Sunday’s matchup between Tennessee basketball and Maryland in New York City features two top 15 teams with just one loss. The Vols’ loss to the Colorado Buffaloes in Nashville is worse.
However, the Terps have the more recent loss, as they fell to the Wisconsin Badgers on the road earlier in this week. All of this should make for an intriguing neutral site game.
According to FanDuel, Tennessee basketball is a -5.5 favorite. The over/under is set at 134.5, and the line is set at Tennessee -245 and Maryland +198.
Of all those bets, the best play is the under. The Vols haven’t allowed any of their previous four opponents to score more than 50 points, and Maryland is led by a defensive specialist in Kevin Willard. Rick Barnes is a defensive specialist himself.
In terms of defensive stats for the season, Maryland is No. 31 nationally, allowing 61.3 points per game. UT is No. 3 in scoring defense, allowing 51.2 points per game.
On the other side, the Vols are No. 119 in points scored per game at 76, and Maryland is No. 79 at 78.3 points per game. Given these numbers, it’s likely defense wins out.
In terms of the spread and moneyline, the moneyline is probably the biggest toss-up. Rocky Top is the hotter team right now, so they are probably the better bet.
However, Maryland +5.5 is a better bet. The Vols are still banged up with Santiago Vescovi and Josiah-Jordan James both having battled injuries recently. It’s not super clear Uros Plavsic is fully healthy yet either.
UT is No. 7 in both polls, and UMD is No. 13 in both polls. Both teams are 8-1. When you consider the fact that Brooklyn is likely to have more Maryland fans as well. As a result, by every metric, they are the better bet on thge spread.
Note: All gambling odds are subject to change