USC vs Tennessee Odds, Prediction | Battle 4 Atlantis Semifinals Betting Preview

USC vs Tennessee Odds, Prediction | Battle 4 Atlantis Semifinals Betting Preview article feature image

Eakin Howard/Getty Images. Pictured: Zakai Zeigler (5) of the Tennessee Volunteers.

  • The USC Trojans and Tennessee Volunteers meet on Thanksgiving Day to compete for a spot in the Battle 4 Atlantis Championship game.
  • Tennessee opened as a 9-point favorite, and the point spread hasn't moved much. As of Thursday morning, the line remains Tennessee -8.5.
  • However, the over/under has dropped two full points as of Thursday morning; the game total now sits at 136.5. Read on for updated odds, plus our picks and predictions for Thursday's game.

USC vs Tennessee Odds

Thursday, Nov. 24
1:30 p.m. ET
USC Odds
-110o / -110u
Tennessee Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The Battle 4 Atlantis advances to the semifinal round on Thanksgiving Day: The Tennessee Volunteers face off against the USC Trojans with a ticket to the championship game at stake. Tennessee and USC both advanced from the opening round with a win, but the two teams had wildly different games.

USC squared off against BYU, and the matchup remained a close battle during the first half. The Trojans went into halftime with a 1-point lead, but in the second half they really hit their stride — due in large part to the efforts of Boogie Ellis.

Meanwhile in the Volunteers' quarterfinal matchup, Tennessee led Butler 36-34 with just over 14 minutes left in the second half. Then, the Vols summoned a 17-1 run while forcing five turnovers. Tennessee ran away with the game from that point on, eventually winning by 26 points.

Can the Volunteers pull off two blowout wins in a row? Or, will this be a much more closely contested battle?

Tennessee Volunteers

Tennessee's offense has struggled considerably to open this season. The Vols report mediocre shooting averages of 47.8% on 2-point shots and 31.9% from 3.

But Tennessee's turnover issues have been even worse than that. The Volunteers have turned the ball over on 20.3% of the team's offensive possessions.

The defense, on the other hand, is one of the top five in the nation — and it remains the reason why Tennessee is winning games despite its offensive struggles.

Tennessee is the best team in the country at generating steals, which it achieves on 17.8% of opponents' offensive possessions. The defense has also been adept at stifling opposing shooting percentages: Tennessee limits opponents to 43.8% from 2-point range and 25.6% from beyond the arc.

Rebounding has been another huge advantage for the Volunteers. Tennessee averages 38.3 rebounds per contest and holds opponents to 5.8 offensive boards per game.

However, I'm not sure that rebounding advantage will be nearly as significant against the fourth-tallest team in Division-I college basketball: The USC Trojans, who are a strong rebounding team in their own right.

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USC Trojans

The Trojans rank 86th in points per game and are led by one of the best 3-point shooters in Division-I basketball: Boogie Ellis.

Ellis ranks in the 91st percentile in 3-point shooting percentage. He has also performed at an elite level on the defensive side of the ball, averaging 2.3 steals per game (96th percentile).

The Trojans defense isn't as good as the Volunteers. Nevertheless, USC will still be able to cause problems for Tennessee — especially around the rim. Tennessee ranks 25th in block percentage, but the Trojans are even better, coming in at 13th.

Whichever team wins the battle at the rim likely wins this game.

USC vs Tennessee Betting Pick

Tennessee's advantage in the paint will be too much for the Trojans in this one. These two teams share a mutual opponent in Florida Gulf Coast, but i don't put much stock in USC's loss to the Eagles in the first game of the season.

The Volunteers defense will be unlike anything USC has seen this season, and I expect the Trojans offense to be in for a rude awakening.

Back the Volunteers as high as a 10-point favorite.

Pick: Tennessee -8.5 ⋅ Play to -10

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