College Basketball Picks: Virginia Cavaliers vs. Tennessee Volunteers

Virginia Cavaliers vs. Tennessee Volunteers
Monday, 12/30/13, 7:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Tennessee -2
Current Betting Line:  Tennessee -2.5
Opening Total:  N/A
Current Total:  N/A
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

SEC Tournament Betting Preview
The Tennessee Volunteers are 0-3 ATS as home favorites of three or fewer points the last two-plus seasons

Virginia has won back-to-back games, including a 66-56 victory over Norfolk State last Monday, as it enters a new week ranked second in the nation in scoring defense in allowing just 54.2 points per game.  The Cavaliers hold an 8-4 advantage over the Volunteers in this series that dates back to 1917, including an 0-2 mark when playing in Knoxville, which is important to consider when making your college basketball betting picks.  Virginia is 2-3 SUATS as road underdogs of three or fewer points the last two-plus seasons.

The Cavaliers are 60-60 SU all-time against Southeastern Conference opponents, which can’t be ignored when looking over the college basketball odds page.  As of Dec. 26, Virginia ranked in the top 10 nationally in six defensive categories, while it has held 11 of its 12 opponents below 50 percent shooting from the floor.  Offensively, the team has outscored its opponents in the paint in nine of 12 games and 342-244 point margin overall.

Tennessee snapped a two-game losing streak by picking up an 82-67 victory over Morehead State as 13-point home favorites last week, while going OVER the betting total for the first time in three affairs.  The Volunteers are 101-85 SU all-time against Atlantic Coast Conference members, including a 2-4 mark under the direction of head coach Cuonzo Martin.  The program has three probable starters averaging in double figures, with senior guard Jordan McRae leading the way at 18.7 points a contest.  Tennessee is 1-2 SU and 0-3 ATS as home favorites of three or fewer points the last two-plus seasons.

The Volunteers rank third nationally in grabbing 43 percent of their chances on the offensive glass, with Jeronne Maymon and Jarnell Stokes combining to average 8.2 boards per game in that statistical category.  Only six of the 351 teams in major Division I basketball average fewer turnovers per game than Tennessee.  Offensively, the team is getting to the charity stripe frequently, averaging 26.9 free throw attempts per game—up from 22.4 a year ago.

Sports bettors will likely back the Volunteers due to their 9-4 ATS mark in their last 13 home games.

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