- The Tennessee Volunteers (15-6, 8-6 SEC) take on the Vanderbilt Commodores (6-12, 2-10 SEC) on Wednesday, February 24th
- The Volunteers are looking to get back into the win column after losing to Kentucky and almost falling out of the AP Top 25 Poll
- See the odds, spread, analysis, and best bet, below
The Tennessee Volunteers will look to get back on their feet when they head to Nashville, Tennessee, to take on the Vanderbilt Commodores Wednesday night at Memorial Gymnasium (9:00 pm ET).
Tennessee has lost two of its last three games, both by double digits. The latest was a 70-55 stomping at the hands of the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday in front of their home fans.
On the other side, the Commodores may have lost four of five in February but none have been by more than five points. They went to Tuscaloosa on Saturday and had a chance to knock off the Alabama Crimson Tide before losing 82-78.
Tennessee has full control over this series winning each of the last seven meetings including an 81-61 beatdown last month. The current odds have the Volunteers favored by 6.5 points on the road.
Tennessee vs Vanderbilt Odds
|Tennessee Volunteers||-6.5 (-110)||-255||Over 140 (-116)|
|Vanderbilt Commodores||+6.5 (-110)||+210||Under 140 (-106)|
Odds as of Feb. 23rd at FanDuel.
The Volunteers Need a Win
On February 13th, the Volunteers went to Baton Rouge and got waxed 78-65 by the LSU Tigers. The loss seemed to be just what they needed as they promptly beat up on the South Carolina Gamecocks the very next game 93-73. The Volunteers shot 54% from the floor and looked exactly like the team many thought would win the SEC. Then, they hosted the Kentucky Wildcats.
‘Twas ugly. pic.twitter.com/dW5rRZXyDW
— Tennessee Basketball (@Vol_Hoops) February 20, 2021
In Tennessee’s defense, the Wildcats have been playing like a team possessed recently. There’s still no excuse for a good team to get boat raced in the opening half of a big home game. That’s exactly what happened Saturday when Kentucky took a 45-30 lead into the locker rooms at the half. Victor Bailey stepped up for offensively for the Volunteers but his 18 points were not enough to keep this one competitive.
Vanderbilt is Not as Bad as Their Record
The Commodores are coming into this one with a 6-12 mark on the season which includes a 2-10 showing in the SEC. As bad as that looks, a closer look at the final scores reveals that Vanderbilt is “in” every game. They just can’t close out. In their last game, they lost to Alabama by the exact same final score as they did the game before to Kentucky, 82-78
Another one that came down to the final minute. Went wire-to-wire at No. 8 Bama, but Tide prevailed. pic.twitter.com/UWR66JKTPU
— Vanderbilt Men’s Basketball (@VandyMBB) February 20, 2021
The number eight Crimson Tide got more than they could handle when the Commodores came out swinging in the first half. It was apparent early that Vanderbilt was not looking to just cover the 14-point spread. They were looking to cash outright win tickets.
The Commodores were on fire from deep splashing in five of their first six 3-point attempts which led to a seven-point lead with ten minutes left in the first half. They ultimately failed to hold the lead going into halftime but never let Alabama run away with the game. Scotty Pippen led the way for Vanderbilt with 24 points.
Best Betting Angle
According to KenPom, Vanderbilt has the 65th best offense in the country in terms of efficiency (adjusted for opponent). It’s rare to see a team with only two conference wins this late in the season rank so high but that speaks to the potential of the Commodores. They have proven they can play with anyone over the last month even if they can’t come away with wins.
The last time these teams met the line closed at Tennessee -18 and the Volunteers covered by a bucket. This time around the oddsmakers have obviously adjusted the side but the total has not been altered. With Vanderbilt’s lax defense and potent offense, both teams could easily finish in the 70s causing the game to soar over the total.
The pick: Over 140 (-110)