Last Updated Nov 19, 2021, 10:00 PM

Villanova Wildcats vs. Tennessee Volunteers Picks, Predictions, Odds

Nov. 20, 2021
Dave Schwab
VI Betting Expert

In a neutral-site showdown between two nationally ranked teams, the Big East’s No. 5 Villanova Wildcats square off against the SEC’s No. 17 Tennessee Volunteers this Saturday afternoon at Mohegan Sun Arena. Game time for this Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament clash is set for 1 p.m. on ESPNNEWS.

Score Prediction

Villanova 86, Tennessee 74

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Villanova Wildcats vs. Tennessee Volunteers Predictions

The Wildcats will be facing their second nationally ranked team of the season. They came up short against No. 2 UCLA in a wild overtime finish last Friday out on the West Coast as three- point road underdogs. This Saturday’s matchup against a quality team at a neutral site gives Villanova an excellent opportunity to stake its claim as one of the top teams in the nation with an impressive victory.

Tennessee is off to a perfect 2-0 straight-up start against a pair of teams it was expected to beat with ease. Stepping up in class against one of the best teams in the nation will be an excellent test to see just how good the ranked Volunteers really are.

Even in defeat, I was extremely impressed with Villanova’s play against UCLA on the road in a game it should have won. Losing in overtime is just added motivation to win and cover against Tennessee with authority in this Saturday’s contest.

Villanova Wildcats vs. Tennessee Volunteers Betting Odds

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Villanova Wildcats vs. Tennessee Volunteers Betting Resources

  • Matchup: Big East vs. SEC
  • Date: Saturday, November 20, 2021
  • Venue: Mohegan Sun Arena
  • Location: Uncasville, Connecticut
  • TV-Time: ESPNN - 1:00 p.m. ET

Villanova Wildcats Betting Analysis

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

  • SU: 2-1
  • ATS: 1-2
  • O/U: 3-0

Villanova started the new season with a 40-point win over Mount St. Mary’s to easily cover the 26.5-point spread. On Tuesday night, the Wildcats held off Howard 100-81 but they could not cover the closing 29.5-point spread against a hot shooting team. The total has gone OVER in their first three games.

Against UCLA, Villanova was able to build a 10-point lead in the second half. However, the Bruins showed why they are the No. 2 team in the nation with a rally that took the game into overtime. Outscored 19-10 in that overtime period, the Wildcats ran out of steam and could not keep pace.

That loss should act as a good learning experience moving forward. Through three games, Villanova has four different players averaging at least 16 points per game. Guard Justin Moore has led the way with 19.0 PPG. He is shooting an impressive 51.2% from the floor and lighting things up from outside with a 58.8 shooting percentage from three-point range.

Averaging 89.3 PPG as a team, the OVER in Saturday’s tilt could be another strong bet. The Wildcats are shooting 50.3% from the field and 48.8% from three-point territory. They are pulling down an average of just 29 rebounds a game as one lone concern.

Tennessee Volunteers Betting Analysis

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

  • SU: 2-0
  • ATS: 1-1
  • O/U: 2-0

The Volunteers made short work of Tennessee-Martin in their season opener with a 90-62 victory but the winning margin was not wide enough to cover the hefty 35-point spread. Facing East Tennessee State last Saturday, they cruised to a 94-62 win to easily cover the closing 16.5-point spread in that game. Behind 184 total points scored, the total easily went OVER in both contests.

It is hard to get a really good read on Tennessee given the level of competition in its first two games. Yet, this deserves to be a nationally ranked team at this early point in the season. The Volunteers are not the best team in the SEC on paper, but they remain a top 20 team on the NCAAB futures board to win a national title at +5000.

Tennessee has some scoring depth on its roster as well with four players averaging at least 12 PPG. The two hottest shooters would be guard Kennedy Chandler and forward Olivier Nkamkoua. Each player is shooting better than 50% from the field.

As a team, the Volunteers are connecting on 44.4% of their shots from the floor while shooting 42.9% from beyond the three-point line. They could have a big edge on Saturday under the boards with an average of 48.5 rebounds a game.

Inside the Stats - Villanova Wildcats

  • Record: 2-1
  • VI Ranking: 7
  • PS/G: 89.3 (26th)
  • PA/G: 72.7 (244th)
  • ORtg: 132.7 (2nd)
  • DRtg: 107.9 (308th)

Inside the Stats - Tennessee Volunteers

  • Record: 2-0
  • VI Ranking: 15
  • PS/G: 92 (16th)
  • PA/G: 62 (97th)
  • ORtg: 126 (11th)
  • DRtg: 84.9 (72nd)

Key Players to Watch

  • NOVA: Justin Moore - G (19 ppg)
  • NOVA: Collin Gillespie - G (17.3 ppg)
  • TENN: Kennedy Chandler - G (18 ppg, 5 apg)
  • TENN: Olivier Nkamhoua - F (17 ppg, 11 rpg)

Villanova Wildcats vs. Tennessee Volunteers Betting Conclusion

Taking nothing away from Tennessee, the Wildcats are in a different class coming into this matchup. They are also highly motivated as a top five team with a loss. This will only be the third head-to-head meeting between the two. Villanova beat Tennessee 85-76 back in 2017 as an eight-point favorite. The previous meeting was in 2010.

The Wildcats have not been the most reliable betting team over their past 20 games with an even 10-10 record ATS while going 13-7 SU. Tennessee is actually a bit worse at 9-11 ATS with a SU record of 12-8.

I took Villanova as an underdog on the money line against UCLA and almost walked away with a solid payout. Laying the points, I will try and win my money back with a cover against Tennessee.

Villanova Wildcats vs. Tennessee Volunteers Betting Trends

  • Villanova has gone OVER the point total in three straight games.
  • Tennessee has gone OVER the point total in two straight games.

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