Last Updated Dec 28, 2021, 10:00 PM

Tennessee Volunteers vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Picks, Predictions, Odds

Dec. 29, 2021
Dan Dobish
VI Betting Expert

The Tennessee Volunteers (9-2) travel to meet the Alabama Crimson Tide (9-3) at Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa, Ala. on Wednesday in the SEC opener for both ranked teams. Tip-off is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. ET, and the game can be viewed on ESPN2.

Score Prediction

Tennessee 76, Alabama 71

Best Bets

Tennessee +120 ML at BetMGM

Tennessee +2.5 (-110) at BetMGM

Under 148.5 (-110) at BetMGM

Tennessee Volunteers vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Predictions

The Volunteers are coming off an impressive 77-73 victory against Arizona last Wednesday night in Knoxville, a game which Tennessee was favored by one point. Tennessee shot just 39% from the field, or 26-of-67, which going 7-of-24 from downtown, or just 29%. They weren't particularly attractive at the free-throw line, either, hitting 18-of-27, or just 67%. The Wildcats were actually a little better from the field statistically, but the difference was in the turnover category. Tennessee had a plus-4 differential in turnovers, and had five blocked shots to just three swats for Arizona. The difference was slight, but defensively is where Tennessee won that showdown, while also recording two more steals than 'Zona.

Kennedy Chandler will be looking to bounce back after an ugly 2-of-14 shooting might, including 0-of-3 from downtown. And the normally reliable Santiago Vescovi managed just 5-of-16 from the field, including 3-of-12 from the perimeter, ending up with 15 points. The star was John Fulkerson, who hit at a 8-of-13 clip, finishing with 24 points and 10 boards.

Alabama was shocked last time out against Davidson on a neutral floor at Legacy Arena at The BJCC in Birmingham, although it was mostly a Tide-based crowd. That's two losses in the past three games, and struggles on threes were to blame. Bama was 45% from the field, but just 12-of-36 (33%) from the 3-point line, while going even with 11 turnovers apiece. Jaden Shackelford was his normal, reliable self, going 8-of-15, including 4-of-11 from deep, ending up with 20 points, five rebounds and a steal in his 33 minutes.

Tennessee Volunteers vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Betting Odds

  • Tennessee +120
  • Alabama -145
  • Tennessee +2.5 (-110)
  • Alabama -2.5 (-110)
  • Over 148.5 (-110)
  • Under 148.5 (-110)

More Odds | Futures Odds

Tennessee Volunteers vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Betting Resources

  • Matchup: SEC
  • Date: Wednesday, December 29, 2021
  • Venue: Coleman Coliseum
  • Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • TV-Time: ESPN2 - 9:00 p.m. ET

Tennessee Volunteers Betting Analysis

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

  • SU: 9-2
  • ATS: 7-4
  • O/U: 5-6

The Vols enter on a three-game win and cover streak since a 57-52 overtime loss against Texas Tech on a neutral floor at Madison Square Garden as four-point favorites. Tennessee is also 5-1 ATS across the past six games, going for 76 or more points in six of the past eight outings overall. Both of Tennessee's losses this season have been against ranked teams on a neutral floor. This will actually be just its second true road games. Tennessee traveled to Colorado Dec. 4 and humbled the Buffaloes by a 69-54 score as 5.5-point favorites as the UNDER connected.

As far as totals are concerned, lately it's been all UNDER all the time for the Power T. The OVER started 4-1 across the first five games for the Vols, but the defense has picked up the pace. The UNDER is 5-1 across the past six outings, including a total of combined total of 150 points last time out against a 153 number. They allowed 73 to Arizona in the most recent game, but they allowed 57 or fewer points in the five previous games, including the TTU and Colorado games.

Alabama Crimson Tide Betting Analysis

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

  • SU: 9-3
  • ATS: 6-6
  • O/U: 8-4

Alabama looked like one of the best teams in the nation in the first month, including a tremendous 91-82 victory against Gonzaga on a neutral floor back on Dec. 4 as 10-point underdogs. The Crimson Tide won eight of the first nine games straight up, but started to show some chinks in the armor in a Dec. 11 game against Houston. The Tide won that game by just one point as three-point favorites, although it could have easily went the other way. That non-cover kicked off an 0-4 ATS skid and Alabama has dropped two of the past three straight up, including a 92-78 pummeling from a skidding Memphis side, and a 79-78 loss to Davidson in Birmingham on a neutral floor. Not good.

It seems the Tide has gotten away from its tremendous defensive brand of basketball, perhaps eating the rat poison. No wait, wrong sport. The Tide had allowed 72 or fewer points in six of the first seven games this season, but they have allowed 79 or more points in four of the past five outings. Yes, the competition has gotten a little more stiff recently, but even so, the lack of defense has turned the, yes, tide. The OVER is 6-1 across the past seven games for Alabama after the UNDER went 3-0 from Nov. 16-25.

Inside the Stats - Tennessee Volunteers

  • Record: 9-2
  • VI Ranking: 14
  • PS/G: 78.4 (63rd)
  • PA/G: 59.3 (22nd)
  • ORtg: 110.8 (50th)
  • DRtg: 83.8 (13th)

Inside the Stats - Alabama Crimson Tide

  • Record: 9-3
  • VI Ranking: 34
  • PS/G: 82.9 (15th)
  • PA/G: 73.3 (291st)
  • ORtg: 112.9 (29th)
  • DRtg: 99.9 (245th)

Key Players to Watch

  • TENN: Kennedy Chandler - G (14.0 PPG, 5.3 APG, 3.0 RPG, 2.0 SPG)
  • TENN: Santiago Vescovi - G (13.3 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 3.2 APG, 2.0 SPG)
  • BAMA: Jahvon Quinerly - G (14.7 PPG, 4.4 APG, 3.1 RPG, 1.0 SPG)
  • BAMA: Jaden Shackelford - G (16.8 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 1.4 APG, 41.4 3P%)

Tennessee Volunteers vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Betting Conclusion

These are two teams going in completely different directions. If it was a football game, it would be all Alabama. But in this one, the Crimson Tide is just not playing with a lot of confidence lately, and their defense has tailed off. Meanwhile, the Vols are coming off an impressive win against a red-hot Arizona team, and they'll use that as a springboard into this road game, just their second true road outing this season.

The funny thing about Tennessee is that they didn't really even play a perfect game to beat Arizona, either. They were good defensively, but could have won going away if they just made their free throws. The underdog has cashed in four of the past five meetings in this series, and it's going to happen again. Take the team playing a better brand of basketball lately, and that's easily Tennessee.

Tennessee Volunteers vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Betting Trends

  • Tennessee is 5-1 ATS in the past six games overall.
  • Tennessee is 5-1 ATS in the past six games against winning teams.
  • Alabama is 0-4 ATS in the past four games overall.
  • The UNDER is 5-1 in the past six games for Tennessee.
  • The UNDER is 8-3 in the past 11 road games for Tennessee.
  • The UNDER is 17-4 in the past 21 games against winning teams for Tennessee.
  • The OVER is 6-1 in the past seven games for Alabama.
  • The OVER is 7-3 in the past 10 home games for Alabama.
  • The UNDER is 13-3 in the past 16 games against winning teams for Alabama.

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