Tennessee vs. Auburn odds, line: 2019 SEC Tournament Championship picks, predictions from expert on 28-16 run

The 2019 SEC Tournament comes to an end with a championship matchup between No. 3 seed Tennessee (29-4) and No. 5 seed Auburn (25-9) at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday. The Vols stayed alive in their chase for a No. 1 seed in the 2019 NCAA Tournament when they knocked off Kentucky in the semifinals Saturday. The Tigers, meanwhile, stand to see a nice bump in their Big Dance seeding thanks to this strong SEC Tournament run. The latest odds show the Vols as five-point favorites with the over-under for total points set at 150. Before locking in any picks of your own, first check out the SEC Tournament Championship predictions from SportsLine’s Michael Rusk. 

Rusk built his name by exploiting flaws in public betting. With his economics and statistics background, Rusk uses multiple algorithms pooling with recency bias to produce profitable picks. That’s exactly what “The Prodigy” has been doing recently with his strong 28-16 run on his college basketball picks. Anyone who has followed him is way up.

Now Rusk has zeroed in on Tennessee vs. Auburn. He has taken into account Tennessee’s dramatic 82-78 victory over Kentucky on Saturday to punch its ticket to the SEC Tournament finals. The Vols trailed by seven points with 4:03 to go before furiously rallying back to stun the Wildcats in Nashville. That marked Tennessee’s second win over the Wildcats in March.

Getting over that hurdle was a huge accomplishment for the Vols, but Tennessee won’t be content to leave with anything short of its first SEC Tournament title since 1979. To finish the job, the Vols will need SEC Player of the Year Grant Williams (19.2 ppg) and senior Admiral Schofield (16.4 ppg) to be at their best. Another solid performance from point guard Jordan Bone, who went off for 18 points and five assists against the Wildcats, would go a long way in helping UT as well. 

But just because the Vols had the better season overall, that’s no guarantee they’ll be able to cover the spread in the title game on Sunday. 

Auburn, coached by former Tennessee head coach Bruce Pearl, knocked off the Vols in the regular-season finale, 84-80. That game put the Tigers in great shape to make the 2019 NCAA Tournament, and their strong run in Nashville that has included wins over Missouri, South Carolina and Florida has done nothing but help their seeding.

In total, Auburn enters Sunday on a seven-game winning streak and has won nine of its past 10. With an offense that averages around 80 points per game, the Tigers have shown they can compete with just about anybody. They nailed almost 40 percent of their 3-pointers in the recent win over Tennessee, and a similar shooting effort on Sunday could easily lead to a cover, if not an outright upset and SEC title for the Tigers. 

We can tell you Rusk is leaning to the under, but his much stronger play is on the spread. He has identified a critical X-factor that causes one side of the spread to hit hard. You absolutely need to see it before locking in any college basketball picks.

Who wins Auburn vs. Tennessee? And which critical X-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back? Visit SportsLine to see which side of the Auburn vs. Tennessee spread you should be all over, all from the expert crushing his recent college basketball picks, and find out. 

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