Texas visits Tennessee during the mid-season Big 12/SEC Challenge. Texas is coming off a comfortable win against Oklahoma State at home, while Tennessee beat Georgia in a blow out at home. This should be an interesting matchup between two teams in the non-conference that are very good. Let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks and predictions for this game!
Texas vs. Tennessee Odds
Tennessee is a 7.5-point home favorite against Texas and is at -350 on the money line. The over/under is also at 135. Tennessee being this much of a favorite makes no sense, other than the fact they are at home. The over/under also makes sense because each team, especially Tennessee, is very good on offense. This spread could move down a bit because it being this high doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Texas vs. Tennessee Prediction & Pick
The pick: Texas +7.5
Texas has dealt with some adversity and distractions so far this year. They’re still one of the better teams in all of college basketball.
Marcus Carr is a bona fide star for the Longhorns and leads the team in scoring, assists, and steals per game for the season. Timmy Allen might be the most consistent player Texas has at the stretch forward position. He leads the team in rebounding too. Tyrese Hunter and Sir’Jabari Rice have also been very good in the Longhorns backcourt this year.
As a team, Texas is solid on both offense and defense, but doesn’t excel on either side of the court a ton. They are very athletic, which benefits that too. On the other side, Tennessee has been very good this year, especially on defense.
Santiago Vescovi has stood out as the lead guard for the Volunteers and leads them in points and steals per game this season. Zakai Zeigler joins Vescovi in a stacked backcourt and he leads the Volunteers in assists too. Olivier Nkamhoua and Julian Phillips are also very good for the Volunteers on the wing and down low at the forward positions.
As a team, Tennessee excels more on defense than on offense. They are first in points allowed at 53.7 points per game and are top-15 in rebounds per game. They are also second in point differential at +20.3.
This has the making of a close, physical game. It’s going to be a slugfest, and because of that, expect Texas to keep the game close. Tennessee should still win because they are better and at home, but Texas is going to keep this game close down to the wire.
Texas vs. Tennessee Key Matchups
Can Santiago Vescovi matchup with Marcus Carr? Can Dylan Disu matchup with Olivier Nkamhoua?
Marcus Carr vs Santiago Vescovi
Marcus Carr has been great for Texas this year. He averages 18 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds per game for the season. He’ll be matched up against Santiago Vescovi most of the game, who averages 12 points, 3 assists, and 4 rebounds per game for the season. This will be a huge matchup in this game because these are each teams’ highest scorers. Look for whoever can get an upper-hand in this matchup to be the one that wins this game. These guards are the most dynamic players in this game and will decide the game either way.
Olivier Nkamhoua vs Dylan Disu
Olivier Nkamhoua is an x-factor for Tennessee this year. He averages 10 points, 2 assists, and 5 rebounds per game for the season. He’ll be matched up against Dylan Disu who averages 7 points, 1 assists, and 4 rebounds per game for the season. Disu plays very good defense for the Longhorns and will have his hands full with Nkamhoua. Nkamhoua has to be very good for Tennessee to make a run this year, so Disu has a big matchup here. Look for this to be an underrated matchup in this game that will have a huge outcome on who wins this game.