Upcoming Match-ups

Tennessee vs Florida Odds and Picks

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in College Basketball

Updated Jan 18, 2021 · 7:10 PM PST

Santiago Vescovi Tennessee Volunteers
Tennessee guard Santiago Vescovi (25) brings the ball down court against Texas A&M during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, in College Station, Texas. (AP Photo/Sam Craft)
  • #6 Tennessee is a 5.5-point favorite over Florida in SEC play on Tuesday (Jan. 19th, 7 pm EST)
  • The Volunteers have won three straight and 10 of 11 overall, while the Gators have lost three of four
  • See below for analysis, odds and a betting prediction

After roaring out of the gate to a 5-1 record, the Florida Gators have hit a wall. The program has dropped three of its past four games in SEC play and are now about to face their toughest test of the season. Florida (6-4, 3-3 SEC) hosts #6 Tennessee (10-1, 4-1 SEC) on Tuesday (Jan. 19th, 7 pm EST), in a battle of two teams going in opposite directions.

#6 Tennessee vs Florida Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Tennessee Volunteers -5.5 (-110) -245 Over 137.5 (-114)
Florida Gators +5.5 (-110) +200 Under 137.5 (-106)

Odds taken Jan. 18th at FanDuel.

The Volunteers opened as 5.5-point favorites in a game that features a total of 137.5. They’ve won three straight and 10 of 11 overall, beating the spread in eight of those contests. The Gators on the other hand, have dropped three of four, and are 5-5 ATS this season.

Volunteers Rout Vandy

Tennessee opened the season by reeling off seven straight wins and after a minor hiccup against #18 Alabama, they’ve strung together three more victories. Last time out, they routed Vanderbilt by 20, beating their cross-state rival for the seventh straight time.

Keon Johnson led the way with 16 points, while three of his teammates also cracked double figures. Balanced scoring is nothing new for the Volunteers, as no player averages more than 12.3 points per outing, but seven players contribute at least 8.4 points per game.

As impressive as the offensive balance is, it’s their defense that draws all the accolades. Tennessee ranks second in defensive efficiency according to KenPom’s metrics, and is allowing the fourth fewest points per night in the nation (57.2). They’re holding enemy shooters 38.5% from the floor and 30.3% from three, and have forced 31 turnovers in the last two games alone.

They’re not a big team, as no rotational player stands taller than 6-foot-9, but they’re fast and extremely athletic. The lack of size won’t hurt them against Florida, as the Gators feature just one primary rotational player above 6-foot-7.

Gators Lost Their Bite

Florida is coming off a 72-69 loss to Mississippi State, in a game they were straight up bullied in. The Gators were outscored 52-28 in the paint and were abused on the glass to the tune of 47-26. The loss dropped them to 3-3 in conference play and marked the third time in four games they’ve shot below 42% from the field.

They were missing two of their three best shooters, Keyontae Johnson and Scottie Lewis, versus Mississippi State and won’t have them in the lineup again on Tuesday. Johnson is out indefinitely with a heart condition, while Lewis will miss his third straight game due to COVID. Both players are averaging in double figures, and that type of production will be tough to replace against such a strong Tennessee defense. Since Johnson went down, the Gators are 3-4, with three of those losses coming by at least 12 points.

Tennessee Keeps Rolling

Prior to their loss to Alabama, the Volunteers were in the conversation for the best team in college basketball, and since that slip-up they’ve looked completely dominant. They have a +51 point differential in conference play this season, and should be able to handle an undermanned Florida program.

Tennessee has the advantage at both ends of the court and their tenacious defense is going to drive the Gators mad. The Volunteers have forced at least 15 turnovers in 10 of 11 games, and only two SEC teams cough up the ball more than Florida.

Pick: Tennessee Volunteers -5.5 (-110)

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