Colgate Raiders vs. Tennessee Volunteers Pick
Colgate Raiders (24-10 SU, 19-14 ATS) vs. Tennessee Volunteers (29-5 SU, 17-15-1 ATS)
When: Friday, March 22, 2019 – 2:45 p.m. ET
Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
By: Matt Lowry, College Basketball Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: COLG +17.5 / TENN -17.5 (MyBookie Sportsbook)
Total: O/U 148
Last Time Out: Colgate beat Bucknell 94-80 in the Patriot League Championship; Tennessee lost to Auburn 84-64 in the SEC Championship
Scouting the Raiders:
Colgate comes into this tournament as one of the hottest teams in the field of 68, in terms of wins alone. They are currently riding an 11-game win streak and have not lost since February 2nd. The Raiders powered through their conference tournament as the 1-seed and won all 3-games by double-digits. Now they have a much harder test with a Tennessee team who is coming off a blowout loss in their conference championship. Colgate will need to play a near perfect game if they are going to upset the Vols.
Scouting the Volunteers:
The Volunteers are coming off their worst loss of the season, but the Vols can use that performance as motivation to make a run in the most important tournament of the year. Had they won that game against Auburn, they would likely be a 1-seed and would probably even have an easier path to the Final Four. Regardless, this team has been amazing all year long and with the talent they have on the court, a deep run is almost mandatory for the Vols to consider this season a success.
Notable Betting Trends:
One obvious trend between these two teams, is that they both love to score the basketball. Colgate has seen the over go 8-2 in their last 10 games and 3-0 in their last 3. Tennessee has seen the over go 6-4 in their last 10 games and 4-0 in their last 4 games. When the total is set between 140 to 149, the over is 9-6 for the Raiders and 9-9 for the Volunteers. After a straight up win, the over is 14-8 for Colgate and after a straight up loss, the Volunteers have seen the over go just 1-3.
The Total will go Over if Colgate:
Hits the 80-point mark. Colgate has been very efficient on the offensive end during their 11-game win streak. During this streak, they are averaging 81.2 points per game. This is a 5.4-point difference over their normal average, so the Raiders have been red hot over the past couple of months. In their conference tournament alone, they scored 80, 81 and 94 points, which averages out to 85 points per game. It should be noted that the Raiders conference opponents have much less talent than that of Tennessee, but even still, when the Raiders are making their shots, it spells trouble for whoever they happen to be playing. Looking at the conference championship, Colgate shot 12 of 21 from behind the arc at 57.1%. This was one of their best shooting performances of the season from deep, so the real question is, “Can they do it again on the biggest stage?” Considering 5 different players on the Raiders’ roster shoot at least 37.8% from 3-point range, the answer is yes, they can.
The Total will go Over if Tennessee:
Limits the number of turnovers. It is safe to say Tennessee used all their SEC tournament “magic” in the semifinal game against Kentucky because they came out flat against the Tigers. Of course, turnovers were a huge issue for the Vols as they coughed up the ball 17 times. This allowed Auburn to control the pace of the game and the Tigers ended with quite a lot of fast break points. By limiting their turnovers, Tennessee will be able to have more possessions and in turn they will score more points. It will also be imperative that Grant Williams, Admiral Schofield and Jordon Bone all have good games. Especially against a team who can shoot the 3, these guys must have good shooting days or Tennessee could be playing from behind and that is where the Vols can struggle.
Matt’s Pick for Colgate vs. Tennessee:
With how many 3’s the Volunteers allowed Auburn to make, the over should definitely be considered for this game. MyBookie has set the total at 148, which is quite high for a college basketball game, but nonetheless both teams are known for scoring a ton of points. Look for a whole lot of offense, and a lot less defense than either coach would like to see. Because of that, this will be a high scoring affair and the over is the play.
Matt’s College Basketball Pick: Over 148