Saturday is set to be a fantastic day for college basketball. The SEC is wrapping up their regular season, and we have the treat of getting to watch the Arkansas Razorbacks take on the Tennessee Volunteers. They aren’t the top two teams in the conference, but they’re close as they are currently seeded 3rd and 4th, respectively. In fact, they have the same in-conference record, and they’re tied with Kentucky for second in the conference. They’re also only one game behind number one seeded Auburn.
Unfortunately, for these two teams, Auburn and Kentucky don’t have overly challenging matchups coming up. Auburn closes their season against South Carolina, and Kentucky plays Florida. While they aren’t bottom feeds. Auburn and Kentucky should be able to close out their seasons with wins. As a result, the loser of this game between Arkansas and Tennessee will enter the SEC Tournament as the 4th seed. Conversely, the winner will have an equal record with Kentucky, and their seed will be determined by tiebreakers.
Coming into the game, both games are on hot streaks. Arkansas is on a five-game winning streak. They haven’t lost since February 12th when they lost a close game to Alabama. Conversely, Tennessee is on a three-game winning streak, and they’ve won eight of their last nine games. That being said, their most recent loss was to Arkansas on February 19th.
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So, will Arkansas get another win, securing a top seed in the SEC, or will Tennessee come back to win after a disappointing loss in mid-February?
Arkansas vs Tennessee Odds
Coming into the game, Tennessee is actually ranked slightly higher in the nation than Arkansas, despite having a weaker overall record. Tennessee is ranked 13th in the nation with a 22-7 record, whereas Arkansas is ranked 18th in the nation with a 24-6 record. Regardless, this should be a close matchup, and the odds reflect that. Here are the odds, courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
- Spread: Arkansas +6 Tennessee -6
- Total: Arkansas O 139.5 Tennessee U 139.5
- Money Line: Arkansas +220 Tennessee -260
Arkansas Betting Outlook
Coming into the game with equal in-conference records, you’d think that the odds wouldn’t declare a clear favorite, but that’s not the case here. Arkansas is the clear underdog with +22o odds. As a result, betting on them makes a lot of sense. Regardless of which team you favor, this should be a close game. When you expect it to be a close game, it only makes sense to bet on the underdog.
Looking at the spread and total, it makes sense to bet on Arkansas’ side of the spread. As long as they lose by less than six or win, it will be a profitable bet. With the total, there would need to be at least 140 total points scored in the game. Since these are two stellar defensive teams, that number might be difficult to hit. You get -110 odds betting on both sides of the spread and total.
Tennessee Betting Outlook
On paper, you might expect Tennessee to be the underdog here, but that didn’t end up being the case. Instead, the odds favor Tennessee as a sizable favorite. Betting on them to win only gives you -260 odds, which doesn’t open up many opportunities for profit. While betting on Tennessee isn’t a terrible option, it isn’t the most profitable choice you can make.
Arkansas vs Tennessee Prediction
Regardless of what the odds look like, we want to make a prediction. When looking at these teams, it’s impossible to ignore that they have very similar records. As we mentioned earlier, their in-conference records are identical, and their overall records are similar. As a result, it’s important to look at other factors.
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Form is huge in college basketball, especially as we approach the SEC Tournament and March Madness. With that in mind, both teams are entering the final game of the season on hot streaks. However, the one loss Tennessee has had recently was to Arkansas, and as a result, we need to give the edge to there.
Another thing to consider is where the game’s being held. This time, the game is in Tennessee, which is a massive factor. Tennessee is undefeated at home this season, having won all 15 of their games at home. Arkansas is a good team on the road, sporting a 5-3 record, but that doesn’t compare to being undefeated.
The advanced stats don’t show a major difference between these teams either. Arkansas is a slightly better offensive team as they’re ranked 52nd in the nation compared to Tennessee at 58th. However, Tennessee gets the slight edge defensively as they’re ranked 5th in the nation, compared to Arkansas who’s ranked 12th.
With all that in mind, we wanted to bet on Arkansas to win this game. They’re on an impressive win streak, and they won the most recent matchup between the two teams. Unfortunately, Tennessee’s record at home is too much to ignore. So, we predict that Tennessee wins the game by a score of 66-60. That means we think you should bet the under, and on Arkansas’ side of the spread.
Where to Watch
If you want to tune in, you can catch the game on ESPN at Noon EST.