Why the SEC Title Odds Once Again Favor the Kentucky Wildcats
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By Travis Pulver
Life is good for the fans of the LSU Tigers right now. Most are probably still riding a high from Joe Burrow and the football team winning the Heisman and national championship. With how things are going for the basketball team this year, there is a good chance LSU fans could have another reason to celebrate soon.
Now, LSU is not expected to be competitive in the national title hunt (+6000 via DraftKings). But with how the season is playing out, they are strong contenders for the SEC title. Through Week 11, they are the only SEC team that is undefeated in conference play (5-0).
However, their odds of winning are only the fifth-best in the conference (+900).
The team favored to win the conference is, of course, Kentucky at +225 (4-1). As could be expected, with the never-ending flow of talent John Calipari has, the Wildcats are one of the more talented teams in the nation. They proved that with an opening night win against then-No. 1 Michigan State.
But since then, the Wildcats have been good but inconsistent with losses in games to unranked Evansville, to a good Utah and then No. 5 Ohio State. They appeared to be getting things back on track following the loss to Ohio State with four wins in a row.
With a loss to South Carolina recently, fans have to be wondering just what they have in these Wildcats.
SEC Title Odds
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Florida, South Carolina and Other SEC Title Odds
Florida was an early favorite to win the conference, but with four non-conference losses, the luster had come off their preseason shine heading into conference play. But since conference play
began, they have looked better (4-1).
Beating No. 4 Auburn recently will likely make some fans feel better about taking Florida’s +550 odds to win the SEC.
Auburn, surprisingly, has the second-best odds to win the conference (3-2) at +300—but those odds could be subject to change soon. They entered last week with an undefeated record and as the No. 4 team in the nation. But with bad losses to Alabama and Florida over the last week, those odds are bound to dip.
As for the other teams in the conference with winning records:
Alabama may be 3-2 in conference play but struggled during their non-conference schedule (7-5), hence having higher odds +3000).
Arkansas is not traditionally a great basketball school, but it might be a big mistake to overlook the Razorbacks this year. They are 3-2 in conference play, 14-3 overall, and hard to beat at home (10-1). They could be a good sleeper pick at +1600.
Good things were expected of Tennessee but not great things. So far—that is precisely what they have delivered (3-2). Their odds are like them—good, but not great (+750).
The odds and conference records for the rest of the SEC are as follows: South Carolina (2-2; +4500), Mississippi State(2-3; ), Texas A&M (2-3; +8000), Georgia Bulldogs (1-3; +2000), Missouri(1-4; +4500), Ole Miss (0-4; +4000), and Vanderbilt (0-4; +8000).
The Pick for the Best SEC Title Odds
Little was expected of any of them making their odds not too surprising.
So—who should you bet on?
Kentucky is the safe bet, but with such a perpetually young roster, Kentucky’s teams are forced to gel as the season goes on, making it hard to judge just how good they are. But you know the Wildcats are going to be in the mix. They’ve ranked either first or second in four of the last five seasons.
But they haven’t won the conference the last two seasons. Last season it was LSU; the season before it was Auburn and Tennessee.
Hopes were certainly high for LSU and Florida entering the season. So far, both are certainly looking like conference title contenders. LSU’s undefeated conference record makes them sound enticing. Three of their four losses were by a single basket— which means they could easily be a one-loss team right now.
Auburn, Alabama, Arkansas, and Tennessee have shown promise this season and deserve consideration as well.
Who should you bet on to win the SEC? Until someone separates from the rest, that is a hard question to answer.