After losing to the Kentucky Wildcats at home, Tennessee basketball righted the ship with back to back road wins last week over the Mississippi State Bulldogs and LSU Tigers. Both were against first-year head coaches.
Now, the Vols are back in the top five, and they return home to face another first-year head coach. The Georgia Bulldogs are headed to Rocky Top with Mike White at the helm and in the midst of two-game losing streak.
UGA most recently lost to the Vanderbilt Commodores 85-82 at home. Before that, they lost to Kentucky on the road 85-71, immediately after Kentucky beat Tennessee basketball.
Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. ET at Thompson-Boling Arena. FanDuel has the Vols as a 16.5-point favorite with the over/under set at 135.5. While the over/under is a bit tricky, the spread is way too low.
UT beat LSU 77-56 without Uros Plavsic. They have been red-hot offensively ever since about the 10-minute mark in the first half at Mississippi State, and Josiah-Jordan James is finding his rhythm.
Georgia only has one player over 6’7″ in their starting lineup. As a result, if Plavsic is back, he and Olivier Nkamhoua will have a field day inside. If he isn’t, well, Rick Barnes’ small-ball lineup is honestly better offensively anyway.
Either way, the Vols pull this out in dominating fashion. What about the over/under, though? If this game was in Athens, the over would be the right play, as UGA would score a bit more.
However, in Knoxville, where the Vols have dominated defensively except for one weird game against Kentucky, UGA won’t score enough. Simply put, this will be a complete game by the Vols on both sides of the ball.
Take Tennessee basketball to win this one in a blowout, and their defense, which has been elite all year, keeps it from hitting the over. Barnes’ team will put on a show.