Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#601 Vanderbilt 136.5 vs.
#602 Tennessee -12.5
Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at 6:30pm EST
Written by Sporty Jordy

This article covers a past game!

View upcoming games.

When and where: February 18, 2020, Thomson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, TN, 6:30 PM ET

The struggling Vanderbilt Commodores trek across good, old Rocky Top for an SEC tilt with the Tennessee Volunteers on Tuesday. After blowing out Arkansas, the Volunteers dropped a disappointing 63-61 loss on the road to South Carolina. They’ll try to get back on the winning track by handing Vanderbilt another loss in the second meeting of the season between the two rivals. The Commodores are coming off a third straight loss in a conference meeting with Florida on Saturday.

Vanderbilt’s worst game revisited

Vanderbilt has a golden opportunity to make things right—or make them worse—when traveling on the road to the Thomson-Boling Arena on Tuesday. They surely haven’t forgotten the lopsided beating the Volunteers gave them in January. It was their worst offensive performance all season with them finishing with only 45 points, a 23.5 field goal shooting percentage and going 0-for-25 from 3-pointer.

Not even a bad team would forget a loss like that.

The Commodores have lost their last three consecutive games ahead of their rematch with Tennessee. They were recently obliterated in an 84-66 loss to the Florida Gators.

Tennessee lacks a high-scoring offense, but the defensive struggles for Vanderbilt are bad enough to change that for a single night. The Commodores’ 281st-ranked defense is allowing a 50.6 average shooting percentage in their last three games. That doesn’t bode well with them being on the road against the superior team on paper.

The loss of sophomore forward Aaron Nesmith hasn’t done them any favors on the offensive side of the ball, either. They essentially lost the most explosive player on their team that was averaging 23.0 points per game. He wasn’t on the floor to help the Commodores in the first game, and he won’t be there in the rematch. Saben Lee and Scotty Pippen Jr. will have to carry the load.

A must-win situation for the Vols

Tennessee’s hopes for qualifying for the NCAA Tournament are dire, but at least they aren’t completely dead like Vanderbilt’s. Granted, they can’t afford to drop any more bad losses for the rest of the regular season.

That includes Tuesday’s run-in with the Commodores. Their backs are completely against the wall in the head-to-head meeting, and they’ll have to come out swinging if they have any hopes of saving their season. They should be especially motivated after a devastating 63-61 road loss to South Carolina on Saturday.

The Volunteers are only averaging 66.9 points per game with limited reliable scoring options. Yet, shots are sure to fall when facing a Commodores defense that couldn’t even stop a cold. John Fulkerson had a breakout offensive showing against the Gamecocks, and Tennessee could continue feeding him the ball in hopes of a carryover performance.

The defensive end of the floor is truly where the Commodores could make the Volunteers feel some pain. Their 25th-ranked defense is only allowing an average 62.2 points per game this season. Getting over the scoring hump will be a tall mountain to climb for the Commodores.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:

Rating:

The Commodores falling flat on their face on offense is a given considering how dominant the Volunteers can be on defense. They played bully-ball in the first meeting, and they’ll look to do the same in the rematch at home. It’s hard to put much faith in a Commodores team averaging 38.6 percent shooting in their last three outings.

There isn’t enough offensive efficiency for them to push an opponent that has already shut them down once this season in their home building. Tennessee is the more physical basketball team, and they’re going to impose their will on the struggling Commodores from start to finish.

Vanderbilt coach Jerry Stackhouse better warm up his vocal cords because plenty of yelling is in his future. I’m laying the points and taking the Volunteers on Tuesday.

Prediction: Tennessee Volunteers (-13)

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:

Rating:

Tennessee can look equally as sloppy offensively as the Commodores at times. They turned the ball over 18 times and went 1-of-8 from 3-pointer in the first meeting. Of course, they were able to cash in on high-percentage shots and ultimately pull away for the victory.

A similar game will unfold in Tuesday’s rematch. The Volunteers are only averaging 66.6 points at home this season. You can rest assured nothing good will come out of that number, even with Tennessee facing Vanderbilt’s struggling defense. Another lopsided, low-scoring game has me taking the under betting total here.

Prediction: Under (135.5)
Loading...

Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.