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Kentucky Eyeing SEC Title

Six Teams Expected to Contend for Conference Crown

The Southeastern Conference is always a hotly contested college basketball division and this season will be no different.

Headlining the conference are the Kentucky Wildcats, who are +325 with NCAAB lines. However, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn and LSU are also contenders for the SEC title.

Shavir Wheeler of the Kentucky Wildcats against the Miles College Golden Bears
Andy Lyons/Getty Images/AFP

It’s a deep conference, which means excellent odds for bettors.

Kentucky Wildcats

  • Conference Odds: +325
  • National Title Odds: +1200

Coming off their worst season since 1988-89, the Kentucky Wildcats are expecting to bounce back in fine style.

John Calipari should have this team firing on all cylinders, and despite missing the NCAA Tournament, that should put a fire in their belly.

Losing Isaiah Jackson to the NBA Draft isn’t ideal, but Kentucky is one of the best recruiting teams in college basketball. It has two five-star recruits in Ty Ty Washington and Daimon Collins, so the future is bright.

Bettors get +325, which is a fair price for an exciting team.

Tennessee Volunteers

  • Conference Odds: +450
  • National Title Odds: +2000

The Volunteers are on the second line of betting to win the SEC despite finishing fourth in 2020-21.

They finished with a 10-7 conference record before losing to Alabama in the tourney semifinals.

They have gone out and recruited some serious talent, including Kennedy Chandler out of the Sunrise Christian Academy. He is one of seven new recruits, hence why the sportsbook has Tennessee among the favorites in SEC betting markets.

Alabama Crimson Tide

  • Conference Odds: +450
  • National Title Odds: +2000

On the same line as the Tennessee Volunteers is Alabama, which looked good last season when posting a 16-2 record in the SEC.

The Crimson Tide won the SEC for the first time since 2002 before losing to UCLA in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

Not having Herbert Jones (NBA Draft) isn’t ideal, but Alabama gets five-star recruit JD Davison, who plays the point, and forward Brandon Miller.

“I knew Alabama was the one before, and I’ve always said I like their coaches. Their coaches were there from day one,” Miller told Sports Illustrated. “I think of coach (Nate) Oats as an older brother.”

They also have Jaden Shackelford, who is +6600 to win the John R. Wooden Award.

We wouldn’t mind having a nibble on the +450 for Alabama to go back-to-back.

Arkansas Razorbacks

  • Conference Odds: +550
  • National Title Odds: +3000

Arkansas improved significantly to finish second behind Alabama, but we think it could struggle.

Freshman guard Moses Moody played one season before declaring for the NBA Draft, so the Razorbacks will be down a quality player.

They should start well against a soft schedule, but it gets much harder later in the season. They could struggle to close out the season, so the +550 is too short for our liking.

Auburn Tigers

  • Conference Odds: +650
  • National Title Odds: +5000

After going 7-11 in the SEC, we’re surprised by the support for the Auburn Tigers.

We had them ranked below LSU and Florida, so we would be surprised if they made a deep run.

Recruiting Jabari Smith Jr. is the main reason why betting online markets have Auburn at +650 to win the SEC, but one player doesn’t always make a team. Smith Jr. is +8000 in Wooden Award markets.

LSU Tigers

  • Conference Odds: +800
  • National Title Odds: +4000

We love what we saw out of LSU in 2020-21, so we think the +800 odds is a generous price.

Despite controversy surrounding the team and its coaching staff, the players were able to focus and put up an 11-6 SEC record.

Not having Javonte Smart and Cameron Thomas is an obvious negative, but the Tigers have recruited better than most teams in the conference.

Florida Gators

  • Conference Odds: +1000
  • National Title Odds: +6600

There has been some support for the Florida Gators after finishing in fifth place last season. They lost Tre Mann to the NBA Draft, but freshman Kowacie Reeves could add some spark.

The problem for Florida is going through patches of poor form, so if it can stay consistent, the SEC is within its reach.

We’re expecting further support at the generous +1000 odds.

Mississippi State Bulldogs

  • Conference Odds: +2500
  • National Title Odds: N/A

Posting a losing record isn’t going to give bettors much confidence in the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

We can’t see that much improvement to suggest taking them at +2500, which is a fair price given their talent.

They did beat Kentucky in the SEC Tournament before making the NIT Final, but as for winning the SEC, we highly doubt it.

Ole Miss Rebels

  • Conference Odds: +2500
  • National Title Odds: N/A

Coach Kermit Davis got the Ole Miss Rebels to finish sixth in the SEC before losing in the first round of the NIT to Louisiana Tech.

It was a disappointing end to a 16-12 year, and we think the Rebels will be somewhere around that mark again.

South Carolina Gamecocks

  • Conference Odds: +4000
  • National Title Odds: N/A

There isn’t much going the way of the Gamecocks, who ended last season with a 4-12 SEC record.

A stack of players have left the squad, and although there are some solid recruits coming, we can’t see the Gamecocks providing much of a test to the favored teams.

Texas A&M Aggies

  • Conference Odds: +5000
  • National Title Odds: N/A

Getting excited about the Texas A&M basketball team is tough, and we don’t advise it.

Adding Manny Obaseki and Wade Taylor to the roster could provide some excitement, but it might take a couple of years for this Aggies roster to jell.

Missouri Tigers

  • Conference Odds: +5000
  • National Title Odds: +10000

Bettors get big odds for Missouri, which could be worth taking. It defeated Oregon and Illinois last season before posting an 8-8 SEC record.

There is improvement with the Tigers, so the +5000 odds are well worth snapping up before they firm.

Vanderbilt Commodores

  • Conference Odds: +6600
  • National Title Odds: N/A

Big odds are available for Vanderbilt and it’s not hard to see why. The Commodores come off a 3-13 record in the SEC, so we’re not giving them much of a chance.

There are some solid players joining the roster, but they’ll need one of them to be a future LeBron James to turn the team around.

Georgia Bulldogs

  • Conference Odds: +15000
  • National Title Odds: N/A

Georgia is much better at football, so bettors should put a line through its chances of winning the SEC.

The Bulldogs have played well at times over the last 10 years, but as the odds suggest, it won’t happen this year.

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