Colorado vs. Tennessee Odds & Pick: College Basketball Betting Preview
Eakin Howard/Getty Images. Pictured: Zakai Zeigler #5 of the Tennessee Volunteers.
Colorado vs. Tennessee Odds
-105o / -115u
-105o / -115u
Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN will be the site of a college basketball matchup between Tennessee and Colorado both coming off 20+ win seasons.
Tennessee opened the year with a 75-43 win against Tennessee Martin. The Volunteers put on a defensive clinic, forcing Tennessee Martin into 22 total turnover resulting in just 43 points.
Indiana State transfer Tyreke Key shined in his first game as a Volunteer, leading the team with 17 points and three steals.
Colorado will roll into Nashville with two games under its belt. The Buffaloes opened the year with a 82-66 victory at home against UC Riverside. Colorado then dropped one on the road 74-83 to Grambling State.
Colorado has been lead by point guard KJ Simpson, who has opened his sophomore season with 30 total points through two games.
Most notable for the Buffaloes is the addition of transfer J’Vonne Hadley from Indian Hills Community College. Hadley has scored 32 total points through two games.
Will Colorados experienced returning unit have an answer for Tennessee’s defense, or will Tennessee continue to force opponents into making mistakes?
Let’s dive in.
Colorado enters the 2022-23 season after a 21-12 season that ended with a first round NIT loss to St. Bonaventure 68-76.
Colorado will start four players from last season’s team Sunday afternoon in Nashville. Leading the group is the Simpson who ranked sixth in the PAC-12 in 2022 in assist rate at 24.4%. Colorado ranks 94th in minutes continuity at 50.3%.
Simpson will need to improve on the assist numbers for Colorado to return to the NCAA Tournament in 2022. Last season, Colorado ranked 181st nationally in Assists to Field Goals Made at just 49.1%.
The first person Simpson should get involved in the offense is Hadley, the newest member of the team. He joined the Buffaloes after playing for Indiana State Community College last season. Hadley was a major contributor for Indiana State, averaging 10.9 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.
“I’ll take that, thank you very much” – J'Vonne Hadley probably
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) November 8, 2022
For Colorado to have success against a suffocating Tennessee defense, Simpson will have to get the ball to his playmakers like Hadley early and often.
What will be critical for Colorado is their ability to create extra possessions which have incredible value when playing the Volunteers defense. Last year the Buffaloes were 111th in offensive rebound percentage at 30%. Comparatively, Tennessee was top 50 in the country at 32.5% in the same category.
If the Volunteers are able to match there top-tier defense with extra possessions through offensive rebounds, this could be a long afternoon for Colorado.
Head coach Rick Barnes and the Tennessee Volunteers will look to bounce back after a disappointing end to their 2021-22 campaign.
The Volunteers were bounced in the second round of the NCAA Tournament by Michigan 68-76. After earning a No. 3 seed this second round exit was more than a let down for Tennessee.
Barnes has to be thrilled with a stellar trio returning trio from last years roster. Guard Zakai Zeigler, forward Santiago Vescovi, and center Uros Plavsic all return after starting a year ago. That experience is invaluable for Tennessee on the defensive end.
Last season the Volunteers ranked third nationally in Adjusted defensive efficiency and 16th nationally in Turnover percentage. This havoc creating defense was a nightmare for opponents and their high ranking effeciency numbers should maintain as a result of the experienced returning trio in their starting lineup.
The most notable addition for the Volunteers is Indiana State transfer Tyreke Key. In 2020, Key averaged 17.2 points during his senior season for Indiana State. In the Volunteers’ first contest against Tennessee Tech, Key looked to be right at home leading the team with 17 total points.
If Tyreke Key keeps up this play, there's a real chance he'll work his way into draft conversations. Key went 4-8 from 3 yesterday w/ several off-movement 3s & showed NBA range.
Also dropped 26 points and went 4-7 from 3 in Tennessee's scrimmage against Gonzaga pic.twitter.com/p2WRNrhx34
— Zach Milner (@ZachMilner13) November 8, 2022
For a team that beats teams primarily through their sound defensive play, an offensive addition such as Key through the transfer portal is crucial to the Volunteers overall success.
Colorado vs. Tennessee Pick
Colorado has already shown this season that it might still be searching for its identity offensively, only scoring 74 points against Grambling State who 245th in adjusted defensive efficiency last season.
This type of offensive performance is a recipe for disaster against a Tennessee team that can make life miserable for opposing offenses.
I expect Barnes to turn this game into a defensive slug fest, an area in which his team excels.
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