Tennessee vs Kansas Odds, Picks and Predictions: Jayhawks Stay Undefeated With Win Over Vols

Each team needed an overtime win to get here, but Kansas and Tennessee will square up in the Battle 4 Atlantis Championship. With the Volunteers struggling mightily from the field, our college basketball picks are all in on the Jayhawks.

Last Updated: Nov 25, 2022 10:14 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
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The No. 22 Tennessee Volunteers and the No. 3 Kansas Jayhawks clash in the Battle 4 Atlantis Championship on Friday night. Both of these ranked teams escaped overtime scares last night and will look to make a statement victory today.

The Jayhawks are unbeaten on their road to a national title defense, but are slim underdogs tonight as college basketball odds installed the Vols as 3-point faves. Here are my best free Tennessee vs. Kansas college basketball betting picks and predictions on November 25. 

Tennessee vs Kansas best odds

Tennessee vs Kansas picks and predictions

This spread opened as high as Tennessee -3 before shortening to as low as -1. While the Volunteers are rated a few spots higher in the KenPom ratings, I'm not sure they should be the chalk in this matchup. Especially with the Vols likely missing leading scorer Josiah-Jordan James who has sat out the last two games due to a lingering knee injury.

The Vols get solid play from their guards and are very stingy on the defensive end of the floor. However, they shoot the ball very poorly and are outside the Top 300 schools when it comes to field goal percentage (39.3%).

The Jayhawks also have some excellent defenders and they shoot the ball much better, connecting on 46.6% of their field goal attempts. They also have the best overall player in this contest in Wooden Award candidate Jalen Wilson and they have better depth — especially if James remains sidelined.

This is a well-coached, experienced Jayhawks squad that knows how to win close games (which we have already seen against Duke, North Carolina State, and Wisconsin this season) and I like their chances of getting it done as short dogs tonight.

My best bet: Kansas moneyline (+110 at bet365)

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Tennessee vs Kansas spread analysis

Both of these schools won in overtime last night despite entering their respective semifinal contests as significant favorites. Tennessee separated from USC in overtime in an ugly shooting performance where the Vols went just 24-64 (38%) from the field — including 3-for-18 from beyond the arc.

The Jayhawks also won in OT, edging Wisconsin 69-68 in a slower-paced contest where they shot just 39% from the floor but held the Badgers to an identical 39% mark. 

The Vols entered this season with high expectations after finishing fifth in last season's AP poll and returning four of their five highest scorers. Five-star recruit Julian Phillips has replaced departing five-star recruit Kennedy Chandler in the starting lineup, while Jonas Aidoo has seen a surge in his minutes with James sidelined. 

Tennessee clobbered Butler in the opening game of this tournament and have a record of 4-1 straight up (2-3 ATS) on the season. Its lone defeat came by double digits to Colorado two weeks ago in a contest where it had a woeful 25.4 FG%. 

The Jayhawks had to replace several key starters from last season's national championship squad, but they had enough pieces to come into this year ranked near the top of the futures board.

Kansas has an excellent blend of experience and youth, skill and athleticism, and offense and defense. It is just 1-5 against the spread this season but has gone 6-0 SU — with its biggest victory of the season coming against Duke in the Champions Classic last week. 

Wilson leads the team with 24.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per game, dropping 29 points in last night's win against Wisconsin. Junior point guard Dajuan Harris Jr. is an excellent facilitator and on-ball defender (leading the team with 6.3 apg and 2.2 spg), transfer Kevin McCullar Jr. is a Swiss Army knife that does everything — and five-star freshman Gradey Dick is averaging 16.8 ppg on 50/49/80 shooting splits.

Tennessee vs Kansas Over/Under analysis

Phillips broke out with 25 points last night, and Tennessee will need him to keep filling up the hoop because the rest of the team is making the Lakers look like Reggie Miller. Guards Santiago Vescovi, Zakai Zeigler, and Tyreke Key are combining to shoot just 32.8% from the field in 88.4 minutes per game.

Tennessee ranks 226th in the country in adjusted pace according to KenPom, and that combined with poor shooting and strong defense has led to some low-scoring games. The Vols rank second in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency and are holding opponents to just 56.4 ppg.

The Jayhawks rank 12th in adjusted defensive efficiency but have allowed 67.5 ppg thanks to the faster pace they play at. Although they allowed NCSU to score 74 points on Tuesday, they limited the Wolfpack to a field goal percentage of 39% and have held all six of their opponents below 40% shooting.

Tennessee vs Kansas betting trend to know

The Under is 8-3 in Tennessee's last 11 games against a team with a winning percentage above .600. Find more College basketball betting trends for Tennessee vs. Kansas.

Tennessee vs Kansas game info

Location: Imperial Arena, Nassau, Bahamas
Date: Friday, November 25, 2022
Tip-off: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN

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