March Madness Sweet 16: Tennessee vs. Purdue Predictions & Odds
The Tennessee Volunteers are one-point favorites over the Purdue Boilermakers by a single point, per sports betting USA odds. The Vols prevailed upon the Colgate Raiders 77-70 as 17.-5-point faves in the first round. In the second round, the knocked out the Iowa Hawkeyes 83-77 in overtime as 7.5-point chalk. According to the best online sportsbooks, that was the third in a three-game ATS losing streak for UT. Purdue ran through the Old Dominion Monarchs 61-48 as 12.5-point favorites in the first round. And then somewhat shockingly eliminated the Villanova Wildcats 87-61 in the second round, with the odds -3.5 in their favor.
The Iowa game was a very close call for Tennessee. And that’s either a boon or a disadvantage, depending on whom you ask. “The Iowa comeback magnified recent defensive lapses for the Vols, whose opponents have scored 106 points per 100 possessions,” ESPN’s Myron Medcalf posits. “After barely surviving Iowa’s last stand, the Vols refocus, clamp down on Carsen Edwards, and put together not one, but two winning halves of basketball,” the staff of Sports Illustrated theorize. One blind squirrel will find a nut come March 28th.
Tennessee Volunteers vs. Purdue Boilermakers
- Date: Thursday March 28, 2019
- Time: 7:29 PM (EDT)
- Venue: KFC Yum! Center Louisville, KY
- Odds from MyBookie.ag:
|Purdue||+1½ (-110)||146½ (-110)||+103|
|Tennessee||-1½ (-110)||146½ (-110)||-123|
The Vols are the more offensively proficient of the two teams. UT scores 81.6 points per game compared to PU’s 76.1. Tennessee racks up the majority of those points from within the arc. The Vols average 37.3 rebounds per game. According to sports betting USA trends, the Vols are 7-2 SU and 4-5 ATS in their last nine games. 4-9 ATS in their last 13 games overall. And 1-3-1 ATS in their last five NCAA tournament games. The over is 5-0 in their last five games on a neutral court.
The Volunteers have the added motivation of clinching an Elite 8 spot for the first time since 2010. In fact, they have the best chance in the SEC to reach the Final 4. At least according to John Adams of the Knox News Sentinel. “Auburn already has beaten Kansas,” he writes. Next, in the Sweet 16, it will have to deal with No. 1 seed North Carolina, another basketball power. And if it pulls off that upset, it might end up playing Kentucky for a berth in the Final Four. Kentucky also might have to get past North Carolina in the Midwest Region to make the Final Four. LSU’s challenge is just as daunting. Up next for the Tigers in the Sweet 16 is No. 2 seed Michigan State. If it could beat the Spartans, it probably would have to beat No. 1 overall Duke to reach the Final Four.”
The B-Makers score fewer points than the Vols, but also allow fewer. Purdue concedes 66.1 points per game while Tennessee yields 69.7. PU averages exactly as many rebounds per game as UT. The Boilermakers are 8-2 SU and 5-5 ATS since mid-February. Those two losses came both to Minnesota. PU is also 5-2 ATS in their last seven games overall. And 40-19 ATS in their last 59 non-conference games. The over is 5-1 in their last six games playing SEC schools.
Pick: The SI staffers do have a point. Edwards is Purdue’s offensive barometer. If UT neutralizes him, the Boilermakers will be as lost as the Trojans without Hector. On the other hand, Tennessee has lost just twice in their last nine games. And both losses came to Auburn. Purdue has one thing in common with Auburn. Both schools are deadly from the three-point line. The Vols allowed Tigers a combined 28 three-point baskets. If they give PU the same leeway, then they’re screwed. Personally, I would take the Boilermakers to cover the sports betting USA point spread. I just can’t help but feel that win over Nova can go a long way.