A huge top-20 matchup in college basketball is slated for Wednesday night, as the Arizona Wildcats and Tennessee Volunteers square off in Knoxville. Arizona enters this matchup with an undefeated record on the season, and with newfound national championship aspirations. Tennessee, meanwhile, has a perfect home record under their belt, which they will look to keep in tact against a tough opponent in non-conference action.
In a portion of the season where games are being canceled and programs pausing their action due to COVID-19, this Arizona Wildcats vs. Tennessee Volunteers game could not come at a better time. This college basketball showcase will be a great way for the sport to enter the Christmas holiday, as it will go into the holiday with two of the better teams in the sport locking horns for what is hopefully a game to remember.
Arizona Wildcats – An Explosive Offensive Team
The Arizona Wildcats have shot up the college basketball rankings over the last few weeks, as they have gone onto win every single game that they have played over the course of this season. They enter this matchup with Tennessee boasting an 11-0 record, including road wins over two Power 5 programs already this season in Illinois and Oregon State. But this road contest against Tennessee might be the hardest game that they have faced all year to this point, and the Wildcats will be in danger of suffering their first loss.
If Arizona wants to avoid its first loss of this season, it is going to have to keep executing effectively on the offensive end of the floor. The Wildcats have averaged 91 points per game on the season, scoring in the 80s and 90s regularly, even against the power conference opponents that they have faced off with this season. But even a momentary lapse in their offensive execution could be fatal for a team that has looked so good this year.
Expected Line-Up: Dalen Terry, Kerr Kriisa, Bennedict Mathurin, Christian Koloko, Azuolis Tubelis
with best odds
Tennessee Volunteers – Home Court Advantage Needed
The Tennessee Volunteers enter this showdown with Arizona having lost just two games this season, going 8-2 thus far. But their two losses are nothing to be ashamed of at this point in time, as they fell to an elite Villanova squad early in the year and lost to a tough Texas Tech team as well. Here, they face another very difficult opponent to defeat in Arizona, and will hope for a different result against one of the more potent opponents in the nation.
The outcome of this game for the Volunteers will likely have a lot to do with the way that they defend throughout this matchup. Arizona is so good at putting points on the board, and it will take a Herculean effort on the defensive end of the floor for the Volunteers to slow them down enough to actually win this game. Fortunately, the Vols do have a solid defense to lean on, and should be able to rely on a hostile environment from their home crowd to boost their chances of getting enough stops to win here.
Expected Line-Up: Jordan James, Kennedy Chandler, Santiago Vescovi, John Fulkerson, Olivier Nkamhoua
Expert Pick #1 – Tennessee -2 @ -105
The first bet we recommend for this contest between Arizona and Tennessee is Tennessee -2 at -105 odds. This tip has a lot to do with the home court advantage that Tennessee will enjoy for this game. It is also an acknowledgement of the fact that this line is essentially begging for Arizona action, as most casual bettors will jump at the chance to get an undefeated team as an underdog. We aren’t taking the bait here.
Expert Pick #2 – Under 149 @ -105
Next, it is worth placing a bet on the under 149 at -105 odds. Tennessee should be able to defend Arizona admirably enough to keep this game under the total regardless of who ends up winning the game. Expect a game where a score in the low 70s is enough to pick up a win, no matter which team is the one doing the winning when the final buzzer sounds.
Expert Pick #3 – Tennessee First Half -1 @ -110
The final bet we recommend for this contest is on the Tennessee first half -1 at -110 odds. The Volunteers will have to set the tone early in this game if they want a realistic shot at coming away with the victory. Expect them to do exactly that and to finish the first half with the lead to set up a full-game victory.
This will be a tight game, and the Tennessee Volunteers have a better chance to win than many want to admit. Tennessee should come away with the victory, and bettors should lay the one bucket with them.