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SEC Tournament Preview: Arkansas Rolling at the Right Time - Metro US

SEC Tournament Preview: Arkansas Rolling at the Right Time

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Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The SEC, more known for its football prowess, has combated this notion admirably in 2021, emerging with two legitimate Final Four contenders.

Both Alabama and Arkansas appear well-positioned for deep tournament runs, and currently project as two-seeds in next weeks’ big dance, finishing in the top-10 of the AP Poll at No. 6 and 8, respectively.

Although Bama has garnered more respect by the betting market (+2000 to win the Championship and +240 to win the SEC), it’s Arkansas who’s one of the hottest teams in the country.

Winners of eight straight, the Razorbacks are a trendy pick to cut down the nets in April at +5000 and could merit action this weekend getting 3:1 to win the conference tourney.

No. 3 LSU and No. 4 Tennessee will accompany the two aforementioned teams with double-byes, while No. 5 Florida will have to play in a Second-Round matchup against the winner of Wednesday’s contest between No. 12 Vanderbilt and No. 13 Texas A&M.

Here’s how the rest of the bracket will shape out.

 

The Value Play

Starting with Florida, its path appears far too treacherous to consider the Gators at their current price of 6:1. 

Navigating a schedule that includes Tennessee, a team they lost to on Sunday 65-54, top-seeded Alabama, and then Arkansas or LSU does not warrant the price you’re getting at most sportsbooks. 

Rather, I’d have my eyes on Will Wade’s LSU Tigers at a friendlier price of 7:1. Not only will they avoid a second-round matchup altogether, but their path is a lot clearer. Both No. 11 South Carolina and No. 6 Ole Miss have been wildly inconsistent this season, and neither team really scares me in a potential quarterfinal matchup.

Then, you’ll get Arkansas, who they’ve managed to beat once already, before playing in the final.

Plus, LSU, unlike Florida or Tennessee, does something really, really well — they can outscore anyone. Averaging over 80 points a night, the Tigers boast a top 10 scoring offense led by freshmen guard Cameron Thomas (23.1 ppg).

So, if you’re looking for a deeper play, look no further than Thomas and the Tigers at +700.

Team to Look Out For: Kentucky +1500

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