Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:48 AM

Tennessee vs. Missouri Predictions, Odds

  • December 30, 2020
  • By Thom Cunningham

A highly anticipated SEC showdown between undefeated schools in on tap for Wednesday night, as the No. 7 Tennessee Volunteers take on the No. 12 Missouri Tigers. Game time is set for 9:00 p.m. from the Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Missouri, airing on the SEC Network.



Tennessee-Missouri Betting Odds

Line Movements

  • Spread: Tennessee -4
  • Money-Line: Tennessee -180 Missouri +160
  • Total: 131

Odds Subject to Change

Something has to give in this SEC game, as both schools enter undefeated with a combined 9-3 ATS this season. These are the two best teams in the conference (for now), but this is the first game Tennessee is playing away from home.

Oddsmakers expect a low-scoring battle, as the point total is a surprisingly low 131 to open. Tennessee has gone UNDER the point total in four of its last six games, while Missouri is split at 3-3 on the year.


Betting Analysis – Tennessee Volunteers

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 6-0
  • ATS: 5-1
  • SU - Home: 6-0
  • SU - Away: 0-0
  • O/U: 2-4

Tennessee is one of a few teams that actually presents a great futures wager to reach the Final Four or even win March Madness. The club averages about 80 points per game, while giving up the second-fewest points per game in the entire country at 52.7.

The Vols have the seventh-best defensive efficiency rating, to go along with the 18th-best offensive rating. Teams with high efficiency ratios tend to do well in March Madness. All these numbers, while impressive, are coming against mediocre teams. Through Tennessee's first six games they've beaten Colorado, Cincinnati, App State, Tennessee Tech, Saint Joe's and USC-Upstate.

It's safe to say Missouri is going to be their toughest opponent thus far, and coming on the road. This game will either be a wake up call to the SEC-favored Vols, or confirmation that this Tennessee team is legit. The Vols have four players who average a double-digit point total, beginning with Victor Bailey.

Both John Fulkerson and Josiah-Jordan James average 10 or more points per game to go along with over six boards as well. Expect these two, along with Yves Pons, to play big roles in cleaning up the glass against Missouri. Jaden Springer and Santiago Vescovi also contribute in various ways, rounding out a very athletic and complete lineup.

Tennessee gets rebounds, assists, steals, blocked shots and free throws very well. This is a difficult team to slow down, but nothing Missouri can't handle at home.

Betting Analysis – Missouri Tigers

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 6-0
  • ATS: 4-2
  • SU - Home: 5-0
  • SU - Away: 1-0
  • O/U: 3-3

The Tigers look to continue their winning streak with a solid home win against Tennessee. As a +4-point underdog, can Missouri pull off the home upset? Yes, as they've already done against Illinois earlier this year.

It's hard to argue anyone who fancies the Tigers moneyline at plus-value, with a much more impressive 6-0 run against teams like Oregon, Wichita State, Liberty and Illinois. Some may see a one-point home win over Bradley as a let down, but Bradley is one of the best three-point shooting teams in the nation and has a great chance to make March Madness this season.

The Tigers will lean heavily on their three-headed monster that begins with Xavier Pinson. Pinson is the team's leading scorer, and also averages nice numbers for rebounds and assists. Mark Smith and Dru Smith also average over 13 points per game. All three are upperclassmen, but the experience doesn't stop there.

Senior Jeremiah Tilmon averages a near double-double, while junior Javon Pickett and senior Mitchell Smith also contribute as well. This is a very experienced team, which usually makes for a tough outing at home. There isn't anything on the stat sheet that stands out, good or bad, for Missouri.

They rebound the ball pretty well, along with hitting a lot of their free throws. They're very similar to Tennessee in terms of strengths, except the Vols do a better job of getting steals and blocking shots. Tennessee's resume has been vastly underwhelming compared to Missouri's, so be weary of the statistical data entering this game.

Inside the Stats – Tennessee Volunteers

  • PS/G: 80.8 (62nd)
  • PA/G: 52.7 (2nd)
  • Off Rtg: 118.3 (18th)
  • Def Rtg: 77.1 (7th)

Inside the Stats – Missouri Tigers

  • PS/G: 75 (140th)
  • PA/G: 65.3 (91st)
  • Off Rtg: 107.4 (95th)
  • Def Rtg: 93.6 (117th)

Key Players to Watch

  • TENN - Victor Bailey (13.2 PPG)
  • TENN - John Fulkerson (11.8 PPG, 6.3 RPG)
  • MIZZ - Xavier Pinson (14.3 PPG, 4.2 RPG)
  • MIZZ - Mark Smith (13.8 PPG)

Tennessee-Missouri Predictions

The point total being so low, its hard not to take the OVER here. At 131, each team needs to hit 65 points for the OVER to cover. This seems reasonable to consider. Tennessee has yet to allow more than 66 points, but with Missouri being the best school they'll have faced, it may be the Tigers that score the most points on Tennessee up to this point.

If you have the guts to take Missouri SU, then there's no argument here. This seems to be a game where Missouri has to fight back for a win, so Tennessee to win the first half (have done so in six straight) as opposed to the game seems better here. Missouri to win the second half seems like a safer bet then either team winning as well, so feel free to half bet and give yourself a chance to live bet a potential hedge.

If you are keen on a winner instead of half betting, then Missouri should cover the spread. Tennessee leading, only for Missouri to come back, seems to be the smart play here. How that ends is a toss up, evident by a small spread favoring the road team in a top-15 battle.

  • Score Prediction: Missouri 68 Tennessee 67
  • Best Bets: OVER
  • Best Bets: Tennessee 1H
  • Best Bets: Mizzou 2H

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