4th December 2023

A top-ten showdown takes place on Wednesday evening when the No. 1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide hit the highway to face the No. 10 Tennessee Volunteers inside Thompson Boling Area (7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2). Alabama (22-3, 12-0) returned to the highest spot within the AP rankings following 4 straight victories by a mean margin of 23.25 factors after its most up-to-date loss to Oklahoma on Jan. 28. 

Tennessee (19-6, 8-4) stumbles into Wednesday evening’s showdown having misplaced its previous two video games to Vanderbilt (66-65) and Missouri (86-85) by one level on the buzzer. In each losses, guard Santiago Vescovi had an opportunity to place the sport on ice however missed a mixed three free throws to offer their opposition one final likelihood to win the sport.

Regardless of back-to-back heartbreaking losses, the Volunteers at present sit as brief -2 level residence favorites, which is likely to be stunning on the floor. Nonetheless, the very fact Tennessee was a free throw away from successful each video games reveals they in the end ought to have gained two video games they ended up dropping. Whereas ethical victories aren’t what Rick Barnes’ bunch is after, dropping in that vogue is best than being fully outmatched by your opponent. Not many groups in faculty basketball can match the Volunteers’ athleticism and physicality as they’re additionally aren’t many groups who’d be priced as a favourite over Tennessee on a impartial ground.

Nonetheless, Alabama is a kind of groups, and Wednesday would be the Volunteers’ hardest check of the season. The Crimson Tide enters Wednesday evening following a gritty 77-69 highway win over Auburn, a sport by which the Crimson Tides dominated from two-point vary, connecting on 23-of-28 (82 %) makes an attempt. 

Can the Volunteers finish their two-game skid by taking down the No.1 crew within the nation, or can Nate Oats’ squad add one other high quality highway win to their resume? Beneath, we’ll break down Wednesday evening’s top-ten showdown whereas offering our predictions and finest guess.

 Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook

No. 10 Tennessee vs. No. 1 Alabama odds, picks, predictions

  • Unfold: Tennessee -2 (-110); Alabama +2 (-110)
  • Over/Below: 143.5
  • Moneyline: Tennessee -135; Alabama +115

Seeing Tennessee listed as the favourite should not be too stunning, as they’re nonetheless KenPom’s No. 5 crew and all the time garner respect within the betting market, particularly at residence. The Volunteers additionally sit atop KenPom’s adjusted defensive effectivity metric, permitting simply 86.6 factors per 100 possessions.

We’ll see if they will to carry an Alabama offense that scores 117.Four factors per 100 possessions (13th in D-1) and sports activities the third-lowest common possessions size (15.1 seconds) in test for 40 minutes. Alabama’s scoring a mean of 88.5 factors per sport over their four-game successful streak, and with Tennessee’s having some problems with late, Tennessee possible cannot afford to play in a excessive possession observe meet.

There are some harm considerations with Tennessee, although. Starters Josiah Jordan-James (ankle) and Julian Phillips (hip) are labeled as “game-time choices” and will miss Wednesday’s contest after struggling accidents final week. If each cannot go, Tennessee’s probabilities of including a resume-boosting win get slimmer. 

Even when Jordan-James and Phillips do not swimsuit up, Tennessee’s sound sufficient on the defensive finish to muck up the sport. The query turns into can guards Zakai Zeigler (10.Eight ppg, 37.2 FG%) and Vescovi (12.2 ppg, 38.Eight FG%) carry the load offensively? The 2 did their previous on Saturday, combining for 27 factors, and had Zeigler not picked up an pointless fifth foul within the latter levels of the sport it is possible the ‘Vols stroll away with the “W.”

Whereas we’re extremely excessive on the Crimson Tide, Wednesday evening’s highway check is their hardest remaining common season sport. We’re not anticipating the Crimson Tide to shoot 80-plus % from two-point vary in opposition to a stable Volunteer inside protection. Finally, we predict Tennessee’s capability to match the Crimson Tide on the glass whereas doing their finest to run them off the three-point line ends in an “upset” win for the favored Volunteers.

Finest Guess: Tennessee -2 -110 (playable to -2.5 at -115 odds)

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