Michigan vs. Tennessee NCAA March Madness Odds and Pick

South Regional play rolls on on Saturday with what should be a fun matchup between a couple of big-time programs. Michigan, who pulled off a surprising upset over Colorado State in the first round, will look to keep their season alive when they take on the Tennessee Volunteers. The two will square off at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis in this one.

Both teams took starkly different routes to reach the second round. Michigan rallied from a sizable first-half deficit to upend Colorado State, 75-63, on Thursday afternoon. The Vols, meanwhile, had no issue whatsoever disposing of No. 14 Longwood. Tennessee cruised past Longwood, 88-56, in a game that was exactly as lopsided as the final score indicates.
We’ll see what both teams have in store when they go head-to-head on Saturday. The 11th-seeded Wolverines will be looking to pull off their second consecutive upset. The Volunteers will try to take care of business.

As you may expect given their respective seeds, Tennessee comes into this one as the early favorite. The oddsmakers at BetOnline have the Volunteers listed as 6-point favorites in this one.

The clash between the Wolverines and Volunteers features an over/under of 136.5 points, as well.

Michigan Wolverines

Michigan may be the lower seed, but the Wolverines have a decorated track record on the hardwood. After posting a 23-5 record and winning the Big Ten title last season, the Wolverines fell in the Elite Eight at the hands of the UCLA Bruins. It was quite a disappointing way for the top-seeded Wolverines to close out their campaign.

This year’s team looks quite a bit different than last year’s as well. Franz Wagner, Chaundee Brown, and Isaiah Livers all departed for the NBA. The new-look Michigan side limped to a fairly uninspiring 18-14 regular season, including an underwhelming 11-9 mark in conference play. The most noteworthy thing that happened to Michigan this season was when Howard was suspended for trying to punch a Wisconsin assistant coach following the Badgers’ win over the Wolverines on February 21. After serving that suspension, however, Howard returned to the sidelines for Thursday’s comeback win over Colorado State.

After trailing 36-29 at the half to the Rams on Thursday, the Wolverines found their footing over the course of the game’s final 20 minutes. Michigan outscored Colorado State 46-27 in the second half, thanks in large part to an outstanding showing out of freshman Hunter Dickinson. Michigan’s best returning player scored a team-high 21 points on efficient eight-for-10 shooting in 35 minutes of action. He also blocked four shots, for good measure.

Taking care of the basketball will be a priority for Michigan if they are to pull off a second straight upset in this one. The Wolverines beat the Rams on Thursday despite sloppily committing 15 turnovers. Michigan did dominate the boards, however, outrebounding the Rams 36-25.

Michigan connected on just 34 percent of their three-point attempts during the regular season, which ranked 134th in the nation. They’ll likely have to get some of those three-balls to fall in order to upend a Tennessee side that connected on nearly 36 percent of their triples during the regular year.

Michigan went just 14-18 against the spread during the regular season, though they did cover on Thursday as slight 1.5-point underdogs.

Tennessee Volunteers

Few would label Tennessee as a basketball powerhouse, but Rick Barnes has built a fine program over in Knoxville. This is Tennessee’s fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. The team advanced all the way to the Sweet Sixteen back in 2019 before losing to Purdue.

The No. 3 seed in the South Region finished the regular season at 27-7 overall and 14-4 in SEC play. The Vols went on to beat Texas A&M in the SEC Championship Game last weekend. Tennessee has now won eight consecutive games overall, including their aforementioned 32-point shellacking of poor Longwood in the round-of-64 on Thursday.

Last year, the Volunteers fell to the Oregon State Beavers in a 5-vs.-12 first-round upset. This time around, they had no issues with a Longwood team appearing in the Big Dance for the first time. Five Vols scored in double figures on Thursday, led by Santiago Vescovi’s 18 points. Barnes’ squad was unstoppable offensively in that one, shooting a blazing 60 percent from the field, including 58.3 percent from three-point territory. Tennessee put 54 points on the board in the first half alone, while Longwood mustered just 56 points in the entire game.

Freshman guard Kennedy Chandler led the Volunteers in scoring during the regular season with an average of 13.8 points per game. Tennessee’s reserve unit is led by reserve guard Zakai Ziegler, who often comes off the bench to play around 30 minutes per game.

The SEC Tournament champions finished an impressive 21-13 against the spread this season. The Volunteers are also 18-9 ATS as favorites.

Michigan Wolverines vs. Tennessee Volunteers March Madness Game Pick

Michigan is a college basketball blueblood, but this year’s team isn’t nearly as talented as some of the other teams we’ve seen roll through Ann Arbor in previous years. Their come-from-behind win over Colorado State was impressive, but consistency hasn’t been a hallmark of the 2021-22 Wolverines.

Please Note:
Tennesse has more depth, more shooting, and more athleticism. If the Vols can keep Dickinson from having his way in the post, it will be incredibly difficult for Michigan to keep up with the Volunteers in this one.

Given the Vols’ prowess against the spread as favorites, I expect Tennessee to come into this one and get the job done. Take the Volunteers to win and cover the 5.5-point margin on Saturday and send Michigan home early.

Tennessee Volunteers -6

Michigan Wolverines vs. Tennessee Volunteers Betting Recap

  • Moneyline: Michigan +200, Tennessee -240
  • Point Spread: Michigan +6 (-110), Tennessee -6 (-110)
  • Over/Under: Over 136.5 points (-110), Under 136.5 points (-110)
  • Pick: Tennessee Volunteers -6 (-110)


Taylor Smith / Author

Taylor is a sports writer based in Southern California. While he primarily specializes in basketball, baseball and football, he will also dabble in things like soccer and politics from time to time. He has lived in just about every corner of the United States at one point or another, and he has been covering sports and sports betting for the better part of a decade. Taylor currently lives in Long Beach with his fiancé and their two cats.

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