Tennessee vs. Memphis NCAA Basketball Picks and Odds Analysis

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Zakai Zeigler #5 of the Tennessee Volunteers drives while defended by RJ Davis #4 of the University of North Carolina Tar Heels. Dustin Satloff/Getty Images/AFP

Editor’s Note: Today’s Memphis-Tennessee game at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville was canceled shortly before tip-off due to COVID-19 protocols within the Memphis program, according to both schools.

A streaky Memphis team will take on a tough Tennessee team on a neutral court in Nashville. Can Memphis shock the world twice in a row against an SEC opponent?

Let’s look for an answer in the NCAAB odds for today!

Tennessee Volunteers vs. Memphis Tigers

Saturday, December 18, 2021 – 12:00 PM EST at Bridgestone Arena

Betting Analysis

The Memphis Tigers are going to be extremely hard to figure out this year. The Tigers have so much young talent and can beat anyone or lose to anyone. Memphis has knocked off Virginia Tech and Alabama but has also lost to teams like Georgia, Ole Miss, and Murray State. Maybe Memphis is just streaky.

If that’s the case, Memphis is in good shape after just recently knocking off Alabama, 92-78. Now the Tigers get a neutral game against the Tennesse Volunteers. A win against Tennessee would bolster the resume with two straight wins over very good SEC opponents.

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The Volunteers defeated North Carolina earlier in the year but lost the two largest tests against Villanova and Texas Tech, with both games being neutral court games. This is another neutral court game against the Tigers, so we’ll see how that plays out.

Tennessee is one of the best defenses in the nation, if not the best defense in the nation. The Volunteers are ranked first in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency with an 85.6 number. Tennessee is holding opponents to a 44 percent effective field goal percentage while limiting teams to 30.7 percent from long range and 42.7 percent inside.

Memphis, on the other hand, is just simply young and dumb. I mean that in the nicest way possible.

Expert Prediction

Memphis has all the talent in the world and has a bunch of freshmen who you’ll be watching on NBA courts soon. However, the Tigers have turned the ball over 24.8 percent of the time this season. Going up against Tennessee, you don’t want to be turning the ball over like that.

Still, the Tigers get to the line at an extremely high rate this season and will be aggressive on the offensive glass to grab second chance opportunities. Meanwhile, the Volunteers don’t get to the line as Memphis does. However, Tennessee is capable of shooting at a high percentage, hitting 34 percent long-range shots and 54.6 percent from inside.

In contrast, the Volunteers don’t turn the ball over much at all, at 15.3 percent. Plus, Memphis has been pretty poor on the defensive glass, allowing teams to secure nearly 35 percent offensive rebounds this season. Tennessee is grabbing 33.9 percent of offensive rebounds.

Expert Pick

This is a tough game to handicap. I like Tennessee in this spot, but ultimately believe the line is correct. Memphis might find its way to the line more, but ultimately, I still like Tennessee to grab more offensive rebounds and win the turnover battle.

The Volunteers will more than likely get more shot attempts because of those things. Therefore, I’ll grab Tennessee laying the points for my NCAAB pick.

NCAAB Pick: Tennessee -5.5 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Tennessee -5.5 (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.