Tennessee Volunteers vs. Memphis Tigers Picks, Predictions, Odds

Dec. 18, 2021
Dave Schwab
VI Betting Expert

One of this Saturday’s early college basketball betting highlights is an in-state showdown between the SEC’s No. 18 Tennessee Volunteers and the AAC’s Memphis Tigers. Opening tip from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. ET and ESPN2 will air the national TV broadcast.

Score Prediction

Memphis 78, Tennessee 77

Best Bets

Memphis +5.5 (-110) at BetMGM

Tennessee Volunteers vs. Memphis Tigers Predictions

The Volunteers come into this in-state showdown with a straight-up record of 8-2. Their biggest win of the year game against North Carolina and they lost to Villanova as two-point underdogs and to Texas Tech as four-point favorites. Tennessee closed as a double-digit favorite in six of the other seven games.

The Tigers started the season ranked No. 12 on the AP preseason poll. After falling from the rankings in the midst of a SU four-game losing streak, they turned things around with an impressive upset over No. 6 Alabama. A win on Saturday would go a long way towards making a return to the Top 25.

Memphis may have been a bit overrated to start the season but this is still a very talented team. Taking nothing away from Tennessee, I see this game as a perfect opportunity for the Tigers to reestablish themselves as a nationally ranked-caliber team. Coming off the huge win against the Tide, I am betting that Memphis knocks off another ranked SEC team on Saturday.

Tennessee Volunteers vs. Memphis Tigers Betting Odds

  • Tennessee -250
  • Memphis +200
  • Tennessee -5.5 (-110)
  • Memphis +5.5 (-110)
  • Over 142.5 (-110)
  • Under 142.5 (-110)

More Odds | Futures Odds

Tennessee Volunteers vs. Memphis Tigers Betting Resources

  • Matchup: SEC vs. AAC
  • Date: Saturday, December 18, 2021
  • Venue: Bridgestone Arena
  • Location: Nashville, Tennessee
  • TV-Time: ESPN2 - 12:00 p.m. ET

Tennessee Volunteers Betting Analysis

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

  • SU: 8-2
  • ATS: 6-4
  • O/U: 6-3-1

After covering against the spread in four of its last five games, Tennessee improved to 6-4 ATS overall. The total went OVER 137.5 points in the Volunteers’ 96-52 romp against USC Upstate on Tuesday night after staying UNDER in their previous four outings.

Leading the way on an offense that is averaging 78.5 points per game, guard Kennedy Chandler has been able to chip in 14.6 of those points. He also leads the team in assists (5.4) while shooting an efficient 47.9% from the field. Chandler has converted on 40% of his 40 three- point attempts.

Guard Santiago Vescovi has been another instrumental part of the offensive effort with 13.1 PPG. He is shooting 42.6% from the field and 37% from three-point range as another solid outside threat. Forward John Fulkerson is pulling down 6.2 of the team’s 38.8 rebounds a game.

The Volunteers, as a team, are hitting 45.8% of their shots from the field and 34% from outside the three-point line. They are 69% from the free throw line. The biggest strength of this team is at the other end of the court on defense with a points-allowed average of 57.8.

Memphis Tigers Betting Analysis

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

  • SU: 6-4
  • ATS: 4-6
  • O/U: 6-4

Memphis started the season with five SU wins, including an eight-point victory over Virginia Tech as a 3.5-point favorite. The four-game slide started with back-to-back losses to Iowa State and Georgia as an 11.5-point favorite in each game. Prior to Tuesday’s 92-78 romp over Alabama as 3.5-point underdogs, the Tigers lost to Murray State favored by 10.

In their defense, three of the four losses were by a combined nine points. The convincing win against the Tide should go a long way towards restoring this team’s confidence in itself. From a betting standpoint, Memphis is 4-6 ATS this season with the total the total going OVER in three of its last four games.

The trio of forwards’ DeAndre Williams and Emoni Bates along with center Jalen Duren have accounted for almost 33 of the Tigers’ 77.7 PPG. Duren leads the team in rebounds (7.6) and guard Alex Lomax leads in assists (2.7) and steals (1.9).

Memphis is shooting 47.4% from the field and 35.1% from three-point range to matchup closely with the Volunteers. The Tigers are averaging 38.5 rebounds a game with 12.7 on the offense end of the court. Their points-allowed average on the year is 69.2.

Memphis has failed to cover the spread in three of its last four games away from the FedExForum. (AP)

Inside the Stats - Tennessee Volunteers

  • Record: 8-2
  • VI Ranking: 25
  • PS/G: 78.5 (63rd)
  • PA/G: 57.9 (16th)
  • ORtg: 111.7 (44th)
  • DRtg: 82.4 (10th)

Inside the Stats - Memphis Tigers

  • Record: 6-4
  • VI Ranking: 81
  • PS/G: 77.7 (75th)
  • PA/G: 69.2 (203rd)
  • ORtg: 104.2 (155th)
  • DRtg: 92.8 (103rd)

Key Players to Watch

  • TENN: Kennedy Chandler - G (14.6 ppg, 5.4 apg)
  • TENN: Santiago Vescovi - G (13.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg)
  • MEM: Deandre Williams - F (11.2 ppg, 4.9 rpg)
  • MEM: Emoni Bates - F (10.8 ppg)

Tennessee Volunteers vs. Memphis Tigers Betting Conclusion

These in-state foes are fairly familiar with one another. The last meeting was in 2019 with Memphis grinding out a 51-47 victory as a six-point underdog. The total stayed UNDER 138 points.

The Tigers have the slight SU edge in the overall series at 10-8 while going 11-7 ATS. They have won three of the last four meetings both SU and ATS. The total has gone OVER in four of the last six games between the two.

Using ESPN’s power rankings, Tennessee has been given a 75.5% chance to win this game SU. However, that is strictly on paper. There is far more riding on this neutral-site showdown for Memphis other than in-state bragging rights.

Tennessee Volunteers vs. Memphis Tigers Betting Trends

  • Memphis has failed to cover the spread in three of its last four games away from the FedExForum.
  • Tennessee has covered the spread in two straight games.
  • Tennessee has covered the spread in two of its last three games away from Knoxville.