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Tennessee vs Colorado Odds, Lines, and Spread (Dec. 4)

Blair Johnson

by Blair Johnson in College Basketball

Dec 4, 2021 · 12:49 AM PST

Kennedy Chandler
Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes yells at guard Kennedy Chandler (1) during an NCAA college basketball game against Tennessee Tech Friday, Nov. 26, 2021, in Knoxville, Tenn. T (AP Photo/Wade Payne)
  • No. 13 Tennessee (5-1) takes on Colorado (6-2) Saturday, December 4th, at 2:00 pm ET in Boulder
  • The Volunteers are coming off an 86-44 drubbing of Presbyterian on Tuesday, while the Buffaloes lost at UCLA 73-61 Wednesday
  • See the current moneyline, point spread, and game total, plus predictions

The No. 13 Tennessee Volunteers (5-1) — seeking their first non-conference road win since beating Memphis almost three years ago — aim to keep their early season optimism alive against the Colorado Buffaloes (6-2) Saturday at the CU Events Center. Tip off is at 2:00 pm ET on FS1.

UT enters the contest as slight favorites according to oddsmakers and KenPom predicts the Vols will win 72-69.

Tennessee vs Colorado Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Total
Tennessee N/A -4 (-110) Ov 137 (-115)
Colorado N/A +4 (-110) Un 137 (-105)

Odds as of December 3rd 2021.

Freshman Kennedy Chandler tied the single-game program record for steals in the 42-point win over the Blue Hose, finishing with 15 points, seven assists and seven rips.

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Sophomore Justin Powell, a transfer from Auburn, also had 15 — going 5-for-5 from beyond the arc. Now, the competition level ramps up several notches in the Centennial State.

Meantime, Jabari Walker had 22 points and 11 rebounds in CU’s 12-point loss to the Bruins. Tad Boyle’s leading scorer coming in, Evan Battey —  who was averaging 14.9 points — was held to just four points before fouling out.

J-JJ On the Way?

Rick Barnes is still unsure when junior wing Josiah-Jordan James will be available. A top-20 recruit from the Class of 2019, James has missed the last three games due to a torn ligament in the middle finger of his shooting hand. Tennessee has gone undefeated in his absence — but it would be nice to have him available against an NCAA Tournament team from a year ago. Whether or not he’s available, Barnes is ruling out the worst-case scenario.

Various teammates have stepped up in his place. Oregon transfer Victor Bailey Jr. put up a season-high 14 on 4-for-8 shooting from distance against Presbyterian. Then, there was Powell’s effort. Without J-JJ, the Vols should be OK against the Buffs.

Tennessee is rated 10th overall by KenPom and in the top-25 of both offensive adjusted efficiency (24th) and defensive adjusted efficiency (11th).

Mile High Advantage?

Prior to Wednesday’s game against the No. 5 Bruins, the Buffs’ only loss was to Southern Illinois in the Paradise Jam. CU was picked to finish sixth in the Pac-12 and knocked off Stanford in its conference opener and had UCLA on the ropes.

Bill Walton gushed about Walker during the game. Following his night at Pauley, the sophomore is now the team’s leading scorer (averaging 14.9 points per game) and rebounder (9.5 boards per contest).

The Buffs are the 57th-rated team overall by KenPom and lean heavily on their core players. Boyle has started the same five in each of his team’s eight games this season—Walker, Battey, senior guard Elijah Parquet, sophomore guard Keeshawn Barthelemy and sophomore forward Tristan da Silva. That cohesiveness is certainly an advantage.

And even though the Vols hail from Rocky Top, at 5,400 feet above sea level, CU Events Center has the fifth-highest elevation among Division I arenas. The venue owns the No. 1 rating in KenPom’s homecourt advantage metric. Perhaps CU can take advantage of UT now that its back home.

The Pick

Saturday’s tilt marks the first game of a six-day, nearly-4,000-mile road trip for the Vols. After facing the Buffs, UT will face Texas Tech at Madison Square Garden in the Jimmy V Classic Tuesday.

It’s still uncertain if Barnes will have his entire roster available — but it may not be necessary. That said, Colorado is a scrappy team looking for an early signature win with one of its best players (Battey) coming off a bad game.

Do the Buffs have enough firepower to keep up with a team that has scored at least 80 points in all of its games except for one so far this season? I don’t think so. I’m fading the home team and riding the Vols.

Pick: Tennessee -4 (-110)

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