SEC Conference Championship Game Betting Preview


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Kentucky Wildcats vs. Texas A&M Aggies (+3.5, 141.5)

Texas A&M reached its first conference tournament final since 1990 with a dominating performance on Saturday. The Aggies will try to turn that into their first tournament title since winning the Southwest Conference in 198 when they face Kentucky in the SEC tournament final on Sunday in Nashville, Tenn.

No. 1 seed Texas A&M edged past Florida in the quarterfinals on Friday before ending LSU’s tournament run with a 71-38 demolition on Saturday. The Aggies held the Tigers to 20.6 percent shooting and bottled up freshman star Ben Simmons in the easy win, marking their eighth straight victory overall. One of those eight straight wins came over the Wildcats 79-77 in overtime on Feb. 20, and No. 2 seed Kentucky earned its chance to avenge that defeat by easing past Alabama in the quarterfinals and rallying from a second-half deficit against Georgia in a 93-80 win on Saturday. “We’re built for this,” Wildcats forward Alex Poythress told reporters. “We needed a tough game like this that we had to go back and forth, down a little bit, a little adversity. I felt like we responded real well.”

TV: 1 p.m. ET, ESPN

BETTING STATS:

Kentucky – 25-8 SU, 17-16 ATS, 18-14-1 O/U
Texas A&M – 26-7 SU, 15-11-2 ATS, 11-17 O/U

COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Kentucky Wildcats (-12.4) – Texas A&M Aggies (-12.65) = Texas A&M -0.25

ABOUT KENTUCKY (25-8, 13-5 SEC): The Wildcats are playing in the SEC tournament final for the sixth time in coach John Calipari’s seven years as head coach and going for their fourth title in that span – second in a row. Kentucky leaned on its backcourt combination of Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray to keep them in the game early, and the two ended up with a combined 51 points while playing 39 minutes apiece, before spreading out the scoring during the second half comeback. “We kind of try to figure out the different ways to score and just got it done,” forward Marcus Lee told reporters. “We’re not set in stone of who’s supposed to score and who’s supposed to get things done. We just try to help each other as much as we can.”

ABOUT TEXAS A&M (26-7, 13-5): The Aggies earned the top spot in the SEC tournament thanks to that Feb. 20 win, in which Tyler Davis put back Danuel House’s missed at the buzzer to give them the victory. Jalen Jones led Texas A&M with 24 points in that game and was the only starter to reach double figures with 12 points on Saturday as the team had the luxury of resting its top unit for most of the second half. “I’m thrilled with the effort that we played with, especially on the defensive end,” Aggies coach Billy Kennedy told reporters. “I thought we did a really good job of being physical and walling up and forcing them to take some tough shots. Our bench came in and offensively did a really good job of moving the ball and played really unselfish.”

DANCE TEAM WAR:

 TRENDS:

* Wildcats are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.

* Aggies are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 vs. Southeastern.

* Over is 4-0 in Wildcats last 4 neutral site games.

* Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.


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