NCAA Tournament Picks: Longhorns vs. Vols Predictions

by | Last updated Mar 23, 2024 | cbb

Texas Longhorns (21-12 SU, 13-19 ATS) vs. Tennessee Volunteers (25-8, 17-15), 3/23/24
When: 8 pm ET Saturday, March 23
Where: Spectrum Center

Betting Odds

Spread: Tex +6.5/Tenn -6.5
Money line: Tex +235/Tenn -285
Over/under: 147

Texas and Tennessee will become conference “rivals” next season, but first, they’ll meet Saturday night in Charlotte to decide a spot in the Sweet 16.

The No. 2-seeded Volunteers breezed to a first-round victory Thursday, while the No. 7 Longhorns won ugly. Now, the Vols are favored by a touchdown over the ‘Horns.

How are we playing this game with our free NCAA tournament betting pick?

NCAA Tournament Betting Odds

The NCAA tournament betting market opened Tennessee at -6 over Texas, with an over/under of around 147.

Early betting action edged that line to 6.5.

Texas-Tennessee Betting Preview

Texas reached Saturday’s second round by beating Colorado State Thursday 56-44. The Longhorns held the Rams, who won a play-in game Tuesday night, to just 11 first-half points. Texas later allowed CSU to get within six points late but held on for the win and the cover at -3.

The Horns shot only 40 percent from the floor Thursday but held the Rams to just 29 percent shooting.

Texas began this season ranked No. 18 in both major polls. The Longhorns started 11-2, then struggled through a 6-9 stretch. They finished with a 3-1 run but then lost their first game in the Big 12 tournament.

Still, Texas is 4-2 SU, 4-1-1 ATS over its last six games and one of the losses came at Baylor.

Meanwhile, Tennessee advanced to Saturday’s action by slamming St. Peters Thursday 83-49. The Volunteers, favored by 22 points, led 29-7 out of the gate, 46-20 at the half, and later by 36, on their way to some easy cash.

The Vols shot 51 percent from the floor Thursday while holding the Peacocks to just 29 percent shooting.

Tennessee began this season ranked in the Top 10 but only started 4-3, the losses coming against Purdue, Kansas, and North Carolina. The Vols then used a 20-3 run to claim the SEC’s regular-season championship. Tennessee then lost its season finale to Kentucky and looked dead in losing its first game in the SEC tournament to Mississippi.

But they looked a whole lot better Thursday, albeit against an inferior opponent.

For what it’s worth, these two teams played two common opponents this season: Kansas and LSU. Both teams lost to the Jayhawks and beat the Tigers, but the Vols had the better point differential, +11 to -8.

These teams actually met back-to-back a couple/three seasons ago, splitting a pair of Big 12-SEC Challenge games. Most recently, back in January of 2023, Tennessee beat Texas 82-71.

NCAA Tournament Betting Trends

Including Thursday’s victory/cover, Texas is 4-9 SU, 4-8-1 ATS this season vs. teams that made this NCAA tournament.

Including Thursday, Tennessee is 11-8 SU and 9-9-1 ATS against teams that made this tournament.

Totals Report

Overs are 6-1 over Texas’ last seven games

Unders are 7-2 over Tennessee’s last nine games.

Free NCAA Tournament Betting Pick

Texas has a short offensive edge, but Tennessee has the edge on defense. In match-ups like this, we like betting on the better defense. Also, the Volunteers do a little better job on the boards, take a little better care of the ball, and shoot 75 percent from the line. This comes in handy when you’re trying to close out games and cover spreads. Also, the Vols have the better performance against “common” opponents. We’re taking Tennessee on Saturday, minus the points.

Receive a 50% bonus (75% w/Bitcoin!) and Enjoy the BEST Live Betting at Bovada! Bovada Sportsbook!

Get $60 of FREE member picks & predictions

(NO commitments. NO Credit Card. NO Salesman.)