College Basketball Odds, Pick, Prediction: Tennessee vs. Vanderbilt (Tuesday, Jan. 18)

College Basketball Odds, Pick, Prediction: Tennessee vs. Vanderbilt (Tuesday, Jan. 18) article feature image

Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images. Pictured: Olivier Nkamhoua (Tennessee)

  • Tennessee and Vanderbilt square off in an in-state SEC showdown.
  • The Vols were awful defensively vs. Kentucky, but Rick Barnes should have his team ready on the road.
  • Keg offers up his best bet after previewing the matchup.

Tennessee vs. Vanderbilt Odds

Tuesday, Jan. 18
9 p.m. ET
SEC Network
Tennessee Odds
-110o / -110u
Vanderbilt Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

The Volunteers will head to Nashville to take on the Commodores in a game that couldn't come at a better time for Tennessee, or a worse time for Vanderbilt.

The Volunteers are 2-3 in the SEC while the Commodores are 2-2. But Tennessee is looking to bounce back after its worst loss of the season after falling 107-79 against Kentucky. Also, Nashville has been a second home for Rick Barnes and his team.

Tennessee has not yet lost to an unranked opponent this season, and since Barnes arrived in Knoxville, the Volunteers are 10-3 against Vanderbilt. They are currently on an eight-game win streak vs. Vandy, as well. No player on Tennessee’s current roster has ever lost a game at Vanderbilt’s Memorial Gymnasium.

In the last eight losses to Tennessee, Vanderbilt is 4-3-1 ATS. But five of its six losses this year have come at home, and Vanderbilt is just 5-3 ATS in its own building.

Can Rick Barnes and the Volunteers extend their streak of dominance over in-state rival Vanderbilt?

Tennessee Volunteers

Tennessee is one of the best defensive teams in the country, as it currently ranks fifth in adjusted defensive efficiency.

But you would have no idea if you watched the Vols' game against Kentucky.

The Volunteers gave up a season high 107 points to the Wildcats before losing by 28 as a 4.5-point underdog.

But on the bright side, they did look good on offense.

Tennessee shot 53% from the floor and 48% from 3-point range. Kentucky just couldn't miss.

The Volunteers also had four players record double figures in points, led by Santiago Vescovi with 20 points. Vescovi leads the team this season, averaging 14 points per game.

I wouldn't expect the same level of scoring against Vanderbilt, as both team's defenses have been much better than their offenses all season. I also think Barnes will make a point to establish their defense after their worst showing of the season.

Tennessee allows teams to shoot the 3 and focuses on allowing little to nothing around the basket, using its ability to block and force turnovers. That strategy should bode well against the 269th-worst 3-point shooting team in the country in Vanderbilt.

Even after the loss to Kentucky, Tennessee still ranks 40th in college basketball, allowing opposing teams to average just 63.6 points per game.

They are also seventh in the nation with 10.3 steals per game.

The Volunteers' offense is 55th — averaging 75.5 points per game — and ranks 52nd in adjusted offensive efficiency.

One area that could lead to issues for the Volunteers is if this game becomes a free-throw shoot off. Tennessee is one of the worst free-throw shooting teams in the country, as it currently ranks 316th. The Vols are only making 66% of their charity stripe opportunities.

Vanderbilt, however, has been considerably better, making 71% of free throws as a team.

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Vanderbilt Commodores

Jordan Wright led the Commodores past Georgia on Saturday, racking up 20 points, 12 rebounds and six assists en route to their 73-66 victory

The win over the Bulldogs was the fifth in the last seven games for Vandy. They've also covered the spread in the same amount of games over that stretch.

Similar to Tennessee, just two players average in double figures for the Commodores. The previously mentioned Wright, who is averaging 12.4 per game, and Scotty Pippen Jr., who is tied for the leading scoring position in the SEC at 18.8 points per game.

As a team, Vanderbilt is averaging only 70.2 points per game — a number that has it ranked 11th in the SEC. The Commodores are also 10th in the conference in adjusted offensive efficiency.

While the offense isn't good, the Commodores have been a force on defense, allowing opposing teams to record just 63.6 points per game. They also rank fourth in the SEC in forced turnovers with 16.4 per game.

Tennessee vs. Vanderbilt Betting Pick

In four of the last five meetings between Tennessee and Vanderbilt, the Volunteers have come away with the win by 12 points or more. And while Pippin Jr. may be one of the best scorers in the SEC, he will need maybe the best game of his career to will his team past the Volunteers.

And to make matters worse for the Commodores, Tennessee is looking to bounce back from the Kentucky game, something I think it'll be able to do in Nashville.

Tennessee is the better team on both ends of the court, and its defense should return to its former prominence.

Lay the points with Tennessee.

Pick: Tennessee -7.5 or better 

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Nick Sterling
Jul 21, 2024 UTC