The college basketball season is just days away. It’s never too early to start doing your homework so you can beat up on the books from November all the way through March Madness. BangtheBook will be previewing all the major conferences over the next few days. Up next is the SEC. The SEC is the best in football, but how do they look in college basketball? All odds listed are to win the conference and are from BetOnline.
Kentucky (+135) How does John Calipari keep getting this kind of talent? The Wildcats are once again absolutely stacked with freshman sensations. Julius Randle will take a back seat to no one this year. The Harrison twins are amazing. Kentucky might start a bit slowly, but by the end of the season this is going to be a team no one wants to play!
Florida (+215) Three straight Elite Eight appearances for the Florida Gators. Billy Donovan knows how to win in March, and this team should be good enough to make another deep run. Patric Young will be the go to guy inside, and there is plenty of depth at every position on the court. This is Kentucky’s only real competition in the league.
Tennessee (+650) I like the job Cuonzo Martin is doing in Knoxville. This team isn’t even close to the top two in the league, but they are improving quickly. Look for big production out of Antonio Barton in his first year in the Volunteeers orange.
Alabama (+800) Anthony Grant’s team’s stock took a big hit when Trevor Lacey left in the offseason. Lacey was the only guy who started every game last year for the Crimson Tide. Grant is still a high quality coach, and he’ll get this team to play defense for 40 minutes. They’ll be closer to the top than the bottom of the league.
LSU (+1200) Jerrell Martin is going to be a huge star for LSU. Martin is the top recruit to come to Baton Rouge since Shaq played here. Johnny Jones wants this team to run and score a lot of points. Their athleticism will win them more games than most people expect.
The Rest of the Pack:
Missouri (+1000) Too many questions surrounding this team for my liking. Frank Haith will miss several games, and he no longer as any tried and true leaders on this roster.
Arkansas (+1600) Mike Anderson’s team lost its top two scorers from last year, but I think there’s a good chance they’ll be better this year. The Razorbacks now have guys who fit better into Anderson’s fast-paced system.
Missouri (+1000) Frank Haith has a lot of questions surrounding his past, and he’ll miss a few games at the start of the season. Haith’s Missouri team will really miss the four starters that are gone from last year’s team. The Tigers are bound to drop quite a ways in the standings.
Texas A &M (+2000) At this point we are getting to the bottom of the SEC, but the Aggies play good enough defense to upset some teams.
South Carolina (+1500) Can things get any worse for Frank Martin’s squad? They won’t be worse than last year, and I suspect a second year under Martin and this team show some improvement.
Mississippi (+1500) It’s Marshall Henderson’s team, and I don’t think that’s a good thing. Henderson makes some great shots, but he takes a ton of bad ones. Without much help for Henderson, expect a bad season for the Rebels.
Vanderbilt (+5000) Kevin Stallings doesn’t have very much talent to work with in Nashville. It will be another long season.
Georgia (+3000) Mark Fox is a quality coach, but this team’s offense is just not good enough to consistently compete.
Mississippi State (+2500) A year ago Rick Ray said his team would win “because he doesn’t know how to lose.” The team went 10-22 last year. Has he figured out how to lose yet? This team should be near the bottom of a bad league again.
Auburn (+9750) Auburn went 3-15 in the SEC last year, and there aren’t any signs that will change this year.
Free Pick: Kentucky- The Wildcats are just too talented for me to pick anyone else.
is full-timesports writer and sports handicapper. You simply won’t find someone who loves sports more than Kyle. Kyle considers college football and college basketball his two favorite sports. Kyle has earned many accolades for his highly successful handicapping, and he writes full-time for many top sports websites. Keep an eye out for high quality free sports analysis from Kyle!