College Basketball Predictions: Citadel at Tennessee Odds
by George Monroy - 11/18/2013
Many NCAA experts believed that the Tennessee Volunteers were a Top 25 team entering the college basketball season. Last year the team was eliminated in the first round of the NIT tournament in a disappointing loss to the Mercer Bears. This season, however, the Volunteers are expected to improve based on the strength of a very good recruiting class over the summer. Tennessee landed four talented freshmen, and head Coach Cuonzo Martin believes that the team is good enough to contend in the SEC and qualify for the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2011.
The Citadel Bulldogs won only six games last year, so this season’s two wins during the first four games is a welcomed start to the basketball year. The Bulldogs have seven returning players from last season’s team that was filled with freshmen. Coach Chuck Driesell has placed a renewed emphasis on the offense after the team shot less than 44 percent from the field last season and averaged only 64 points per game. Driesell believes that his group of experienced sophomores and juniors will make the team far more competitive than last year’s 6-24 squad. Let’s take a closer look at tonight’s Bulldogs versus Volunteers matchup with predictions and analysis.
Citadel at Tennessee Betting Story Lines
The Volunteers opened the season with a four-point road loss to the Xavier Musketeers in a game where they were a 2.5-point underdog. The team then went on to earn a nine-point victory over the USC Upstate Spartans. Tennessee fell behind by 13 points early in the game but was able to able to pull off the come-from-behind victory based on the strength of second-year forward Jarnell Stokes, who scored 17 points and grabbed 18 rebounds. Jeronne Maymon also had a solid night, scouring 15 points and grabbling 11 rebounds for the team. Tennessee had four players score in double-figures during a night when the team shot only 35 percent from the field. The main difference-maker in the matchup was the Volunteers’ free throw shooting. The team shot 80 percent from the line and made 29-of-36 attempts.
Citadel started the year with two straight losses then managed to win back-to-back games for the first time since last February. The team is coming off of a 32-point win over North Greenville on Saturday where third-year guard Ashton Moore scored 21 points and had nine assists. Citadel shot 46 percent from the beyond the arc but struggled to convert their free throws and shot only 59 percent from the line. The Bulldogs have averaged nearly 20 three-point attempts this season, and they are converting at a 41 percent rate.
Citadel at Tennessee NCAA Odds and Key Trends
The Volunteers opened as a 27.5-point favorite over Citadel, according to BetOnline. The vig for taking Tennessee is -115, so giving up the 27.5 points is the slight favorite. Citadel is 5-1 ATS during their last six road games versus teams with winning home records. They are also 5-2 ATS during their last seven overall games but 1-4 ATS during their last five nonconference games. Tennessee is 5-1 ATS during their last six home games and 3-1-1 ATS versus the Southern Conference. However, the Volunteers are 0-4 ATS during their last four nonconference games,
College Basketball Predictions: Citadel at Tennessee Picks
Tennessee has not looked great to start off the year and almost lost to the Upstate Spartans. The team has shot poorly from the field during their first two games and still has a lot of improvements to make before they can contend in the SEC. The Volunteers are likely to improve their offense production as the season progresses, but asking them to cover a 27.5-point spread seems like a lot. The key to this matchup will be the three-point line. Citadel loves to shoot from long range and converts at a decent percentage. The team might not be able to win this matchup, but the three-pointer will be enough to help them cover the spread. Take the Bulldogs plus the points.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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