Auburn Tigers (14-15), +8.5, o/u 151.5, vs. Vanderbilt Commodores (25-6), -8.5, o/u 151.5, Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia, 3:15 p.m. Eastern, Thursday
by Oracle at Predictem.com
The Auburn Tigers are hoping they’ve found a stash full of kryptonite when they face the 17th ranked Vanderbilt Commodores, whose superhero-like play on their home floor in Nashville saw them finish 19-0 on the season.
The Tigers will face off against a Vandy team whose weakness comes away from Memorial Gymnasium where they’re like any other average team at 6-6.
Like in most cases during the week of conference tournaments, this isn’t the first time these two SEC squads will face off. The Tigers know first hand what it’s like to play Vandy in Nashville, losing a tough contest, 78-71.
Many online sportsbooks have remembered that game, making the Commodores the favorites -8.5, even though they sport a much better overall record on the year. Also, the over/under opened up at 152.
This game features two squads who haven’t had much success as of late in the SEC Tournament. The Tigers haven’t won a first round game since a win over this same Vandy team back in 2005. Meanwhile, the Commodores have lost two out of their last three first round games.
Oddly enough, this will be the third time in four years Auburn and Vanderbilt square off to see who advances in the tournament.
Back in early February, the Tigers actually led Bandy at Memorial Gymnasium late into the second half, only to succumb to seven straight Jermaine McBeal points on their way to the loss. Beal finished with 13 points and was one of four Commodores to finish in double figures. Freshman phenom A.J. Ogilvy took advantage of an undersized front line of Auburn, scoring 19 points and grabbing 9 rebounds.
Vanderbilt out rebounded the Tigers 35-26 in the game.
SEC Player of the Year Shan Foster, who scores 20.5 points per game, scored a quiet 17.
Frank Tolbert was a one-man wrecking crew for Auburn, scoring a career-high 32 points, including five three-pointers, and finished with 8 rebounds. Quan Prowell leads the team with 15.2 points per game, but was held to just 12 against Vandy.
Neither team is immaculate against the spread this year, with Vandy being an even 15-1 and Auburn at 9-11-1. The recent trend for the Commodores shows that they’ve had a hard time covering when playing on Thursday’s, as they’re 1-8 ATS in the last nine overall.
The Tigers are the exact opposite, as they are more than likely looking forward to this Thursday match up, holding a 5-1 record ATS in the last six Thursday games. They’ve also shown bettors recently that just because they’re dogs, doesn’t mean a whole lot. They’re 4-1 ATS in their last five games when dogs of 7 to 12.5 points.
The Commodores are sharp for bettors when playing on a neutral site, though. In fact, they are a perfect 6-0 on neutral ground over their last six games.
A telling stat, though, is the fact that Auburn is 4-1 ATS in the last five head-to-head meetings with the Commodores.
With both teams having potent offenses, the over is a trend. The over is 7-1 in the last eight Thursday games for Auburn, and it’s 8-1 in the last nine neutral site games.
Bettors will have to see if Auburn brought enough of that kryptonite to knock off the favored Commodores.
Oracle’s Pick: Auburn showed what it’s made of in Nashville and they’ll do it again in Georgia. Take the Tigers plus the points!