Tennessee vs. Ole Miss Odds, Picks | College Basketball Betting Guide (Wednesday, Dec. 28)
Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images. Pictured: Rick Barnes (Tennessee)
- Tennessee travels to Mississippi to take on Ole Miss in an SEC affair on Wednesday.
- The Vols have been elite on defense, so will that continue against the Rebels?
- Cooper Van Tatenhove dives in and explains why the value is on the total.
Tennessee vs. Ole Miss Odds
-110o / -110u
|Ole Miss Odds|
-110o / -110u
Tennessee had another impressive non-conference start under Rick Barnes, with its only loss since early November coming to No. 5 Arizona on the road.
Kermit Davis has found success this season for Ole Miss despite significant roster turnover. The Rebels won their first six games before dropping four of their last six.
Wednesday’s matchup with Tennessee will be a crucial bounce-back spot for an Ole Miss team that was upset by North Alabama on its home floor in its last time out.
Barnes has built yet another national title contender at Tennessee behind his patented fundamental defense.
The Volunteers rank No. 1 in a plethora of defensive categories, including adjusted efficiency, effective FG% and 3P%. This ability to force teams into poor shots is combined with an ability to create turnovers at a 26.3% rate (third nationally).
That’s due in large part to their 15.7% steal rate (also third nationally).
All of these categories have resulted in Tennessee holding its opponents to 52.75 points per game, which is the third-lowest rate in the country.
This stout Tennessee defense matches up perfectly with an Ole Miss offense that has struggled of late. In their last three games (all at home), the Rebels have averaged 63 points per game, putting them well below the national average.
This poor offensive performance for the Rebels has been defined by a susceptibility to turnovers. The Rebels have had the ball stolen on 11.2% of their offensive possessions (306th nationally).
This inability to take care of the basketball is not likely to change against Tennessee, which has the third-highest steal rate in the country.
In addition, the Volunteers are No. 1 nationally in preventing 3-point success, an area that Ole Miss has struggled all year. The Rebels rank 275th nationally in 3P% at just 31.4%.
Overall, I do not expect the Ole Miss offense to have a get-right game against one of the best defenses in the country, even while playing at home.
Even though the Rebels have struggled to find consistent success on the offensive end this season, they have played well enough defensively to hold an 8-4 record.
Defensively, Ole Miss has been effective at chasing teams off the 3-point line and funneling them to the interior, where the Rebels have a size advantage over most opponents.
The Rebels rank just outside the top 80 in average height at 77.7”. This length has resulted in a defense that blocks shots on 12.2% of its opponents’ possessions (49th nationally). This block% has resulted in a top-25 ranking in 2P% allowed.
This defensive approach matches up well with a Tennessee offense that attempts 41.8% of its total FGA’s from beyond the arc.
The Volunteers only derive 44.9% of their offense from the interior, which will be tested against an Ole Miss team that will not allow open shots from the perimeter.
Tennessee is most successful offensively in getting to the free-throw line. The Volunteers score 22% of their points from the charity stripe, the 36th-highest rate in the country.
Unfortunately for Tennessee, Ole Miss has been able to defend without fouling consistently this season. The Rebels allow their opponents to score just 16.1% of their points from the line, which is 271st nationally.
Look for Ole Miss to limit Tennessee’s offense.
Tennessee vs. Ole Miss Betting Pick
I look at this matchup between Tennessee and Ole Miss as strength-on-strength defensively.
Both teams, particularly Tennessee, have competent defenses that have allowed their offensive shortcomings to be hidden.
Additionally, Ole Miss is desperately looking for an offensive get-right game. This will be a near impossible task against one of the most overwhelming defenses in the country.
Even given this low total, (126.5 at the time of writing) I still see value on the under in a game that KenPom projects as a 67-58 victory for Tennessee.
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