SEC Basketball Betting Guide: Florida & Kentucky Reign
Kentucky has the pedigree, but Florida has perhaps the league’s best roster, and the Wildcats and Gators should go toe-to-tie for the SEC championship. Fans of college basketball betting should have both high on their list of national contenders.
It all shapes up as a two-horse race in the SEC, where some of the better teams from last season — defending regular season champ LSU, Elite Eight squad Tennessee, and Final Four participant Auburn — lost tons of talent to the NBA. Kentucky has a core of solid returnees to go with its usual blue-chip recruits, and Florida adds a star in Virginia Tech transfer Kerry Blackshear Jr.
Elsewhere, Ole Miss returns one of the league’s best backcourts, and Georgia inked the nation’s No. 1 recruit in Anthony Edwards. And Auburn, LSU and Tennessee should all contend for NCAA berths despite their losses.
SEC Basketball Preseason Odds to Win Conference
Odds via 888sport are current as of publication. And check out our college basketball futures odds.
SEC Basketball Betting Tips
- Ole Miss was the SEC’s best team against the spread last season at 23-10, although some of that likely stems from the relatively low expectations (and large spreads) the Rebels faced before emerging to win 20 games and make the NCAA Tournament. While the guard tandem of Breein Tyree and Devontae Shuler returns, it might be too much to expect that degree of ATS production from Ole Miss again this season.
- Is Kentucky a good bet? This will be one of John Calipari’s more interesting teams, with several returnees from last season combining with high-scoring freshmen Tyrese Maxey and Kahlil Whitney, and even a grad transfer thrown in. Last season’s freshmen-dominated squad went 20-17 against the spread, and a better balance in personnel certainly opens the possibility of an improved ATS record in 2019-20.
- And yet, it’s wise to always be cautious when betting on Kentucky. Blue-blood programs like Big Blue Nation draw a disproportionate number of amateur bettors who think their Wildcats are going to win every game by 20 points (their actual average margin of victory last year was 11.1). That much college basketball consensus cash in the market can influence the line, so perhaps view the public consensus with skepticism when laying action on Kentucky.
- Vanderbilt could again be one of the worst major-conference teams in the country. The Commodores went winless in the league last season, and were also terrible against the spread (11-21) and against the over (9-21-1). Expect more big odds lines and blowout losses as Jerry Stackhouse begins to rebuild this program.
- Unlike football, where the top teams are used to playing in difficult environments, playing at home can be a definite advantage in college basketball. Fans are more on top of the action, freshmen play a more crucial role, and momentum swings much more quickly. Although Kentucky has long enjoyed one of the country’s top home-court advantages, Auburn and Florida are also tough, underrated environments — so wager accordingly.
CHECK OUT: Ultimate 2019-20 College Hoops Betting Guide