Georgia vs. Tennessee Best Bets January 25: Can Bulldogs Pull an Upset over Vols?

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Braelen Bridges #23 of the Georgia Bulldogs dribbles the ball while being guarded by Oscar Tshiebwe #34 of the Kentucky Wildcats in the second half at Rupp Arena on January 17, 2023 in Lexington, Kentucky. Dylan Buell/Getty Images/AFP

NCAAB Pick: Largest lead in game over 20.5 (-104) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Georgia hopes that a trip to Rocky Top is what the Bulldogs need to get past a rocky patch in their season. UGA started the SEC schedule strong, running out to a 3-1 conference record that included a win over Auburn.  

The Dawgs have lost back-to-back games over the last week, however, falling by 14 at Kentucky, then getting upset at home by Vanderbilt. Georgia now sits at 13-6, 3-3 in the league, which puts the Bulldogs in eighth place. Not great for the NCAAB odds.

The Auburn game is Georgia’s only Quad I win so far this season, so a win at Tennessee would provide a significant boost to UGA’s tournament hopes. Georgia has a bad South Carolina team up next, so an upset on Wednesday could help the Dawgs build a modest winning streak.  

Tennessee, meanwhile, is a game out of first place in the SEC, at 16-3, 6-1 in the league. They’ve won seven of eight and their last two, following a home loss to Kentucky. The Vols have three tough games coming up next with Texas and Auburn coming to Tennessee, sandwiched around a trip to Florida. So a win over Georgia will help the Vols keep momentum as they head into that gauntlet.  

Georgia Bulldogs vs. Tennessee Volunteers  

Wednesday, January 25, 2023 – 07:00 PM EST at Thompson-Boling Arena 

Inexplicable Performance 

The home loss to Vanderbilt was a shock to Georgia, not just in the result, but in the way it happened. UGA ranks No. 13 in the nation in defending the three, holding opponents to 28.7% from long range. Vanderbilt lit the Dawgs up from outside, however, hitting 10 out of 21 shots from three in Georgia’s second-worst night defending the arc this season.  

Tennessee enters the game third in the SEC in three-point shooting, so Georgia will need to figure out what went awry against Vandy and get it fixed quickly. Many of the Bulldogs seem to think that complacency was the problem.  

“Maybe we just got into our heads that, 'Oh, we feel like we could beat Vanderbilt' and just got a bit too comfortable. And, you know, they came in here and they beat us,” said Frank Anselem. “It's the SEC: If you relax, you're going to get beat. We just feel like as a team and as a program, we can't let that happen again, so we've just got to focus back in." 

Game of Runs 

The old adage says that basketball is a game of runs, and very few teams are playing that game as well as Tennessee this season. The Vols have gone on runs of 10-0 or better 20 different times this season, which is the third most in the country. A big reason for the success is Tennessee’s defensive strength.

The Vols have the most efficient defense in the country and the best shooting defense in the nation, which allows them to choke off another team and create opportunities to run on missed shots. They also managed to avoid long scoreless stretches, partly by getting plenty of second chances. The Vols have the nation’s best offensive-rebounding percentage.  

One area of concern for Tennessee is an illness that has been working its way through the locker room and caused three Vols to miss games last week. Senior guards Santiago Vescovi and Tyreke Key both missed last Tuesday’s game. Vescovi also had a shoulder problem but was feeling ill as well. Senior center Uros Plavsic missed the weekend game against LSU. On Monday, coach Rick Barnes said that Tennessee still had “some guys a little bit under the weather.” 

The Picks 

The Dawgs will need Tennessee to make the same mistake they did and overlook an opponent who is not expected to win. The Vols have gone 8-0 against Quad III and IV foes this season, however, with an average winning margin of 35.3. That includes a 43-point win over South Carolina. For your NCAAB picks, look for Tennessee to remain on task and dispatch UGA with a comfortable blowout win.  

Peach State locals interested in betting on this game can do it by using any of these Georgia betting sites.

NCAAB Pick: Largest lead in game over 20.5 (-104) at BetOnline 

NCAAB Pick: Tennessee -16.5 (-115) at BetOnline

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Tennessee -16.5 (-115)
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