The race for the No. 1 seed in the SEC Tournament has been amazing to watch this season due to the rise of the fifth-ranked Tennessee Volunteers into a national power, the consistency of the sixth-ranked Kentucky Wildcats as an annual title contender and the surprise factors—good and bad—involved with the 10th-ranked LSU Tigers.
The Volunteers will be extremely motivated to win their first outright regular-season conference championship on Saturday when they visit the Auburn Tigers in a pick'em matchup on the college basketball betting lines at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Tennessee and Auburn tied for the title a year ago before Kentucky won the SEC Tournament for the fourth time in a row.
Unlike the Volunteers, the Tigers have been incredibly inconsistent this season, going 1-3 against the spread in their last four games despite a 3-1 mark straight up according to the OddsShark College Basketball Database, which is why they are fade material here. Tennessee is Saturday's best bet on the board.
The Wildcats and LSU Tigers are both listed as double-digit home favorites on Saturday, and each of them should also be faded for different reasons. Kentucky can tie for the conference championship with a victory and losses by the two current co-leaders, which seems unlikely. While the Wildcats have won five of their last six games, they have struggled ATS recently as well with a 1-4 spread record in their last five, including a 71-52 loss to the Volunteers as three-point road underdogs a week ago.
LSU can win the SEC outright with a victory and loss by Tennessee, but head coach Will Wade was suspended indefinitely by the school Friday in the wake of an FBI probe regarding the recruitment of a player. That black cloud is a huge negative on an otherwise positive campaign for the Tigers, who rallied back for a 79-78 overtime win as one-point road underdogs at the Florida Gators on Thursday. They are giving 14 points to the Vanderbilt Commodores on Saturday and will be lucky to win by double digits.
In addition, the Gators have their backs against the wall for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament now, and they cannot afford to lose their third straight game. Florida, a +12500 longshot on the March Madness odds, will have a tough time pulling off the upset as a 10-point road underdog at Kentucky, but covering the spread is definitely within reason. Look for the Gators to cover in this spot.