NCAAB Odds, Pick for Ole Miss vs Tennessee

NCAAB Odds, Pick for Ole Miss vs Tennessee article feature image

Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images. Pictured: Tennessee forward Dalton Knecht.

Ole Miss vs Tennessee Odds, Pick

Saturday, Jan. 6
6 p.m. ET
SEC Network
Ole Miss Odds
-115o / -105u
Tennessee Odds
-115o / -105u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAB odds here.

No. 5 Tennessee and No. 22 Ole Miss meet at the Food City Center on Saturday night for a matchup of nationally-ranked programs to open Southeastern Conference play.

The Volunteers won six straight, including all five games in December, to enter conference action with a 10-3 record.

Meanwhile, the Rebels are one of just three undefeated teams remaining in college basketball, boasting a perfect 13-0 mark.

This is the marquee matchup on the hardwood on Saturday night. It should be a great battle in Knoxville.

Ole Miss Rebels

No team in the country has had a better turnaround than the Rebels under coach Chris Beard.

They've already surpassed their win total from last season, and it's just the second time in program history for Ole Miss to win its first 13 games.

Yes, it's helped that Beard’s team has played the 290th-ranked strength of schedule, per Kenpom. However, there are some great wins on the Rebels’ resume.

The best stretch of the year came in back-to-back wins over top 70 NET teams Memphis and NC State. This squad has also taken down a solid UCF program in nonconference play.

In his debut season as coach, Beard is getting the best out of guard Matthew Murrell on both sides of the court. The senior leads the team in scoring at 17 points per game, and he ranks in the top 30 in the country in steals (2.3 per game).

With Beard’s pedigree, the Rebels are a team to watch in March.

Tennessee Volunteers

Bringing back a veteran roster from the team that went to the Sweet 16 last year, there were high expectations for Rick Barnes’ squad coming into the season.

The Volunteers haven't disappointed.

In non-conference play, Tennessee has picked up wins over Quad 1 foes Illinois and Wisconsin and a solid victory over Syracuse. The three losses have all come against programs currently ranked in the top 10.

Outside of the veteran returners, one essential addition in the offseason was guard Dalton Knecht from Northern Colorado. The fifth-year transfer leads the Vols in scoring at 15.6 points per game while shooting over 45% from the field.

Once you add the veterans of Josiah-Jordan James, Zakai Zeigler and Santiago Vescovi, the Vols are built for a run in March.

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Ole Miss vs. Tennessee

Betting Pick & Prediction

Overs have been cashing plenty in the young season. But I'm fading that trend as we enter conference play.

My best bet for this game is Under 142.5 at FanDuel, which I would play down to 139.5.

Tennessee boasts an elite defense. Per BartTorvik, the Vols rank top 10 nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency (second), effective field goal percentage allowed (fifth), and 2-point shooting allowed (eighth). And they've posted these numbers against a set of opponents that KenPom ranks 20th in offensive efficiency.

Yes, the Rebels have solid offensive metrics, but primarily because they played a soft set of defenses that collectively ranks 219th. Meanwhile, Ole Miss ranks only 275th in tempo, further fueling a low-scoring affair.

This is also just the third true road game for Coach Beard’s team. This same play would have cashed in the trip to Orlando to play UCF’s stout defense.

In a defensive league like the SEC, I expect lower-scoring games that fall Under the total, starting with this opener.

Pick: Under 142.5 (Play to 139.5)

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