boasting a 6-1 record with a key victory over Alabama on its home floor.

The Aggies will look to keep things rolling against Anthony Black and a feisty Razorbacks squad.

This will be the third matchup between these opponents, with each taking care of business at home.

On the offensive end, Texas A&M will look to bolster its offense at the charity stripe.

This ability to get to the free-throw line will be heavily utilized against an Arkansas defense allowing its opponents to score 22.9% of their points from the charity stripe, the 18th-highest rate in the country.

Getting into foul trouble is not a recipe for success for an Arkansas team that ranks 292nd nationally in bench minutes (26%).

On the other end, Texas A&M will look to force Arkansas into low-percentage looks from outside. The Razorbacks are shooting just 32.3% from deep in conference play. Arkansas scores just 22.4% of its total points from 3, the second-lowest rate in the SEC.

These outside looks will come at a high rate against a Texas A&M interior defense allowing just 44.9% of its total allowed points to come inside the 3-point line.

Although Arkansas has had bright moments this season, look for Texas A&M to survive and advance.

Pick: Texas A&M -1.5 (Play to -2.5)


Vanderbilt vs. Kentucky Odds

Friday, March 10
9 p.m. ET
SEC Network
Vanderbilt Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
+5.5
-110
148.5
-110o / -110u
+190
Kentucky Odds
SpreadTotalMoneyline
-5.5
-110
148.5
-110o / -110u
-235
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The rematch John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats had circled is here, as they match up against a Vanderbilt team that has found its stride.

The Commodores have quietly won eight of their past nine games, including wins over Tennessee, Auburn and Kentucky. Unfortunately, Vanderbilt lost center Liam Robbins for the season after he got hurt in a win vs. Kentucky.

Vanderbilt’s recent success has come as the result of an offense ranking 23rd nationally in Adjusted Efficiency. The Commodores have been able to take care of the basketball and deliver from the perimeter. Vanderbilt ranks second in the SEC in 3-point percentage at 34.5%.

However, I expect some regression against a Kentucky defense allowing opponents to score just 29.1% of their points from beyond the arc.

Vanderbilt will really need to step up on the defensive end. The Commodores rank 172nd nationally in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency due to their inability to create pressure and crash the glass.

Vanderbilt has allowed its opponents to create second chances on 30.6% of their shot attempts, which is a welcome sight for Oscar Tshiebwe and a Kentucky offense that ranks third nationally in offensive rebounding percentage.

On the other side, I expect to see a ton of shooting progression from Kentucky’s loss to Vanderbilt on March 1. The Wildcats shot just 3-of-19 from beyond the arc in that game and had just two players in double figures.

That was a major outlier from a Wildcats offense that ranks 14th nationally in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency.

In the end, I expect Vanderbilt’s loss of Robbins to loom large against one of the best rebounding teams in the country.

Pick: Kentucky -5.5 or Better

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