Tennessee vs Arizona Predictions, Picks, Odds (12/17/22)

Tennessee visits Arizona in a matchup of top-10 teams, after coming off a very ugly win against Maryland in Brooklyn. On the other side, Arizona just beat Texas A&M Corpus Cristi in a blowout. This should be an interesting matchup because it’s a rematch of a big game from last year. Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks and predictions for this game!

Tennessee vs. Arizona Odds

Arizona is a 3-point home favorite against Tennessee and is at -140 on the money line. The over/under is also at 148.5. Arizona being favored here makes sense because they are the home team and have the revenge factor after losing to Tennessee last year. The over/under makes sense too because since it’s a home game for Arizona, it’s highly possible the tempo goes in Arizona’s favor and it ends up being high-scoring as compared to slow which is what Tennessee is going to want. This spread could move a bit in either direction, but it should stay close regardless.

Tennessee vs. Arizona Prediction & Pick

The pick: Arizona -3

Arizona has been on a mini roller-coaster recently. They looked amazing to start the year and won the Maui Tournament, then lost on the road to Utah and beat a bad Cal team unconvincingly, and then finally made a statement last week against Indiana in Las Vegas. Azuolas Tubelis and Oumar Ballo are easily the best big men combination in all of college basketball. Kerr Kriisa has been playing some great basketball as the starting point guard for the Wildcats too as the best three-point shooter on the team and the leader in assists. Courtney Ramey has also been a great transfer pickup, while Pelle Larson might end up being the x-factor for the Wildcats in not just this game, but for the rest of the season. As a team, Arizona is the best offensive team in the country, and leads college basketball in scoring, while also being second in college basketball in assists. Tennessee, on the other hand, is all about defense. Zakai Zeigler is back as the point guard and leads the Volunteers in assists. Santiago Vescovi is also back at shooting guard as Tennessee’s most valuable and most efficient player. Josiah Jordan-James is also back as an extremely versatile player for the Volunteers. Julian Phillips is the best newcomer they have as a five-star freshman and is the Volunteers’ leading scorer. As a team, Tennessee is 3rd in the country in points allowed and ninth in the country in total rebounds a game. Arizona is the play here because they are the home team and are going to want revenge after losing to Tennessee last year.

Tennessee vs. Arizona Key Matchups

Can Julian Phillips go toe-to-toe with Azuolas Tubelis? Can Zakai Ziegler matchup with Kerr Kriisa?

Azuolas Tubelis vs Julian Phillips

Azuolas Tubelis is Arizona’s leading scorer this year and has just been phenomenal on offense. He averages 20 points, 8.6 rebounds, 40% from three-point range, and 60.6% from the field overall. He’s been a part of a very good 1-2-punch for the Wildcats down low, but as a stretch forward it makes him that much harder to defend. Julian Phillips is a great freshman for the Volunteers and is their leading scorer and rebounder. He averages 11.6 points, 6 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 block a game for the year. Tubleis is the more polished offensive player, while Phillips might be more talented overall. The matchup between these two is going to be a huge indicator for this game.

Kerr Kriisa vs Zakai Ziegler

Kerr Kriisa has been a great spark plug for Arizona when needed and he’s improved even more this year by leading Arizona in assists. He averages 11.6 points, 7 assists, 40% three-point shooting, and 44% from the field overall. Kerr is a polarizing player in college basketball, but there’s no denying how good he’s been for Arizona this year. Zakai Ziegler has been a great point guard for Tennessee last year and now this year too. He averages 10 points, 4 assists, 2.5 steals, and 33% from three-point range. This is a matchup where Kriisa is the better offensive player, as compared to Ziegler, who’s the better defensive player. With point guard being such an important position, look for this to be another big matchup in this game that could be a deciding factor between these two teams.

Jake Faigus, graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minored in sports management. He wrote for The Daily Wildcat, as well as the Arizona Fansided blog, Zona Zealots. He currently writes for Aaron Torres Media and runs social media for BracketFanatics.

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