Tennessee vs. Iowa Betting Guide: Can Hot-Shooting Hawkeyes Top Vols in NCAA Tournament?

Tennessee vs. Iowa Betting Guide: Can Hot-Shooting Hawkeyes Top Vols in NCAA Tournament? article feature image
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USA Today Sports. Pictured: Tennessee forward Grant Williams, Iowa forward Tyler Cook

#2 Tennessee vs. #10 Iowa: NCAA Tournament Betting Odds

  • Spread: Tennessee -8
  • Over/Under: 155.5
  • Date: Sunday, March 24
  • Time: 12:10 p.m. ET
  • TV: CBS
  • Location: Columbus, Ohio

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


Iowa (14-20 against the spread) held a shooting clinic en route to its victory over Cincinnati.

The Hawkeyes started slow after star forward Tyler Cook got into foul trouble. Nevertheless, they shot lights-out in the 79-72 victory, with Luka Garza and Joe Wieskamp leading a 3-point effort that went 11-for-22. Cincinnati had no answer for Iowa’s shooting despite winning the turnover battle 14 to 7.

No. 2-seeded Tennessee had issues of its own in the form of sharp-shooting Colgate. The Raiders stayed within covering range the entire game thanks to 52% three-point shooting, tying Tennessee in defensive rebounds. But Colgate isn’t a great defensive team, with most statistical categories outside the top 150 nationally, so Tennessee will face a much stiffer test in the Round of 32.

Will Iowa Duplicate Long-Range Sharp Shooting?

The Hawkeyes rank 66th in 3-point shooting percentage, and took full advantage of a Cincinnati defense that doesn’t defend the perimeter. And there are a few advanced metrics that suggest that could happen again in the second round.

The Volunteers are 211th in opponent 3-point shooting — a stat contrasted with their opponents ranking 58th in the nation in point distribution coming from behind the arc.

Tennessee can be exposed on its defensive glass, ranking 259th. It’s crucial that Cook stay out of foul trouble for the Hawkeyes, as Iowa is 114th nationally in offensive rebounding.

Hitting 3s and crashing the offensive glass will be key against the Volunteers.

Where Will Tennessee Have the Most Success?

Tempo is an area where Tennessee can take advantage of Iowa. The Volunteers love to push offensively with weapons like Grant Williams and Admiral Schofield. Tennessee is 107th in average possession length on offense, while the Iowa defense ranks 312th in the same category. 

Iowa has had a tough season defending 2-point shots, ranking outside the top 300. The Hawkeyes defense is not known for steals, blocks or rebounds. So for Tennessee to win this game, the Vols will need their stars to hit shots while limiting the Hawkeyes on the offensive glass.

Finding Value

Tennessee struggled with a Colgate formula that consisted of long range shooting and offensive rebounds. That will be the exact prescription Iowa will use against the Volunteers.

Tennessee has struggled with perimeter defense and one-on-one penetration. Turnovers have plagued the 2-seed from the SEC, but Iowa does not specialize in creating havoc.

This will be a dog fight on the boards, and if Tennessee does not limit Iowa 3s, the Hawkeyes are a perfect candidate for the upset.

THE PICK: Pass at the current number; I played Iowa +8.5 and would advocate for waiting to see if it moves that direction again.

Our Projected Odds: Tennessee vs. Iowa

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 -10
  • Over/Under: 154
  • Score: Tennessee 82 | Iowa 72
  • Win Probability: Tennessee 84.3% | Iowa 15.7%

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.