Maybe no conference in college basketball is less predictable than the SEC. That being said, the Auburn Tigers are ever so slight +300 favorites to win the SEC tournament.
Auburn stumbled a bit down the stretch, going just 2-3 in its last five games, including a bad loss at the hands of South Carolina. The Tigers are still trying to get used to life without Anfernee McLemore after the forward suffered a horrific ankle injury and is out upwards of six months. The sophomore may not be a household name but his ability to defend the paint and stretch the floor on offense has been important to Bruce Pearl’s team.
The second-best odds belong to the co-regular-season champions, the Tennessee Volunteers (+380). While Auburn struggled to close out the season, Tennessee thrived by winning five of its last six and 14 of 17. The Vols still thrive defensively, as they rank in the top 10 in the nation in effective field-goal percentage, three-point percentage and first-half points allowed. The offense just needs to score enough to keep the squad winning – which is not always a guarantee.
And, of course, you can never count out the Kentucky Wildcats (+400). It has been a down year for John Calipari’s team but there is still undeniable talent on this roster. Kentucky is at its best when going with a small-ball lineup but Jarred Vanderbilt and PJ Washington have had foul troubles, which limits the team’s ability to properly go small. If the freshmen can play more disciplined basketball, then UK has a shot to finish the year with an SEC championship.