SEC Tournament 2021: Betting Tips for Round 2 Odds, Spreads and Over-Under

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IMarch 11, 2021

SEC Tournament 2021: Betting Tips for Round 2 Odds, Spreads and Over-Under

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    Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

    Kentucky's quest to win the SEC tournament is beginning a bit earlier than usual. And it's also going to be much more difficult than many recent seasons.

    After a tough regular season, the Wildcats are the No. 8 seed in the conference tourney and will be playing a second-round matchup against No. 9-seeded Mississippi State on Thursday. It's the first of four second-round games that will be taking place at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, with the winners advancing to Friday's quarterfinals.

    No. 5-seeded Florida will be the highest seeded team taking the court Thursday, as the Gators will take on No. 12-seeded Vanderbilt, which beat No. 13-seeded Texas A&M in the lone first-round game of the SEC tournament on Wednesday night. The Commodores defeated the Aggies 79-68.

    Here's a look at the four second-round matchups, along with odds (via DraftKings Sportsbook) and betting tips.

Kentucky (-3.5) over Mississippi State

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    James Crisp/Associated Press

    Spread: Kentucky (-3.5)

    Over/Under: 131 points

    Moneyline: Kentucky -175 (bet $175 to win $100); Mississippi State +143 (bet $100 to win $143)

    Although the Wildcats struggled during the regular season, going 9-15 and 8-9 in SEC play, they're favored to win their first tournament matchup against the Bulldogs, who have lost nine of their past 15 games.

    And while Kentucky hasn't built much momentum, it did win its regular-season finale against South Carolina.

    When these two teams met on Jan. 2, the Wildcats outlasted the Bulldogs in double overtime, pulling out a 78-73 victory. Kentucky had a strong showing from behind the arc in that contest, going 11-for-21 from 3-point range.

    The Wildcats may not make a deep tournament run, and they likely won't win the SEC tourney championship (which they claimed every year from 2015-18), but coach John Calipari will at least guide his team to one tournament victory.

    Bet on Kentucky to win by at least four points in a game with more offense than expected.

    Prediction: Kentucky 78, Mississippi State 70

Florida over Vanderbilt

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    Kathy Batten/Associated Press

    There's no betting information for this matchup yet, after Vanderbilt outlasted Texas A&M in a first-round matchup on Wednesday night. However, Florida is likely to be a heavy favorite for this contest and will pose a challenge to the Commodores in many ways.

    Florida is leading the SEC in field-goal percentage (47), free-throw percentage (75.3) and tied for first in three-point percentage (35.5). When the Gators beat Vanderbilt 78-71 on Jan. 27, they shot 51.9 percent from the field, which included going 10-for-23 (43.5 percent) from three-point range.

    If Vanderbilt is going to upset Florida, it will likely have to generate a lot of offense of its own. However, the Commodores are unlikely to keep up with the Gators.

    Expect Florida to notch a sizable victory and advance to the quarterfinals of the tournament with ease.

    Prediction: Florida 82, Vanderbilt 68

Missouri (-6) over Georgia

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    Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

    Spread: Missouri (-6)

    Over/Under: 153.5 points

    Moneyline: Missouri -265; Georgia +210

    Missouri won 13 of its first 16 games this season, but it has endured some struggles over the past month, losing five of its past seven. That stretch included an 80-70 defeat at Georgia on Feb. 16, so the Tigers will be looking to avenge that loss in Thursday's second-round matchup.

    Although the Bulldogs own a recent win over the Tigers, they've also lost five of their past seven games. And they could have some trouble trying to stop Missouri senior guard Dru Smith, who led the Tigers with 14.1 points per game and will provide them with veteran leadership in March.

    While Georgia could keep it close early, Missouri should pull away in the second half, showcasing that it's the better team.

    The Tigers will win by at least seven points in a low-scoring affair.

    Prediction: Missouri 71, Georgia 62

Ole Miss (-7) over South Carolina

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    Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

    Spread: Ole Miss (-7)

    Over/Under: 140 points

    Moneyline: Ole Miss -315; South Carolina +255

    After a bit of a slow start to conference play, Ole Miss really got things going in the second half of the regular season. The Rebels won seven of their last nine games, a stretch that included an 81-74 win over South Carolina on Feb. 13.

    Meanwhile, the Gamecocks have won only six games this season, five of which came Feb. 3 or earlier. They've lost eight of their past nine games, and it would be surprising to see them win even one game in the SEC tournament considering their recent struggles.

    Bet confidently on Ole Miss to win by at least eight points, and expect it to put up enough points to feel comfortable betting the over on this matchup. These teams have been going in opposite directions for a while, and the Rebels will cruise to victory.

    Prediction: Ole Miss 80, South Carolina 66


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