UPDATE: As of 11:15 a.m. Saturday, here are the updated betting splits for the SEC Semifinals:
Tennessee: +4, 21% of action, 20% of bets
Alabama: -4 79% of action, 80% of bets
LSU: +3.5 12% of action, 21% of bets
Arkansas: -3.5 88% of action, 79% of bets
The SEC is down to their version of the Final Four heading into the final two days of the conference tournament. After three days of the event, every higher-seeded team won their matchup except for one as the No. 9 seed Mississippi State Bulldogs beat the eighth-seeded Kentucky Wildcats.
In Saturday’s first semifinal game, the Alabama Crimson Tide will try to play as well as they did in Friday’s quarterfinal round. Alabama pounded the Mississippi State Bulldogs 85-48, though guard Josh Primo left the game with a knee injury in the second half and did not return. The Tide will meet the Tennessee Volunteers coming off a 78-66 win over the Florida Gators. Unfortunately Tennessee could be without senior big man John Fulkerson, who was taken to the hospital after taking a few blows to the head. Florida’s Omar Payne was ejected for the play.
After Game 1, the Arkansas Razorbacks and LSU Tigers will get together to determine who advances to Sunday’s conference championship game. Arkansas earned a 70-64 victory over the Missouri Tigers in the quarterfinals, led by JD Notae’s 27 points. LSU beat the Ole Miss Rebels 76-73 on Friday night with Trendon Watford scoring 24 points on 11-of-14 shooting, and Darius Days added 20 points with 12 rebounds.
Let’s take a look at all the action from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
Point Spread: Alabama -3
Point Total: 137
If a pick absolutely had to be picked on the spread, we would go with Alabama to cover, but there is a significantly better play to consider. Alabama and Tennessee come in with two of the best defenses in the country. The Crimson Tide are ranked No. 1 in adjusted defensive efficiency, while the Volunteers are fourth in that category. This Alabama defense held Mississippi State to shoot - wait for it - 5.3% from the three-point line. Points will be hard to come by, so we’re going under.
The pick: Under 137
Point Spread: Arkansas -3.5
Point Total: 163
LSU did beat Arkansas in Baton Rouge 92-76 on January 13th, but on the whole they’ve struggled with the top teams in the SEC. The Razorbacks held them off 83-75 just 13 days ago, and have won nine in a row overall. Moses Moody doesn’t get enough credit for being one of the better players in America, and Justin Smith didn’t play in the game LSU won two months ago. We’ll take the Hogs to get one step closer to winning their first SEC title since 2000.
The pick: Arkansas -3.5
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