All eyes will be on the Southeastern Conference Wednesday night when the #10 Tennessee Volunteers (19-6, 8-4 SEC) host the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide (22-3, 12-0 SEC) in a battle between two of the top teams in the nation. This will be the only time these two teams face off against each other during the regular season.
The conference contest tips off at 7 p.m. EST inside Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tennessee. The Vols are a three-point favorite in the top-10 clash, and the over/under is 144.5 points.
What to Know – #1 Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama is the no. 1 ranked team in college basketball and have won four in a row leading into Wednesday’s game. The Crimson Tide sit atop the SEC standings with a perfect conference mark, holding a two-game lead over the second-place Texas A&M Aggies. Alabama is both second in the KenPom and NCAA NET rankings.
The Crimson Tide lead the conference averaging 83.4 points per game thanks to 44.9% shooting from the field and 35.1% shooting from deep. Alabama’s defense limits opposing teams to 68.7 ppg, 37.0% shooting from the floor, and 26.3% shooting from beyond the arc.
Freshman forward Brandon Miller leads the conference in scoring averaging 18.8 ppg. Alabama-native Mark Sears is second on the team netting 14.0 ppg.
This season Alabama is 16-9 against the spread and 6-3 ATS on the road. The Crimson Tide are 10-5 ATS over their last 15 games against the Vols.
What to Know – #10 Tennessee Volunteers
The Vols have lost three of their last four, including their last two, both to unranked opponents. Tennessee hopes to have figured things over the last few days of practice, as the Vols will need to be at their best on Wednesday. The KenPom has the Vols ranked 5th while the NCAA NET rankings spots Tennessee one spot behind Alabama at three.
On offense, Tennessee is sixth in the SEC, scoring 72.5 ppg while shooting 43.2% from the floor and 32.9% from the 3-point line. The Vols defense surrenders 56.3 ppg, 35.5% shooting from the field and 24.2% from three.
The Vols are led in scoring by senior guard Santiago Vescovi who comes in averaging 12.2 ppg. Zakai Zeigler (10.8 ppg) and Oliver Nkamhoua (10.7 ppg) are two other scoring threats for a Tennessee team that won’t light up the scoreboard.
Tennessee owns an 13-12 record ATS and a 8-5 mark ATS on their home court. Over the previous five matchups the Vols are 1-4 ATS.
The Pick is In
It is never easy to go on the road in conference play and win a game. It is even tougher when the host is a top-10 team. Alabama has won four in a row, three by double figures and a pair on the road, and matchup well against this Tennessee team.
We like the Crimson Tide to cover the spread here and even win outright.
The Pick: #1 Alabama Crimson Tide +3