Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:48 AM

Alabama vs. Tennessee Predictions, Odds

Jan. 2, 2021
Thom Cunningham
NCAA BK Expert

The No. 7 Tennessee Volunteers look to continue their impressive form when they host the visiting Alabama Crimson Tide in an SEC battle. Tip is set for 6:00 p.m. (ET) from Knoxville, Tennessee on ESPN2.



Alabama-Tennessee Betting Odds

Line Movements

  • Spread: Tennessee -10
  • Money-Line: TBD
  • Total: 141.5

Odds Subject to Change

Tennessee is a double-digit favorite in this home game, opening at -12-points which has since dwindled to -10. This is a much better take, for obvious reasons, as Tennessee is a current juggernaut in the college basketball landscape. This is a complete team, with playmakers in all facets of the game.

Tennessee has covered six of its last seven games, winning all seven SU. Alabama is even in covering the spread with a 4-4-1 ATS. The point total is set for 141.5. The Vols have gone UNDER the point total in five of their last seven games, while Alabama has an O/U of 4-5.


Betting Analysis – Alabama Crimson Tide

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

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

Alabama will rely on four players to get them through Knoxville, beginning with Jaden Shackelford. He leads the team in points per game with 13.4, and is one of the top rebounders for Alabama. Both Herb Jones and John Petty also contribute in both scoring and rebounding.

Jahvon Quinerly leads Alabama in assists, averaging 3.2 per game to go along with 13.1 points. Alabama can matchup with Tennessee in two areas, the glass and on defense. Alabama ranks 57th nationally in rebounds per game (40.8), evident from four Crimson Tide players averaging five or more per game.

Also, Alabama sees eight steals per game, which ranks 72nd nationally. Tennessee has a stout defense, so if Alabama can fight fire with fire in that regard, they have a chance to cover +10-points. Alabama is a good team, but just too inconsistent to trust.

Good wins for Alabama include Providence, Ole Miss and Furman. Bad losses for Alabama include Western Kentucky at home and Stanford by 18 points. Is there a reason for this? Looking deeper into figures, there is a good theory - the three-point shot.

Alabama shoots the eighth-most three-pointers per game in the entire country, which would be fine if Alabama wasn't shooting 30% from beyond the arc (ranks 259th nationally). The Crimson Tide seem to be the definition of live and die by the three, so if they are hitting the shot then they are tough to beat.

This is not a typical formula when playing on the road against the nation's second-best defense. Alabama will need to score more efficiently from inside, which circles back to their rebounding against Tennessee's top-to-bottom roster.

Betting Analysis – Tennessee Volunteers

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

  • SU: 7-0
  • ATS: 6-1
  • SU - Home: 6-0
  • SU - Away: 1-0
  • O/U: 2-5

Tennessee continues to present one of the best futures bets to make in college basketball. Its highly recommended before any Tennessee game, until further notice, to take the Vols reaching the Final Four or even winning March Madness as a long shot. They are that good.

They allow the second-fewest points per game and average about 80 points per game, coupled with the nations 23rd-most efficient offense (116.2 rating).Victor Bailey, Jaden Springer and John Fulkerson score all the points for this club - each averaging a double-digit point total.

Fulkerson cleans up the glass, while Santiago Vescovi runs quarterback. Yves Pons adds post depth despite a small size, while Josiah-Jordan James makes his mark in scoring, rebounding and passing.

This team has too many playmakers that contribute in all areas of the game, without even getting to freshman Keon Johnson yet. Tennessee ranks 25th nationally in blocks per game, 45th nationally in steals per game, 69th nationally in rebounds per game and 58th nationally in assists per game.

Add all that up, you have a productively balanced team with playmakers in every corner of the basketball game. Tennessee really has no excuse to not only win this game, but perhaps the entire conference.

Inside the Stats – Alabama Crimson Tide

  • PS/G: 77.3 (104th)
  • PA/G: 70.4 (178th)
  • Off Rtg: 104 (140th)
  • Def Rtg: 94.8 (129th)

Inside the Stats – Tennessee Volunteers

  • PS/G: 79.7 (73rd)
  • PA/G: 52.7 (2nd)
  • Off Rtg: 116.2 (23rd)
  • Def Rtg: 76.9 (5th)

Key Players to Watch

  • BAMA - Jaden Shackelford (13.4 PPG, 5.1 RPG)
  • BAMA - Herb Jones (12.1 PPG, 6.3 RPG)
  • TENN - Victor Bailey (12.6 PPG)
  • TENN - John Fulkerson (11.7 PPG, 6.3 RPG)

Alabama-Tennessee Predictions

Alabama's offense has been on fire lately, but they typically struggle against good defensive teams (Stanford and Clemson). Mark Tennessee right up there with the best defensive teams, so don't expect an 80, or even 70 point total from the Crimson Tide. Tennessee, however, can touch 80 which they have done in three of four games.

The point total is a bit tricky, despite the odds saying Tennessee will go UNDER. Feel free to play the 2-5 O/U Tennessee has seen this season, and hope the Vols' defense can hold Alabama to 60 points or less. In terms of a winner, it's tough to pick against Alabama with a large spread, but Tennessee is the best team they will have faced so far.

Tennessee should cover, but they should win the second half regardless how Alabama plays. The Vols are a tough outing at home, and better teams playing at home typically finish strong against weaker clubs.

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