Texas vs. Tennessee Picks, Predictions, Odds

The last big non-conference games of the season will take place this weekend, and the slate is headlined by the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. In the most anticipated game of the bunch, Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes will face his former team when the Volunteers host the Texas Longhorns. This game will take place on Saturday, January 28, 2023, at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN from Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Tennessee seeks its 10th straight win when it hosts Texas. (Getty)

Texas Longhorns vs. Tennessee Volunteers Betting Prediction

There will be a palpable buzz in the air when the Texas Longhorns and Tennessee Volunteers meet in Knoxville on Saturday evening. These are two top ten teams with legitimate national title aspirations, and this game has a chance to go a long way when it comes to seeding for the NCAA Tournament.

Both Texas and Tennessee are 17-3 with a handful of elite wins this year, but the Volunteers will ride home court advantage to a relatively comfortable win in this one. The Vols have an elite defense that will fluster the Longhorns, and that will be the different in a Tennessee win.

Score Prediction: Tennessee 69, Texas 62
Best Bet: Tennessee -6.5

Texas Longhorns vs. Tennessee Volunteers Betting Odds

Texas Longhorns vs. Tennessee Volunteers Betting Resources

Date: Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023
TV-Time: ESPN, 6:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Thompson-Boling Arena
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Expert Picks

Big 12 Championship Odds
SEC Championship Odds

Texas Longhorns vs. Tennessee Volunteers Betting Stats

Texas Longhorns
SU: 17-3
ATS: 8-12
O/U: 11-7-2
PPG: 80.5
OPPG: 66.8

Tennessee Volunteers
SU: 17-3
ATS: 12-8
O/U: 9-11
PPG: 74.1
OPPG: 53.7

Straight Up (SU), Against the Spread (ATS), Over-Under (O/U)
Points Per Game (PPG), Opponents Points Per Game (OPPG)

Texas Longhorns Betting Analysis

The Texas Longhorns rank 12th in the country in offensive efficiency according to Ken Pomeroy. Texas is one of the best teams when it comes to sinking shots from inside the three-point line, hitting 56.2% of its two-point field goals as a team. The Longhorns have done a good job of limiting turnovers too even after Chris Beard was fired and replaced by interim head coach Rodney Terry.

Marcus Carr is the leading scorer for Texas. Carr is averaging 17.6 PPG and a team-high 4.3 APG, and he is the most reliable three-point shooter on the team to boot, averaging 41.5% from beyond the arc. Unfortunately, the only other rotation player that is hitting better than 32% from range is Brock Cunningham, and he has only taken 36 threes this season.

The Longhorns have a reliable frontcourt that can score in the low post from a number of angles. Timmy Allen is the second leading scorer with 10.7 PPG and 5.3 RPG, and he is making 51.9% of his two-point attempts. Dylan Disu is averaging 7.4 PPG and is one of the most efficient interior shooters in the country, hitting 70.5% of his twos. Christian Bishop and Dillon Mitchell are both making at least 61% of their two-point attempts too.

The Longhorns are 3-6 ATS in their last nine games overall. (Getty)

Tennessee Volunteers Betting Analysis

Tennessee has the best defense in the nation per Pomeroy. Opponents have an effective field goal percentage of just 38.5% against the Vols, and teams turn the ball over on a whopping 25.2% of their possessions against this team. The perimeter defense has been easily the best in the country with opponents making a paltry 21.6% of their threes against this team, and Tennessee ranks in the top five in two-point defense too.

Offensively, the Volunteers are only great at getting second chances on the glass. Only one (Olivier Nkamhoua) of the top six scorers is shooting better than 40.1% from the floor, and Tennessee is a marginal perimeter shooting team too. Santiago Vescovi is the leading scorer on the team, and he is averaging 12.2 PPG. Sophomore Zakai Zeigler has been a spark plug off the bench, and he is the second leading scorer (10.7 PPG) while leading the team with 4.9 APG. Nkamhoua spends most of his time in the low post and is averaging 10.3 PPG while making 57.6% of his field goals.

Vescovi and Zeigler are both superb perimeter defenders. Vescovi is averaging 2.4 SPG and Zeigler is right behind him averaging 2.3 SPG despite being 5'9. Jonas Aidoo is an elite shot blocker when he is on the court, and both Nkamhoua and Julian Phillips are very good interior defenders.