Last year’s college basketball season left us with more to be desired due to its abrupt end. Due to that, we saw many college basketball players return for another crack at glory. Many of those players returning are in the SEC, and it will lead to a great basketball season.
We are used to some of the blue-blood programs carrying this conference, but it will be incredibly competitive this season. With a few lower-level teams on the rise and others losing stars, the variance between teams is as low as it’s ever been.
With that in mind, which teams are worth the wager? These SEC teams are definitely worth watching. Some only have value in the conference itself, but others have a chance to make it past the Final Four.
Alabama Crimson Tide
Nate Oats is building a program from the ground up, but he’s doing well. He still has a few players left from before he took over, and they will provide a veteran leadership. John Petty and Herb Jones deciding not to enter the NBA Draft and to instead return to Alabama was huge. Jones is one of the most versatile defenders in college basketball, and he will be a key for Alabama.
Oats is also recruiting incredibly well. Josh Primo and Keon Ambrose-Hylton will likely have immediate impacts. Jordan Bruner will also have an impact early as he transfers from Yale. The toughest task for the Tide will be replacing Kira Lewis, but Jahvon Quinerly is ready to take over at point guard.
Alabama will also be without star recruit Alex Tchikou due to an early injury, but they have depth in the frontcourt. Honestly, they’ll have depth across the board. That will play a pivotal role in a season where players might have to quarantine during the season.
Alabama has little to no shot of winning it all, but they are a solid team. If you find value in a bet to win the SEC, place a small wager.
As always, the Kentucky Wildcats are one of the top teams in the country. There are always new names to know on this team. One of the new stars for 2021 is B.J. Boston. He is one of the five best recruits in the country, and he will instantly be a star in the SEC. If he lives up to the hype, the Wildcats are easily the favorites to win the SEC.
They also have Terrance Clarke, another top talent. With this duo, Kentucky will likely be relying heavily on the pick-and-roll. This team has a lot to be excited about, and these two will be the faces of this new team.
It will take some time for Kentucky to get adjusted due to its youth, but this team is used to overcoming adversity. They have +1100 odds to win it all, and I think that there’s at least some value there. Kentucky hasn’t won a ring since Anthony Davis, but this team has the talent. It will take some luck, but that is always the case.
LSU is returning Trendon Watford and Javonte Smart, which is huge for this team offensively. Watford was expected to leave after one season, but he left some to be desired in his freshman season. He will have something to prove, and I think he can get it done in 2021.
The main concern with this team is that they are losing Skylar Mays and Emmitt Williams. Because of this, Watford is going to have to adapt his game. If he can stretch the paint more, the Tigers will be dangerous. The only issue is that I don’t think he’s capable of doing so.
Will Wade is a good coach, and LSU has a good chance to win the SEC. However, I don’t see a ton of value at +4000 to win a national championship.
Losing Isaac Okoro will be tough, but Auburn has excellent coaching and a solid recruiting class. They didn’t land their top prospects, but Bruce Pearl will expect greatness from this team. At +4000, there is some value for a small wager here. I certainly like their odds to win it all more than I like LSU’s.
At the end of the day, it will take some craziness for any team to win it all. That’s the beauty of March Madness. All you can do is find some value. I like the value with Kentucky and Auburn, but LSU and Alabama are at least worth watching.