College Basketball Odds, Picks, Predictions: South Carolina vs. Tennessee (Tuesday, Jan. 11)
Photo by Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Kennedy Chandler (Tennessee)
- The South Carolina Gamecocks take on the Tennessee Volunteers in SEC action on Tuesday night.
- Both teams are looking to secure their second win in conference play as they meet on the hardwood.
- Kyle Remillard breaks down the game and shares his top betting pick below.
South Carolina vs. Tennessee Odds
|South Carolina Odds|
-110o / -110u
-110o / -110u
South Carolina and Tennessee were projected to finish at opposite ends of the SEC, but both own a 10-4 record through the first two months of the season.
The South Carolina women’s basketball squad currently ranks first in the AP Poll, but the men’s team hasn’t found the same success.
Frank Martin hit the reset button after finishing 6-15 last season — his worst record since joining the program. He’s been able to install his hard-nosed defense with the team, which has proven effective early in the season.
Tennessee has taken a different path to its 10-4 record, with all its losses coming to teams that rank inside the top 20 in the country. The program played just two games over a 22-day span during the holidays, which took a toll on the offense.
There is value on the total in this matchup between two teams that are struggling to get back into their offensive groove.
The Gamecocks look to be following a similar blueprint to recent years, with a solid defense and an offense that can’t find its consistency.
South Carolina ranks 40th in the country in defensive efficiency rating, allowing 69 points per game. The defense has been elite at defending inside the paint, holding opponents to 43% on 2-point attempts, which ranks 12th nationally.
But the defense has had two major pain points in fouling and allowing offensive rebounds. The Gamecocks have allowed foul shots on 43% of their opponents’ field goal attempts (349th) and have allowed offensive rebounds on 33% of misses (307th).
The offense hasn’t seen the same success, as it ranks outside the top 180 in efficiency rating. However, the Gamecocks average over 70 points per game. They own a deep bench with over a dozen players seeing significant minutes. Five of them are averaging over nine points per game.
The group has been awful with its shooting, hitting just 31% from 3-point range (258th), 49% on 2-point attempts (182nd) and 66% from the free-throw line (290th).
Erik Stevenson is the leading scorer, averaging a dozen points per game. 57% of his shot attempts come from behind the arc, yet he has hit just 29% of his 86 3-point attempts.
Tennessee owns an elite defense that ranks third in the nation in defensive efficiency and has allowed 61 points per game this season. The defense has been strong at defending 2-point attempts, holding opponents to 45%. The Volunteers have forced turnovers on 25% of their possessions, which ranks 13th in the country.
The chink in the defensive armor is they haven’t been great at defending the 3-point line, allowing teams to hit on 33%. But that shouldn’t be an issue matching up against South Carolina, which takes only 33% of its shot attempts from outside and hits on 31%.
The offense is led by Kennedy Chandler and Santiago Vescovi, who are each averaging 13 points per game. The duo has contributed on 46% of the team’s total assists this season, which is saying a lot as the Volunteers have assisted on 62% of their field goal attempts this season.
Chandler ranks third in the SEC with 5.2 assists and second with 2.3 steals per game.
Rick Barnes was not shy in calling out John Fulkerson during his press conference this week. After putting up 24 points and 10 rebounds against Arizona, the sixth-year senior scored just eight points to go with five rebounds in his last two contests.
South Carolina vs. Tennessee Betting Pick
Despite ranking 87th nationally in tempo, the Gamecocks opened the season going under the total in nine of their first 10 games. The offense scored 100+ points in two games this season, but if you remove that from the equation, the offense averages just 68 points per game.
In its last game against Vanderbilt, the offense hit just 17% of its 17 attempts from outside. The group committed 22 turnovers and allowed Vanderbilt to shoot 36 free-throw attempts.
Both offenses rank outside the top 220 in the country in 3-point percentage, with neither converting above 33%. The strength to both offenses is inside the paint, which is also where both defenses thrive.
Tennessee’s offense has struggled as of late, scoring just 68, 66 (OT) and 67 points over its last three games. In that span, the group has hit 23-of-87 3-point attempts.
The defensive intensity should be at an all-time high early in conference play. Both defenses will own the advantage over the opposing offense, so there is value on this game to stay under the total.
Pick: Under 140 (Play to 138)
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