NCAAB Betting Guide for South Carolina vs Tennessee

NCAAB Betting Guide for South Carolina vs Tennessee article feature image

Eakin Howard/Getty Images. Pictured: Tennessee’s Santiago Vescovi.

South Carolina vs Tennessee Odds

Saturday, Feb. 25
6 p.m. ET
SEC Network
South Carolina Odds
-110o / -110u
Tennessee Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

As the SEC regular season draws to a close, there's still much to be decided at the top of the standings.

For Tennessee, Saturday's matchup against South Carolina will be crucial in securing a double-bye in the SEC Tournament. The Volunteers sit in a tie with Auburn for fourth place.

On the other side, South Carolina would need to pull off a miracle to earn a bid to the NCAA Tournament, as the Gamecocks have won just three games in conference play.

Two of those three victories have come in South Carolina's last four games with wins over LSU and Ole Miss — the only two teams currently below the Gamecocks in the SEC standings.

South Carolina has to be frustrated with the spot it's catching Rick Barnes and the Volunteers in. Tennessee has dropped back-to-back games on the road against Kentucky and Texas A&M.

To find out if Tennessee can take advantage of this great bounce-back opportunity, let's take a look at the odds and make a prediction for South Carolina vs. Tennessee.

South Carolina Gamecocks

Lamont Paris' first year at the helm for South Carolina has had a learning curve. The Gamecocks rank outside the top 195 in both offensive and defensive efficiency, resulting in a 10-18 record.

Of these 10 wins, only two of them have come against teams ranked inside the top 100.

This type of season was somewhat to be expected in Columbia as the Gamecocks returned only 15.9% of their minutes from a year ago. Because of that, they rely heavily on true freshman GG Jackson.

Jackson has been the lone bright spot for this South Carolina roster, as he's averaging 15.5 points and six boards a game.

This talent was put on full display Wednesday when South Carolina gave No. 2 Alabama all it could handle. Jackson led the Gamecocks with 19 points, but they ultimately fell short in overtime.

Can't tell me GG Jackson shouldn't go in the lottery. So talented

— Itamar (@Itamar_17_10) February 23, 2023

Although South Carolina's performance against Alabama was admirable, it should see significant offensive regression against this Tennessee defense.

South Carolina shot 42.9% from 3-point range against the Tide, well above its conference average of 34.1%. The Gamecocks now face a Tennessee defense that has allowed opponents to shoot just 28.7% from beyond the arc in conference play.

In addition to this outside shooting regression, look for South Carolina to struggle to take care of the basketball. The Gamecocks rank 273rd nationally in turnover percentage at 19.7%, and that number will only increase against a Tennessee defense that ranks 17th nationally in the same category.

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Tennessee Volunteers

If Barnes and the Volunteers want to secure a double-bye in the SEC Tournament, they must take care of business on their home floor against a South Carolina unit that seems to have found new life.

Tennessee will first look to its play on the defensive end to get back on track.

The one weakness the Volunteers have shown on this end of the floor is their inability to defend without fouling. This poor habit has resulted in Tennessee's opponents scoring 24.4% of their points from the charity stripe, the sixth-highest rate in all of college basketball.

Luckily for the Vols, South Carolina has struggled at creating penetration and trips to the foul line. The Gamecocks score just 15.6% of their points from the free-throw line, good for 318th nationally.

On the other end of the floor, Tennessee will look to develop a more balanced attack by relying less on its outside shooting. This will have to be its strategy against a South Carolina defense that allows opponents to score just 29.5% of their points from beyond the arc.

Look for Tennessee's offense, which ranks 259th in Adjusted Tempo, to use the shot clock in the half-court to find high-percentage looks on the interior.

South Carolina vs Tennessee Betting Pick

Tennessee will return home to try and take care of business after losing back-to-back games for just the second time this season.

Statistically, the Volunteers have a great matchup against a South Carolina team that has struggled to find consistent offensive success.

For the Vols to handle their business, they will need to make a statement on the defensive end against a South Carolina team that's building momentum on offense.

Additionally, look for Tennessee to take its time on the offensive end in order to find high-percentage looks against a South Carolina defense that can be exposed on the interior.

With the pace of play and Tennessee's defensive superiority in mind, I will gladly invest in the under.

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Nick Sterling
May 17, 2024 UTC