Tennessee Vs. Ole Miss Predictions, Picks, NCAAB Odds (12/28/22)

College basketball is starting to come back into the fold after a short hiatus for the holidays and exam time. We are teased with a day game as the Tennessee Volunteers take on the Ole Miss Rebels in what will be a defensive slugfest. Tennessee looks to be every bit of a national contender with the best defense in the league. Can they end their 2022 with a win and go into the new year with some momentum?

Tennessee Vs. Ole Miss Odds

Oddsmakers believe so as they opened the Vols as a sizable favorite at -8.5. Bettors have been in slight agreement at the open, taking them up to as high as 9.5 as of writing. This comes as little surprise as Ole Miss’s offense should be no threat to the Vols defense as one of the lower scoring units in the nation. If Tennessee’s offense can round back into elite form after a slight dip to start the season, then they should cruise to an easy win.

As for the total, points are expected to be scored at a premium as oddsmakers opened the total at 126.5. This was to be expected as Tennessee is the best defense in the league while Ole Miss fields an impressive defense themselves. What is kind of eye opening is that bettors are in strong disagreement, taking the over up to as high as 129. Ole Miss is one of the more anemic SEC offenses in the nation while the Vols offense has not lived up to elite status yet.

Tennessee Vs. Ole Miss Prediction & Pick

The Pick: Wait on the under

With that said, I will wait to see if the total keeps rising before going against the steam and take an under. It’s never settling on the stomach to go against the steam, but should it get out of control then I will feel more than comfortable hitting an under in what is to be expected as a defensive slugfest.

While Tennessee is expected to outmatch Ole Miss on both ends of the court, they will be surprised to see that Ole Miss is actually a very efficient defense. 

Per Kenpom, Ole Miss ranks 52nd in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency while specializing in smothering the perimeter.  Above average in length, Ole Miss has limited opposing three point shooting and forcing them to find success in the paint. 

This has resulted in low scoring affairs and slowing the game to a halt to match their tempo. Ole Miss currently ranks 250th in Adjusted Tempo. Tennessee will find comfort in a slow paced half court type of game, ranking 196th in in AdjT.

As for how Tennessee’s defense has fared, it’s business as usual as the Vols are the clear cut best defensive unit in the nation. Thank rank first in the nation in multiple defensive categories, including opposing shooting percentage. Like Ole Miss, the Vols have smothered opposing perimeter looks into low quality shot selections.

This will be detrimental to an already anemic scoring unit as Ole Miss has shown no signs of continuity on the offensive end. Their scoring lulls have already burned them early in the year with a recent loss to Grambling.

Tennessee Vs. Ole Miss Key Matchups

For one of the more complete units in basketball, how will Tennessee’s offense fare against the Ole Miss perimeter defense?

Tennessee scoring production vs Ole Miss perimeter defense

A common theme for past national title winners is that their AdjO and AdjD equal a total number of 50 or lower. Tennessee has been on the border of a potential champion with a AdjD rank of 1st in the nation and 49th in AdjO.

Their offense has struggled at times, failing to find consistent success at the perimeter. This is alarming for their long-term success as they attempt threes at an above average rate per the national average.

Ole Miss will do them no favors as they are one of the better units in the nation at limiting the completion percentage of three pointers. They will force the Vols offense to be uncomfortable by forcing them to score inside the paint, an area they have relatively avoided per league average.

Verdict

With the over slowly ticking up, I will wait to see how high this can go before taking the under. Ole Miss is not an offensive threat whatsoever while their defense is more than capable of slowing down the Tennessee scoring output.

Kody is a sports betting writer here at Lineups. He specializes in college sports as well as the NFL and NBA. He won’t quit believing in the Lions Super Bowl chances even when they are eliminated.

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