The Tigers will try to hold on to their slim lead in the SEC standings when they head into the February 26th Auburn at Tennessee betting contest. Bruce Pearl has his team at 13-2 in the conference, but 12-3 Kentucky and even the 11-4 Volunteers are breathing down Auburn’s necks.
The Vols’ did not get caught looking ahead to this game, putting on a dominant performance in Tuesday’s 19-point win at Missouri. That was a nice bounce back from a 58-48 loss at Arkansas the game prior which snapped a 5-game win streak. Now Tennessee is back at Thompson-Boling Arena where they are 14-0 on the year which is a big reason UT is a -3 point favorite on Saturday afternoon (4:00 PM ET, ESPN2).
Auburn Has Looked Human Lately
The Tigers are still a national championship contender and a very scary team, but suddenly two losses in their last five games aren’t quite as intimidating as when they were 22-1. Auburn’s three recent wins have also come against Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, and Ole Miss – three of the five worst teams in the SEC.
What the Volunteers like even more in the February 26th Auburn at Tennessee betting contest is that the Tigers have lost their last two conference road games, at Arkansas and at Florida. Those two defeats came by a combined total of 5 points, but Auburn may have some internal concerns about their ability to get things done on the road – with some even suggesting Nike basketballs in away games (compared to Wilson at home) are to blame.
One would think Auburn has enough offensive talent to chase down a win no matter where they play. Jabari Smith had 31 in a win over Vanderbilt and followed that up with 28 against Florida. 7’1 North Carolina transfer Walker Kessler is playing much more physical under Pearl, including having a 12 block triple double on February 12th vs Texas A&M. K.D. Johnson averages over a dozen points/game as well for a Tigers offense that is 19th in the nation scoring 79.7 ppg.
Being at Home Enough for Tennessee?
Pearl hasn’t been coach in Tennessee since 2011, but you would expect the atmosphere at Thompson-Boling to be electric just because how high Auburn is ranked this season. The Vols’ are going to the NCAA Tournament, but also take pride in having an undefeated record at home which includes a 13-point win over #4 Kentucky on February 13th and handing Arizona their first loss of the season 77-73 in December.
Tennessee hopes that Auburn’s offensive road woes continue, but Rick Barnes knows his team can go blow for blow with the Tigers on that end of the court, especially if Kennedy Chandler stays hot. Chandler had 23/8/6 against Missouri, the fourth time in his last 17 games scoring 16+.
Free February 26th Auburn at Tennessee Betting Pick
The Vols’ are second in the SEC in defensive scoring, allowing only 62.8 ppg which is also 31st best in the nation. That could lead to Auburn having some struggles offensively on the road yet again, especially against a sold out crowd at Thompson-Boling. 58% of the public still likes Auburn, but that seems to be the wrong side.
Tennessee 73 – Auburn 67
Free Pick: Tennessee -3