Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#829 Tennessee 131.5 vs.
#830 Arkansas -4.5
Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at 8:30pm EST
Written by David Hess

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A little Southeastern Conference hoops action this evening and we will see the Tennessee Volunteers grapple with the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Vols won the first meeting between these teams this year. Tennessee enters this game at 15-12 on the year overall, including 7-7 in league play while the Razorbacks have gone 5-9 within the SEC and 17-10 overall.

The Vols Have been Inconsistent Of late

The Tennessee Volunteers have had a decent season overall but they have gone just 7-7 in league play. The Vols started SEC play by winning four of their first six games but they have lost five of their last eight within the SEC. Tennessee would have the 9th seed if the SEC Tournament started today and that means no bye in the first two rounds. The Vols are playing for a higher seed in the conference tourney and after this game, they have a home game against Florida, a roadie against Kentucky and a home game against Auburn. Tennessee's last three opponents are all in the top four of the SEC so this is a huge game for them if they hope to improve their seeding at all. Tennessee is ranked 66th by KenPom and they have faced the 55th rated slate of games.

In their last game, the Vols lost at Auburn by a score of 73-66. They were dogs of six points in the contest. The offense struggled again and Tennessee has now averaged just 64.7 ppg over their last 16 games. The Vols shot 45% from the field overall, including 35% (6/170 from long range while making 16 of their 17 free throw attempts. It was not a bad shooting game overall, but it wasn't enough as they lost the turnover battle 22-11. Leading their attack was Jordan Bowden, who had 28 while Santiago Vescovi was 2nd with 10. The Tigers shot 42% from the field overall, including 35% (7/20) from long range while missing nine free throws. It was the turnovers that killed the Vols in the contest. Tennessee is 240th in the nation in turnovers committed per game at 13.9 and that is not good as the Hogs are 14th in turnovers forced per game at 16.6.

Tennessee enters this game ranked 297th in the nation in scoring at 66.8 ppg, 225th in field goal percentage at 42.8%, 308th in three-point shooting at 30.6% and 39th in free-throw shooting at 75.6%. On the defensive end of the floor, they are ranked 23rd in points allowed at 62.5 ppg, 23rd in defensive FG% at 39.2% and 100th in three-point defense at 31.6%.

Hogs Top Tigers To End Slide

The Arkansas Razorbacks are 17-10 overall, which is not bad but their 5-9 mark within the SEC will keep them from an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament. The Hogs will need to win the conference tournament if they want to get in. Arkansas did just have a five-game losing streak going but they were able to end the slide with a 78-68 home win over Missouri, as 8.5 point favorites. The defense has not been that good for Arkansas but they allowed just 68 points in the contest, after giving up 75.1 ppg (Regulation) in their previous seven games. They have a shot at a good defensive showing in this one as the Vols have averaged just 64.7 ppg over their last 16 games. The Tigers shot 43% from the field overall, including 19% (4/21) from long range.

The Hogs have been a solid offensive team this year but they have averaged just 68.5 ppg (regulation) over their last six games. They had a nice game against the Tigers, hitting 47% of their shots from the field overall, including 48% (12/25) from long range. leading their attack in the game was Isaiah Joe, who had 21 points while Desi Sills had 17. The offense will be tested in this one as the Vols have one of the best defenses in the SEC. Arkansas has been ranked 47th in the nation by KenPom and they have faced the 61st rated slate of games.

The Razorbacks enter this game ranked 103rd in the nation in scoring at 74.0 ppg, while also ranking 179th in shooting (43.7%), 251st in three-point shooting (32.0%) and 115th in free throw shooting (72.7%). On defense, they are 122nd in points allowed, giving up 67.4 ppg, while also ranking 132nd in defensive FG% (42.0%) and 1st in three-point defense (25.5%).

Best Bets for this Game

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Neither team is playing all that well at the moment but I have to go with the home team in this one as the Hogs do have some nice positives for thone. The first is that they are 12-4 at home and have outscored those foes by 13.3 ppg while the Vols are just 3-6 on the road and they have been outscored by at least six points in five of their six road losses. The turnover factor will be huge in this one as the Vols are 240th in the nation in turnovers committed while the Hogs are 14th in forcing them. We also not that Tennessee has committed 15.8 turnovers per game on the road while the Hogs have forced 17.6 of them at home. Tennessee has an overall edge on defense but their offense has not been good at all, especially on the road where they have averaged just 66.8 ppg while Arkansas has put up 75.6 ppg at home. Lastly is the revenge factor as Arkansas will be looking to atone for a 21 point loss to the Vols earlier in the year. Take Arkansas to win this one by eight points or more.

Prediction: Arkansas -4.5

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The first meeting this year saw 143 points being scored and this one will come very close to that. The Hogs have played solid defense at home but Tennessee has still averaged 66.8 ppg on the road and the Vols did put up 82 points on Arkansas in the first meeting. The Tennessee defense is one of the best in the nation, allowing just 62.5 ppg overall but they have allowed 69.6 ppg on the road and the Razorbacks have averaged a strong 75.6 ppg here at home. Tennessee will look to slow the pace but the Hogs love to run at home and I see them getting their way in that respect. Arkansas' SEC games have averaged 146.9 ppg and I can see this one topping the 140-point mark as well. The Over is 7-0 in Arkansas' last seven games as a favorite and that seals the deal for me.

Prediction: Over 132.5
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Written By David Hess

David has always had a fascination with numbers and sports, so he combined the two to become a handicapper and a writer for us here at Winners & Whiners, along with StatSalt. All the information that David puts in his articles are well-researched and his predictions are well-thought out. He is a big fan of all the major pro sports and the colleges making David a very versatile and a constantly winning handicapper. David has been writing for the past 10 years and has been handicapping for over 20 years. He will help you beat the Man, so be sure and follow along.