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Texas Tech vs. Tennessee Odds & Picks: How to Bet This College Basketball Clash at Madison Square Garden

Texas Tech vs. Tennessee Odds & Picks: How to Bet This College Basketball Clash at Madison Square Garden article feature image
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Dustin Satloff/Getty Images. Pictured: Victor Bailey Jr.

  • Tennessee and Texas Tech go head-to-head at Madison Square Garden as part of the Jimmy V Classic.
  • The Red Raiders may have difficultly dealing with the Vols' vaunted defense.
  • D.J. James breaks down the matchup and offers up his best bet.

Texas Tech vs. Tennessee Odds

Tuesday, Dec. 7
7 p.m. ET
ESPN
Texas Tech Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+4
-104
137.5
-104o / -118u
+160
Tennessee Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-4
-118
137.5
-104o / -118u
-194
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Tennessee and Texas Tech head to the Garden in NYC on Tuesday in what has the potential to be the most entertaining game of the day. Both teams have had a great start to the season, each with a 6-1 record.

Tennessee has a pair of marquee wins in the early going, beating both North Carolina and Colorado. The Red Raiders have yet to beat a solid program after dropping their last game on the road in Providence, but they still have a top 25-caliber team on both sides of the ball.

Even though this game will be played on a neutral court, Tennessee’s stifling defense should provide the ultimate boost as slight favorites.


Texas Tech Red Raiders

Mark Adams has put his best foot forward for this chapter of the Red Raiders’ book, as he landed four noteworthy transfers in Kevin Obanor, Davion Warren, Bryson Williams and Adonis Arms.

The team boasts five players averaging 10 points per game or more, and while these numbers will surely drop as the competition becomes harder headed into Big 12 play, this team can distribute the ball with the best teams in the sport.

The Red Raiders can rebound from virtually every position, which gives them a massive advantage over most competition. The Vols, however, have a few players who stand out on the glass. That means the Red Raiders are likely to have a tougher time on the boards than they’ve seen at any point so far this season.

Texas Tech forces turnovers consistently, ranking fifth in the country in turnover percentage on defense. Tennessee only turns the ball over about 17% of the time on offense, but players like Mylik Wilson, Kevin McCullar and others could make things hectic in the Tennessee backcourt.

For as good as the Red Raiders are at forcing turnovers, though, they give the ball away even more themselves.

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Tennessee Volunteers

The Volunteers could very well be the best team in the SEC, and the credit goes to their defense. They rank 26th in turnover rate, including averaging 10.3 steals per game.

The Red Raiders’ guards have struggled to maintain possessions and they have yet to face a ferocious defense like the one they’ll see on Tuesday.

Josiah Jordan-James and Kennedy Chandler will lead the disruptions from the backcourt for the Volunteers. Both average two steals per game or more, so look for the Vols to get out in transition if that duo gets its hands on a few wayward passes.

Tennessee has struggled to crash the glass this season, but it should turn its weakness into a strength in this matchup. The rebounding margin should be slim by game’s end.

Tennessee has not shown it can get to the free throw line on a consistent bases, but Texas Tech always seems to get into foul trouble. The Vols shoot 75.4% from the free throw line, so they should have an edge there as well.


Texas Tech vs. Tennessee Betting Pick

The Volunteers have one of the best defenses in the country and look far more even with high caliber teams. Texas Tech has not shown it can match up with the best teams in the country, so Tennessee will be a tough test in this game.

Given how Tennessee’s strengths outweigh Texas Tech’s, the Volunteers are the correct side. Take them at -2 and play it to -3.5.

Pick: Tennessee -2 (Play to -3.5)

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