Tennessee vs. Colgate Betting Guide: Which Sharp-Shooting Offense Covers Spread?

Tennessee vs. Colgate Betting Guide: Which Sharp-Shooting Offense Covers Spread? article feature image

USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Colgate Raiders forward Will Rayman (10) and Tennessee Volunteers forward Grant Williams (2)

#2 Tennessee vs. #15 Colgate NCAA Tournament Betting Odds

  • Spread: Tennessee -17.5
  • Over/Under: 148
  • Date: Friday, March 22
  • Time: 2:45 p.m. ET
  • Location: Columbus, Ohio
  • TV: CBS

>> All odds as of Thursday night. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and live win probabilities on your bets.

Colgate (19-14 against the spread) has not lost a game since Feb. 2, riding an 11-game winning streak that included a victory and easy cover against Bucknell in the Patriot League championship game.

Colgate is pretty awful at creating pressure to force turnovers, but as Auburn displayed in the SEC Championship game, there is one skill that tends to be the ultimate equalizer against Tennessee:

Tennessee (17-15-1 ATS) comes to Columbus looking for redemption after an embarrassing SEC final against Auburn. The Volunteers lost three of their final seven games after putting together a fantastic resume with wins over Gonzaga, Louisville and Florida.

Tennessee is one of the top shooting teams in the country, which helped it collect a 9-1 Over record away from Knoxville this year.

Combine Tennessee and Colgate’s shooting prowess, and we should see plenty of points in this contest.

Tennessee’s Offense Won’t Have Problems

Grant Williams (19.0 ppg), Admiral Schofield (16.2 ppg), and Jordan Bone (13.5 ppg) should have a great opening round against the Raiders defense. Colgate has a mid-tier defense — the Raiders rank 162nd in opponent effective field goal percentage (50.6%) — and that’s come against a strength of schedule rank of 254th.

Colgate is also outside the top 200 in turnover percentage (18.9%) and ranks 327th in steal percentage (10.5%), which means Tennessee’s offensive weapons should have no issues when it comes to bringing the ball up or creating shots.

Finally, Tennessee ranks third in minutes continuity this season (82.9%), and while that may not even matter in this particular contest, it will help the Volunteers survive other closely contested ball games.

Colgate’s Offense Can Hang

This game will come down to how much effort Tennessee commits to playing defense. Colgate is a fantastic offensive team that ranks 12th in the country in 3-point percentage (39.1%), with 36.1% of its total points coming from deep.

The Raiders also rank top-60 in free throw percentage (74.3%), top 50 in 2-point percentage (53.9%), and their effective field goal percentage of 55.9% is ranked 14th in the nation.

Colgate can flat out shoot the ball no matter the range.

Another concern for Tennessee is Colgate’s rebounding. The Raiders are 103rd on the offensive glass and 113th in defensive rebounding. This has been an issue for the Volunteers all season. On the Action Colleges podcast, we’ve consistently stated that any team capable of exposing the Vols’ 266th-ranked defensive rebounding can hang with them.

The Pick

Colgate brings two skills to this game that can give Tennessee problems: excellent shooting and excellent rebounding.

Those tools should be enough for Colgate to cover, but the Raiders won’t create enough havoc defensively against an experienced and deeply talented Vols team to steal the outright victory.

Still, KenPom projects this game as a 15-point win for Tennessee, leaving a bit of value with Colgate at the current number.

Collin’s Pick: Colgate +17.5

Our Projected Odds: Tennessee vs. Colgate

Get point spreads for this game and every possible tournament matchup with our bracket simulator built by Sean Koerner, our Director of Predictive Analytics, a former oddsmaker and FantasyPros’ most accurate in-season fantasy football ranker from 2015-2017.

  • Spread: Tennessee -18
  • Total: 146
  • Proj Score: Tennessee 82 | Colgate 64
  • Win Probability: Tennessee 97.2% | Colgate 2.8%

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game is from the individual writer and are based on his research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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