The first team many college basketball fans think of when it comes to the SEC is Kentucky, but the Wildcats haven’t won a regular season title since 2020 or a conference tournament title since 2018. While early SEC Tournament odds list them as one of the favorites this year, Kentucky is not the betting favorite — Alabama is.
History has smiled down on the conference tournament favorite in recent years. The early betting favorite went on to win the SEC Tournament in five of the last 10 seasons. So, while that does make betting on the favorite look like a good idea, it also means you shouldn’t overlook the field.
Let’s take a look at the SEC tournament odds, betting lines, and a prediction.
Odds to Win 2023 SEC Tournament
Here are SEC tournament title odds from DraftKings, FanDuel, BetRivers, and Caesars for all teams:
Team DraftKings FanDuel BetRivers Caesars with promo code: TODAYFULL
Alabama +150 +165 +150 +150
Tennessee +300 +340 +275 +350
Kentucky +400 +430 +400 +400
Texas A&M +550 +600 +525 +550
Arkansas +1200 +1200 +1050 +1200
Auburn +1200 +1600 +2000 +1600
Missouri +2500 +2800 +2800 +2000
Vanderbilt +4000 +4800 +5000 +6000
Mississippi State +5000 +5000 +4000 +4500
Florida +6000 +6000 +7000 +10000
LSU +100000 +25000 +20000 +15000
Ole Miss +50000 +14000 +15000 +15000
South Carolina +80000 +10000 +15000 +15000
Georgia +50000 +17000 +15000 +15000
SEC Tournament Betting Lines
The SEC Tournament will begin on Wednesday, March 8, at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. First-round action will get underway on Wednesday, with South Carolina taking on Ole Miss followed by Georgia and LSU. The second round is on Thursday, the quarterfinals on Friday, the semifinals on Saturday, and the tournament title game on Sunday.
Tournament favorites have done well over the last decade, with the early favorite going on to win in five of the last 10. So, while history has been kind to the betting favorite, history also tells us that we should not ignore the rest of the field. That’s not to say you should put your money down on teams like Georgia (+100000), South Carolina (+80000), or Ole Miss (+50000).
But it does mean you may not want to overlook teams like Tennessee, Kentucky, or Missouri. Since odds vary among sportsbooks, bettors should shop around different sportsbooks for their team’s best odds.
The 2023 SEC Tournament Bracket. pic.twitter.com/zje4h76PWh
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 5, 2023
Betting Favorites to Win SEC Tournament
Alabama +170 (DraftKings)
Many signs point to the Crimson Tide winning the SEC Tournament for the second time in three years. They went 16-2 in conference play this season, have one of the better players in the country in Brandon Miller leading a talented roster, and one of the best offenses in the country (sixth in scoring; 82.8 ppg).
However, they could face a serious challenge in Texas A&M, one of two teams to beat Alabama in conference play this season.
Tennessee +340 (Caesars)
Had Zakai Zeigler not been lost to a torn ACL late in the season, the Vols would have had a solid shot at repeating as conference tournament champions. But they will still be a tough team to beat without Zeigler. The Vols had one of the top defenses in the country this season (third; 57.5 ppg allowed). While they recorded a nice win over then-No. 1 Alabama on Feb., they lost three of their last six.
They played one game after Zeigler got hurt and lost 79-70 to Auburn.
Kentucky +450 (BetRivers)
This team isn’t one of John Calipari’s best, but you can never count the Wildcats out. Kentucky had somewhat of an up-and-down season but closed out conference play on a 5-1 run following losses to Arkansas and Georgia.
As far as talent goes, they have some of the best in the country, i.e., Oscar Tshiebwe and Antonio Reeves. But they seem to struggle against poor teams. They lost to South Carolina, split with Georgia and Vanderbilt, and only beat LSU by three.
Best SEC Tournament Longshots
Here are three longshots to consider as the SEC tournament gets rolling:
Texas A&M +550 (Caesars)
Expectations were low for the Aggies coming into the 2022-23 season, and during nonconference play it didn’t look like the season was going to amount to much(6-5 on Dec. 20). But they improved throughout the season and became one of the better teams in the SEC, losing just one more game than Alabama (15-3).
They will enter tournament play with some momentum after ending the regular season with a 67-61 win over Alabama. You can credit the win to Miller having an off night and fouling out or to a tenacious Aggie defense and solid offense. It would not be shocking to see Texas A&M and Alabama face off in the tournament final.
Missouri +4500 (BetRivers)
If you want to go with a long shot, the Tigers are not a bad one to take a flyer on. They have one of the better offenses in the country (No. 21; 80.1 points per game) and the best three-point percentage in the conference (36.2%). However, they also have one of the worst defenses in the country (No. 300; 74.8 points per game allowed).
They do not play until the quarterfinals, where they will play Tennessee, South Carolina, or Ole Mis — all teams they beat during the regular season. If they can turn games into shootouts, they have a chance. Otherwise…
Vanderbilt +6000 (Caesars)
Like Missouri, the Commodores are a decent longshot to get behind if you feel like rolling the dice on someone. After a dreadful January in which they went 3-6, including an embarrassing 101-44 loss to Alabama to end the month, they rebounded well. They finished the regular season on an 8-1 run, including wins over Tennessee and Kentucky.
However, the one loss came at the hands of the last-place LSU Tigers. If they get hot and a few bounces and calls go their way…
SEC Tournament Prediction
A longshot has won the SEC Tournament once in the last decade (Ole Miss in 2013; +1500 to start the tournament). Otherwise, the eventual winner was one of the better teams in the conference with relatively short odds. However, the favorite did go on to win it all in five of the last ten tournaments — including Alabama’s win in 2021.
No one would fault you for betting on Alabama. The Tide have been the pride of the conference all season and are solid on both ends of the court. However, they could be in trouble if Brandon Miller has an off-night (like he did against Gonzaga, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas A&M).
Texas A&M has done what every team wants to do. They’ve improved as the season progressed, and they’ve already proven they can beat Alabama. Kentucky and Tennessee have the talent and potential to win it all, but neither is an advisable bet at their current odds.
Our Pick: Texas A&M or Alabama
Also read: Pac-12 Tournament odds | ACC Tournament odds | Big 12 Tournament odds | Big Ten Tournament odds
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