Tennessee vs Vanderbilt Odds, Picks and Predictions: Vols Defense Leads to Road Victory

Tennessee will try to complete the season sweep of Vanderbilt in Nashville tonight. The No. 6 team in the land is a heavy favorite, but our expert college basketball picks don't envision the Vols having a tough time.

Last Updated: Feb 8, 2023 9:27 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
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A key in-state SEC rivalry will take place on Wednesday night as the Tennessee Volunteers travel west to Nashville to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores for the second time this season.

Tennessee has been one of the most consistent top teams in the country, with only four losses on the season. The Volunteers are 19-4 overall and 8-2 in the SEC, and find themselves ranked sixth in the nation.

Vanderbilt has had plenty of struggles in conference play, losing six of their past nine games. The Commodores are 11-12 overall, and 4-6 in SEC play.  

Will Vandy get revenge on their in-state rival at home? Check out our college basketball picks and predictions for Tennessee vs Vanderbilt on Wednesday, February 8 to find out.

Tennessee vs Vanderbilt best odds

Tennessee vs Vanderbilt picks and predictions

Tennessee lost last week on the road in Florida, but they still have an impressive 4-2 record in true road games, and a 4-1 record in neutral site games. Their defense is the No. 1 reason for their strong play away from home.

The Volunteers rank first in the country in points allowed per game at 54.6. They also rank first in field goal percentage allowed at 34.3%. Tennessee ranks seventh in rebounding at 40.2 boards per game, and 22nd in steals per game at 9.1. If you want to pull an upset on the Volunteers, you are going to have to play near perfect on the offensive end.

In the first matchup in Knoxville, Vanderbilt did a good job getting to the free throw line, making 18 of 20 attempts, to finish with 68 points. However, they still lost by nine points despite smoking Tennessee’s defensive average. Vandy will need to improve on defense to get this upset.

The Volunteers had 20 assists on 28 made field goals in the first matchup, led by Zakai Ziegler with nine assists off the bench. It won’t help that Vanderbilt will be without Lee Dort, who went 3-for-3 from the field in only eight minutes in that game. They may also be without Jordan Wright on Wednesday night. Wright was 6-for-10 from the field, and had five rebounds and three steals in that game.

That efficiency will certainly be missed, as Vanderbilt already ranks 315th in field goal percentage at 41.7%, and 330th in steals per game at 5.0. The Commodores also struggle to hit the boards offensively on those misses, as they allow 35.8 rebounds per game, which ranks 283rd in the country. Tennessee will take advantage with their team rebounding mentality, as six players average over four rebounds per game, but no player averages more than 5.3 boards per contest.

Vanderbilt has already lost two conference games at home this season by double-digits. Those losses came against Kentucky and Alabama. Tennessee may be the best of those three opponents, and will likely fix their mistakes from the first matchup.

The Vols should take this one with relative ease and cover the big spread.

My best bet: Tennessee -9.5 (-110 at DraftKings)

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Tennessee vs Vanderbilt spread analysis

The two star players for Tennessee in the first matchup against Vanderbilt were Julian Phillips and Santiago Vescovi. They combined for 30 points, 12 rebounds, and six assists on 12-of-18 shooting. Without Wright suiting up for Vandy, Phillips and Vescovi should have their way offensively.

In Vanderbilt’s recent three-game losing streak before beating Ole Miss on Saturday, they were outscored 242-163. Vandy has not held a single SEC opponent to under 69 points in a game, and they themselves have been held to under 69 points five times in conference play. Tennessee will make it extremely difficult for them to reach this number on Wednesday night. 

The road team is 18-7-1 ATS in the last 26 meetings between these two rivals. The Volunteers are 4-1 ATS in their last five games against a team with a losing straight-up record. Vandy is 2-8 ATS in their last 10 home games, and 2-7 ATS in their last nine games following a straight-up win.

These trends could continue Wednesday night, as the Volunteers should shore up their defense and hold Vandy to under 60 points. Tennessee will likely throw up close to 80 points themselves, giving them an easy path to cover here on the road.

Tennessee vs Vanderbilt Over/Under analysis

Despite Tennessee’s excellent defense, they are still pretty even in the Over/Under column. Only 13 of their 23 games this season have gone Under the total. The first matchup went well Over the total of 133.5, and now this game sits at a similar number. 

Tennessee just played one of the lowest scoring games of the season on Saturday against Auburn, but the trends suggest that will lead to a high total in this game. The Over is 6-0 in the last six games following Tennessee being held to less than 50 points in the previous game. Also, the Over is 10-4 in Vanderbilt’s last 14 games following a straight-up win.

Vanderbilt’s defense is just not good enough to prevent Tennessee from putting up points. Even though the Vols will put the clamps down defensively, they will score enough themselves to get to the Over on this low total.

Tennessee vs Vanderbilt betting trend to know

The Volunteers are 18-7-1 ATS in their last 26 games following an ATS loss. Find more college basketball betting trends for Tennessee vs. Vanderbilt.

Tennessee vs Vanderbilt game info

Location: Memorial Gynasium, Nashville, TN
Date: Wednesday, February 8, 2023
Tip-off: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV: SEC Network

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