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Tennessee vs South Carolina Odds & Predictions: Total Bet to Make

Tennessee vs South Carolina Odds & Predictions: Total Bet to Make article feature image
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Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images. Pictured: Santiago Vescovi (Tennessee)

Tennessee vs. South Carolina Odds

Saturday, Jan. 7
3:30 p.m. ET
SEC Network
Tennessee Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-16.5
-115
127.5
-110o / -110u
-3000
South Carolina Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+16.5
-105
127.5
-110o / -110u
+1200
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college basketball odds here.

Following wins in its first pair of conference games, No. 8 Tennessee looks to stay perfect in SEC play with a victory at South Carolina on Saturday.

The Volunteers took care of business against both Mississippi schools in SEC play, including a 34-point blowout of Mississippi State in the last triumph.

Meanwhile, the Gamecocks have struggled under first-year head coach Lamont Paris, entering this matchup with a 7-7 record and an overtime loss at Vanderbilt.

I agree with the oddsmakers that this may not be a very competitive game, and I also do not see a lot of points from either team in this matchup.


Tennessee Volunteers

Head coach Rick Barnes has built a very strong program on Rocky Top, and this team is built on the hard-nosed defense that opponents have all become accustomed to.

You could argue that the Volunteers are the best defensive team in the country, leading the nation in AdjD, EFG% and 3-point defense, according to Bart Torvik.

This is also the same Tennessee squad that is fifth in the country in causing turnovers and 12th in opponent 2-point shooting percentage. Barnes’ team held both Mississippi schools under 60 points.

Offensively, Tennessee can attack you with multiple scorers, led by Santiago Vescovi’s 12.8 points per game. There are three other Volunteers that average double figures and another that is just under that mark.

South Carolina Gamecocks

If there is a glimmer of hope in this one, it’s the fact that South Carolina is a much better team at the Colonial Life Arena.

The Gamecocks own a perfect 6-0 record at home this season, which includes victories over Clemson and Western Kentucky. Meanwhile, they have only one win on the road or on a neutral floor.

Paris’ squad has struggled in his debut campaign, but there is a potential star in Gregory “GG” Jackson II. The freshman big man is top-10 in the SEC in both scoring (16.6 PPG) and rebounding (7.4 RPG).

He is joined by three other Gamecocks who average double figures, but there is not a lot of depth and consistency beyond those guys.

This could be a long first season for Paris until he is able to add more talent to the roster.

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Tennessee vs. South Carolina Betting Pick

When I look at this game, I question how both teams are going to be able to put up enough points for this to go over the total of 125.

Yes, South Carolina does have GG, but this Gamecocks squad is terrible offensively. On the season, they rank outside the top 290 in AdjO, EFG% and 2-point shooting.

Meanwhile, Tennessee’s offense has not traveled as well as its defense. Away from home, the Volunteers have averaged 66 points, which is much less than the 83 points per game they average at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Another key reason for this falling under the total is the fact that these are two teams that like to play at slower tempos. The Vols are outside the top 200 in tempo, while South Carolina is even slower at 332nd in the nation.

I do expect the Gamecocks to be competitive enough on their home floor, which makes the huge spread feel even bigger with this low total.

However, I’ll stick with my best bet of this game slipping under the total of 125.

Pick: Under 125 (Play to 122)

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