Tennessee Volunteers at Missouri Tigers – NCAAM December 30

No. 7 Tennessee (6-0) at No. 12 Missouri (6-0)

Series:

The Vols hold a 9-7 margin in the series, but Missouri is 5-3 in Columbia. The Volunteers have won the last three in the series and Rick Barnes is 4-1 vs. Cuonzo Martin. Barnes is 15-9 against the Tigers while Martin is 1-5 vs. the Vols.

Vs. the Spread:

The Vols are 5-1 ATS and the UNDER has been the play in four of six. The total has gone OVER in 16 of Mssouri’s last 20 SEC games. The Tigers are 5-2 ATS when playing their last seven games as an underdog.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Tennessee -4 (-110) -176 O 134½ (-127)
Missouri +4 (-110) +156 U 134½ (+107)

Last Time Out:

Tennessee labored through team pauses due to COVID-19 protocols as it lost five games in the first two and a half weeks of the season. The Vols defeated USC Upstate, 80-60, to go to the holiday break as Victor Bailey, Jr., led Tennessee with 18 points. The Vols needed a 12-2 run midway through the second half as Upstate shortened the game with longer possessions.

Missouri eked out a 54-53 win over Bradley just before the break as Jeremiah Tilmon hit a 3-point play with one second remaining. Tilmon had 12 points and 10 boards after having only one point and three boards at halftime.

From Ole Rocky Top:

Tennessee Volunteers LogoTennessee leads the NCAA in allowing only 52.7 points per game as the Volunteers are 13th in effective field goal percentage while third in defensive efficiency, per kenpom.com. Rick Barnes goes easily three and maybe four deep off the bench. Tennessee is forcing 17.7 turnovers per game as well….

Tennessee is getting a huge lift from it’s upperclassmen as Victor Bailey (13.2 ppg) leads the team in scoring while John Fulkerson (11.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg) has improved every season and is a stalwart on both ends of the floor. Freshman Jaden Springer has shot 55.6 percent and averaged 11.8 points per game. His 5-star counterpart, Keon Johnson, has picked things up on the defensive end to start his career with nine steals, four charges drawn, and four blocks.

Mizzou Mania:

Missouri Tigers LogoThe Tigers’ win over Illinois was the eye-opener which catapulted Missouri into the national rankings and served noticed to the SEC that the Tigers are indeed a player in the league after being picked No. 11 preseason. Missouri has held opponents to 38.8 percent as well as orchestrating a 3-point defense which allows opponents only 24.1 percent from the field.

It’s an interesting matchup in that Tennessee shoots 36.1 from three as Santiago Vescovi has 12 and Bailey nets 10….The Tigers have more experience as well with three senior starters in Mark Smith (13.8 ppg, 2.7 rpg), Dru Smith (13.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg), and Jeremiah Tillmon (8.2 ppg, 7.8 rpg). Junior Xavier Pinson (14.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg) is the Tigers’ leading scorer. Missouri’s returning core of players has accounted for 99.3 percent of their points through six games.

Winner: Tennessee (-4) 68, Missouri 63
O/U: Take UNDER 134½

The Bets
Tennessee -4
-110
UNDER 134½
+107
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.