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With March upon us, conference tournament play continues as the SEC tournament resumes this Thursday. In this quarterfinals matchup, the Auburn Tigers will travel to Bridgestone Arena to take on the South Carolina Gamecocks. Auburn enters this game with a 23-9 record while South Carolina enters this game with a 16-15 record. Now, both teams will be looking to improve on their records this Friday.
Auburn Looks For Sixth Straight Win
This season, Auburn looked to make it pretty far in the NCAA tournament behind some veteran leadership. So far this season, the team has been pretty underwhelming as it is currently unranked and possesses a 23-9 record. However, the team has won each of its last five games including a ten point win against Missouri in its last game. In that game, Auburn’s offense was fantastic as it scored 81 points on over 45% shooting from the floor. With a neutral site game up next, Auburn’s offense will need to play well once again.
“In a tournament setting, the first one is always the hardest game. We’re glad to get that one under our belt. We’re just looking to make history and continue to win.” – @Therealvinoo
— Auburn Basketball (@AuburnMBB) March 15, 2019
The Auburn Tigers are led by senior guard Bryce Brown who has been great this season. Last season, Brown averaged 15.9 points per game and 1.7 assists per game. However, he only shot 40.1% from the floor and looked to become more efficient this upcoming season. So far this season, he has been great as he is currently leading the team in scoring with 15.7 points per game and 2.0 rebounds. However, he is only shooting 42.8% from the floor as inefficiency has plagued him once again this season.
South Carolina Looks For Another Conference Win
This season, South Carolina has looked pretty average as the team has only won 16 of its 31 games so far. However, the team is now 11-7 in conference play and is coming into this game off of two straight wins including a win against Georgia in the regular season finale. In that game, South Carolina’s defense was solid as the team only allowed 46 points on less than 27% shooting from the floor. With a ranked team up next, South Carolina’s defense will need to play well once again.
— Gamecock MBB (@GamecockMBB) March 9, 2019
The South Carolina Gamecocks are led by freshman guard A.J. Lawson who has been great this season. In his first six games with the program, he is currently second on the team in scoring with 13.9 points per game along with 4.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists. As one of the best player on this year’s team, Lawson does not have much help around him and he will need to be at his best if South Carolina plans on covering the spread in this one.
- Gamecocks are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games.
- Tigers are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games.
- Tigers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following an ATS win.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Although South Carolina has won its last two games, Auburn is the better all-around team and has significantly more talent on its roster than South Carolina. For a team like Auburn to be favored by so few points against an inferior foe, I’m not even going to think about making a case for South Carolina. Auburn should be able to win this neutral site game due to its veteran experience and I think that South Carolina will be unable to make enough big plays down the stretch to cover this spread. Give me the favorite in this one as a result as the Tigers should win by double digits.
Prediction: Auburn -8
Full-Game Total Pick
Both teams have the ability to score a lot of points but I think that their respective defenses are highly underrated. This is a conference rivalry game and I expect them both teams to bring it defensively in what should be a physical contest. South Carolina’s offense has also struggled away from home this season and plays at a relatively slow tempo. I think this total is a bit too high as a result so I recommend the under in this matchup.
Prediction: Under 147