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Longwood vs Tennessee Picks and Odds

George Nassios

by George Nassios in College Basketball

Updated Mar 16, 2022 · 10:24 PM PDT

Tennessee guard Kennedy Chandler celebrating his team's SEC Tournament title victory
Tennessee guard Kennedy Chandler (1) celebrates during the final seconds of the second half of an NCAA men's college basketball Southeastern Conference tournament championship game Sunday, March 13, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. Tennessee defeated Texas A&M. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
  • The Tennessee Volunteers are 17 point favorites vs Longwood on Thursday, March 17th
  • This is the first NCAA Tournament appearance for the Longwood Lancers
  • Read below for Tennessee vs Longwood odds, predictions and best pick

The Tennessee Volunteers (26-7, 20-13 ATS) take on March Madness debutants, the Longwood Lancers (26-6, 19-9 ATS) in South Region First Round action. The game will be played inside Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis with tip off scheduled for 2:45 pm ET on Thursday, March 17th and will be broadcast live on CBS.

The Volunteers are 17-point favorites in this 3 vs 14 seed matchup. The 17 point line in favor of Tennessee is the fourth-largest opening spread for all Thursday games.

Let’s take a look at all the odds between Longwood and Tennessee while studying our best bet for this first round matchup.

Longwood vs Tennessee Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Total
Longwood +1150 +17 (-110) O 132 (-109)
Tennessee -2500 +17 (-110) U 132 (-112)

Odds as of March 15th at Barstool Sportsbook.


As massive -2500 moneyline favorites, the Vols have an implied win probability of 96.15%, as the books are giving the Lancers almost no chance of scoring an upset. Longwood are tied for the longest Final Four odds with several other longshots at +25000.

Longwood Lancers Betting Outlook

In games with these huge odds, many ask what is the best March Madness betting strategy to take? One thing to look at is the analytics of the big underdog, in this case, Longwood.

That’s where things can get a bit worrisome for the Lancers. Competing in the Big South Conference means you’re not going against stellar competition like Tennessee on a regular basis, and according to KenPom their strength of schedule was 344th in Division I, one of the easiest in the whole nation.

Where did they benefit? They had a luck rating of .095% according to KenPom, 21st in the nation which put them in the top 10 percentile, but eventually that luck runs out, especially when facing a stacked squad like the Vols.

Longwood only joined Division I in 2012, so they are ecstatic just to be in the big dance for the first time. The Lancers are led by guards Justin Hill, who led the team in scoring with 14.2 points per game, and Isaiah Wilkins who scored a team leading 19 points in a 79-58 victory over Winthrop in the Big South Tournament Final.

Tennessee Volunteers Betting Strategy

Tennessee is on a roll right now having won 12 of its last 13 games, led by freshman Kennedy Chandler, a potential NBA first round pick. Chandler led the Vols in scoring (13.8), assists (4.5) and steals (2.2) on the season. The Volunteers odds to win March Madness are currently set at +2500 which puts them amongst the top 10 contenders in the nation.

This is the 24th tournament appearance in school history for Rick Barnes’ squad. Last year, they lost in the first round in a classic March Madness 12 vs 5 upset, when they went down to the underdogs from Oregon State, 70-56. A loss to Longwood would be much more devastating and have several bettors ripping up their March Madness bracket.

This version of the Volunteers has already proven they can perform in tournament and championship games. They won their first SEC Tournament championship since 1979 with a 65-50 win on Sunday, stomping out the Texas A&M Aggies Cinderella run. Chandler had 14 points, seven assists and four rebounds in that one and was named SEC Tournament MVP for his performance in the Vols three tourney wins.

The advanced statistics back the performances up and suggest that they would likely be cast more accurately as a two seed with the KenPom overall efficiency rankings placing them 7th in the nation between Kansas and UCLA. The Volunteers covered the spread as favorites in all three SEC tournament games.

Longwood vs Tennessee Prediction

While the odds don’t look good at all for Longwood, they did perform admirably against the spread this season at 19-9 which was even better than Tennessee who were 20-13 ATS. So they’ve consistently outperformed expectations from the oddsmakers.

Since the NCAA tournament field expanded in 1985, the 14 seed has scored an upset 15.3% of the time over the three seed in the first round which works out to an average of once ever six to seven games. Most recently in last season’s tournament, Abilene Christian beat Texas 53-52.

As one of the best defensive teams in the nation, Tennessee held their opponents to just 57 points per game in the SEC tournament. Longwood has covered in four straight and while they may not keep it too close, 17 points might be a couple too many.

The Pick: Longwood +17 (-110)

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