Tennessee-Ole Miss Betting Preview: Can Vols Right the Ship?

Tennessee-Ole Miss Betting Preview: Can Vols Right the Ship? article feature image

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jordan Bone

Wednesday in late February is much more than just “hump day.” It’s often present one of the last opportunities for college basketball teams to right the ship before conference tournaments begin..

Let’s take a close look at a team needing to get over its recent slump when Tennessee travels to Ole Miss.

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Betting Odds: Tennessee Volunteers at Mississippi Rebels 

  • Spread: Tennessee -4.5
  • Over/Under: 149.5
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET
  • TV: SECN

Tennessee (24-3) is looking to get back on track after losing two of its last three games. The Vols have lost their last two road games, at Kentucky and at LSU.  They’re 13-11-1 overall against the spread, including 6-4 on the road.

Mississippi (19-8) has greatly exceeded its preseason expectations. The Rebels are 9-5 in the SEC despite being predicted to finish last. They are 16-8 overall ATS but only 7-6 at home.

But this is a perfect matchup for Tennessee.

The Vols have struggled against the massive front lines of Kentucky and LSU, but will be evenly matched up against Mississippi. Despite their struggles, the Volunteers are still the top-ranked offense in the SEC by adjusted offensive efficiency. They also rank first in effective field goal percentage, 2P%, and free throw percentage. Tennessee also shoots a respectable 36.8% from 3P, while the Rebels rank last in the conference in 3P allowed.

The weakness of Tennessee is on the boards, but Mississippi will not be able to take advantage. The Rebels rank 11th in defensive rebounding while ranking ninth in offensive rebounding. Ole Miss will struggle to contain reigning SEC Player of the Year, Tennessee forward Grant Williams (19.1 ppg).

Mississippi has enjoyed a strong year overall, but its in-conference metrics are ordinary. The Rebels rank sixth in both offensive efficiency and defensive efficiency. They rank sixth in offensive 3P percentage and eighth in 2P%.

The strength of the Rebels is their guard play, an area where the Volunteers are simply better. Guards Admiral Schofield (16.9 ppg) and Jordan Bone (13.2 ppg, 6.3 apg) are great two-way players that Mississippi will struggle to contain. The Rebels have lost to teams with strong guard play in Florida, Iowa State, Alabama and South Carolina. Tennessee represents the same type of team, plus the All-American in Williams on the interior.

Having lost two of their last three games, the Volunteers will bring their best effort to Oxford tonight. Mississippi has enjoyed a strong season but it’s just a rough matchup. With the Rebels having no answer for Williams and an unfavorable matchup in the backcourt, look for Tennessee to grab a crucial SEC road win.

THE PICK: Tennessee -4.5

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