What Happened Last Night
Road teams went 4-0. Kentucky beat Vanderbilt 87-81 behind 23 points from Isaiah Briscoe, running the Wildcats’ record to 4-0 in the SEC and 14-2 overall; Vanderbilt is now 8-8, 2-2 in the SEC. Auburn beat Missouri 77-72 to pick up its first SEC win and improve to 11-5 overall; Missouri lost its seventh game in a row and is now 5-10 on the year and 0-3 in the SEC. Mustapha Heron led Auburn with 16 points and 9 rebounds. Florida went to 13-3 on the season and 4-0 in the SEC with a 80-67 win at Alabama; the Tide are now 9-6, 2-1 in the SEC.
And in the upset of the night, Mississippi State beat Arkansas — in Fayetteville, no less -- by a score of 84-78. The Bulldogs are now 11-4, 2-1 in the SEC, while Arkansas is 12-4, 1-3 in the SEC.
So far, road teams are 15-8 in SEC play this season. What exactly is going on there? Well, there are some pretty obvious explanations. For instance, while all four road teams won last night, three of them (Kentucky, Florida, and Auburn) were favored to win, albeit narrowly in the last case. In fact, Kentucky, Florida, and South Carolina — probably the SEC’s three best teams — account for five of the fifteen road wins, and two more are accounted for by Missouri playing two home games and losing both. Of course, that doesn’t explain how Mississippi State has won two road games and lost their lone home game.
That said, in three of the last four seasons, home teams have won 69.8 percent of the time in SEC play. So this is certainly a departure from the recent past, and it probably won’t keep up.
|South Carolina at Tennessee||6:30 PM||SEC Network/WatchESPN|
|Georgia at Ole Miss||7:00 PM||ESPNU/WatchESPN|
|LSU at Texas A&M||8:30 PM||SEC Network/WatchESPN|
That said, we wouldn’t be that surprised if the road teams winning trend continues tonight. If you believe Ken Pomeroy, the two early games tonight are virtual tossups, with South Carolina traveling to Tennessee and Georgia going to Ole Miss. The former game has a weird 6:30 PM ET tip time — that’s going to be, well, pretty early for those of us in the Central time zone.
In the nightcap, LSU travels to Texas A&M in what’s suddenly a very desperate game for the Aggies. Texas A&M is now 0-3 in conference play and while it’s a little early to say a team’s hopes of making the tournament are finished, they probably can’t afford a home loss to LSU.
Odds and Picks
Season to Date: 59-81-1 ATS
- South Carolina (-1) at Tennessee: This is a tough call, because Tennessee’s been competitive against good teams and you figure at some point they’ll pull through and actually beat one. But, they also just dismissed their second-leading scorer. I’ll take South Carolina but this one’s gonna be close.
- Georgia (+2.5) at Ole Miss: This started at 1 point and moved to 2.5, and since this game’s basically a tossup the value is on Georgia here, who can absolutely win this game.
- LSU at Texas A&M (-10): LSU just lost to Mississippi State by 17 at home, so sure, I’ll fade them with a 10-point line against a desperate Aggie squad.