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Saint Peter’s vs Tennessee Predictions, Odds & Picks for March 21 March Madness

Matt McEwan

by Matt McEwan in College Basketball

Updated Mar 20, 2024 · 4:44 PM PDT

Two Tennessee Volunteers talk to the media ahead of March Madness
Mar 20, 2024; Charlotte, NC, USA; Tennessee Volunteers guard Dalton Knecht (3) and guard Zakai Zeigler (5) speak to media during the NCAA first round practice session at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
  • The late block of games on the first day of March Madness gets started with Saint Peter’s vs Tennessee
  • The Tennessee Volunteers are heavily favored in this Round of 64 matchup
  • With such a big spread to consider, see how I am betting Saint Peter’s vs Tennessee

The same Saint Peter’s Peacocks who made a run to the Elite Eight as a #15-seed in 2022 are back, and are again a #15 seed. This time they will take on #2 Tennessee in March Madness’ Round of 64. The game is scheduled to tip-off at 9:20pm ET on Thursday, March 21, and will be broadcast by TNT.

Let’s take a look at the Saint Peter’s vs Tennessee odds and then get into my picks and predictions for the game:

Saint Peter’s vs Tennessee Odds

Team Spread Total Moneyline
Saint Peter’s +21.5 (-115) O 129.5 (-115) +1500
Tennessee -21.5 (-105) U 129.5 (-105) -5500

As you would likely expect, Tennessee is heavily favored in this matchup between a #15 and #2. The Volunteers are 21.5-point favorites in the spread and are given -5500 odds to win the game. If you simply wanted to bet Tennessee to win the game, a $20 bet would only stand to win $0.36 and return $20.36. Based off the odds, Tennessee has a 98.2% chance of beating Saint Peter’s.

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If you are just here for the odds, the spread is 21.5 basically everywhere. You can find the total at 130 at DraftKings if you’re looking to bet the under. I would not recommend betting Tennessee’s moneyline, even at the best price you can find it, but if you think Saint Peter’s is about to make another run, FanDuel has their best ML price at +2000.

The total in this game is set at 129.5, which is the lowest total of any game in the first round. This is a result of Saint Peter’s slow pace of play and both teams defending well, especially the Volunteers. Be sure you do shop for the best prices before placing any bets with our college basketball odds.

The Saint Peter’s vs Tennessee odds in the table above are from ESPN Bet.

This Is Not the Same Saint Peter’s Peacocks from 2022

Saint Peter’s improbable run in the 2022 NCAA Men’s Tournament was a lot of fun – at least for those who didn’t have Kentucky bets / going far in their bracket. It’s very easy to get caught up in these fun stories during March Madness, but this is not the same Saint Peter’s team from 2022.

The 2022 Peacocks were by far the best #15 seed in the tournament when viewing KenPom’s Adjusted Efficiency Margin. They were ranked #102 overall and had similar metrics to many of the tournament’s 12 & 13 seeds. Their defense was very good, ranked 25th in KenPom’s Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, and their offense was ok.

The 2024 Peacocks are just not that. They came into the MAAC Tournament as the #5-seed and recorded two-point wins in each of their first two games, followed by a five-point win over Fairfield in the championship to earn their bid to the big dance. Their defense is still good, but they rank 76th in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency. Their offense, however, is not good. They rank 305th in KenPom’s Adjusted Offensive Efficiency metric. The Peacocks are 187th overall in KenPom’s rankings, which is the worst among all 15 seeds, and are 188th in NET Rankings.

Tennessee Did Not Finish Season Strong

The Volunteers enter the March Madness tournament riding two straight losses. The first came in the regular season finale against Kentucky, and the second was a bad loss to Mississippi State in their first game of the SEC Tournament. The former is certainly understandable with Kentucky being a very good team – plus, it was a four-point game. The 17-point loss to the Bulldogs is a little tougher to overlook, though.

Tennessee is hoping it was just an awful shooting performance, but time will tell.

Saint Peter’s vs Tennessee Predictions

This is a game featuring a very good Tennessee team and a not very good Saint Peter’s team. But I’d be lying if I said Tennessee’s late-season struggles weren’t on my mind. Pair those concerns with the extremely slow tempo the Peacocks play, only averaging 64 possessions per 40 minutes (338th), and I don’t feel very good laying 21.5 points.

I also don’t love either side of the 129.5 total because I’m not confident in which Tennessee offense will show up. So, I’m getting a little creative in how I bet this game, opting for a same-game parlay. If you’re in Tennessee, where betting on college player props is not allowed, I have a two-leg SGP for you. I am taking this spread down to -14.5 and pairing with under 56.5 total points for Saint Peter’s. Both of these are me leaning on Tennessee’s defense and Saint Peter’s struggles to score. You can get this SGP at FanDuel for -137 odds.

If you find yourself in a state that allows betting on college basketball player props, I am adding Zakai Zeigler to score 10+ points to the SGP to boost the odds to +120 at FanDuel. Zeigler has hit this mark in each of his last five games and ten of his last 12. With how poor the Volunteers finished the season, I can’t see Rick Barnes taking his foot off the gas early if his team does find themselves up big. He knows they need to work some things out if they’re going to make a run in this tournament, and this game presents a great opportunity to do so.

Pick: Tennessee -14.5 & Saint Peter’s Under 56.5 Points & Zakai Zeigler to Score 10+ Points (+120 Same-Game Parlay) at FanDuel

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