Tennessee vs. Auburn Odds
Auburn looks to rebound from its collapse against Alabama on Wednesday when it hosts Tennessee.
After starting SEC play 7-1 and getting up to No. 2 in the AP Poll, Tennessee has started to slide down the stretch, going 4-5 in its last nine games.
The biggest loss for Tennessee, though, was its starting point guard Zakai Zeigler, who is now out for the season with a torn ACL.
Auburn blew a 17-point second-half lead against its in-state rival Alabama on Wednesday to drop to 9-8 in the SEC. It’s been a tough season for Auburn, as five of its eight losses in the SEC have come by 10 points or less.
Auburn is currently near the bubble and is projected to be a 10-seed in the NCAA tournament, so a win over Tennessee could solidify its resume.
Tennessee is an incredible defensive team. The Volunteers are the No. 1 team in the country in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency because they do everything well.
Tennessee is No. 1 in the country in effective field goal percentage allowed, No. 1 in 3-point field goal percentage allowed, sixth in 2-point field goal percentage allowed and 15th in turnover rate.
The problem is losing Zeigler means the Vols lose their best on-ball defender to guard Wendell Green Jr.
In the previous meeting, they held Auburn to just 0.64 PPP and 3-of-27 from behind the arc in what was their best defensive performance of the season. It’s going to be very hard to repeat that, especially on the road.
The offensive end of the court has been a real struggle for Tennessee, as it’s 57th in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency, per KenPom. The Volunteers are a top-five offensive rebounding team, but outside of that, they’re pretty mediocre.
In the previous game against Auburn, Tennessee shot just 17-of-62 from the the field and 2-for-21 from behind the arc on its way to just 46 points.
Zeigler leads the SEC in assist rate, so it’s going to be a real struggle once again for Tennessee on offense.
The Tigers are the kings of second-half collapses, and it happened once again on Wednesday night. In six of their 11 losses on the season, Auburn has held a lead at some point in the second half.
Offense has been a bit of a struggle for Auburn during conference play, as it’s seventh in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency.
The problem is it’s one of the highest frequency transition teams in the country, but it isn’t very efficient in transition, averaging 1.24 PPP, which is 268th in the country.
The entire offense is dependent on Green and Johni Broome, as they’re taking 56% of the teams shots when they’re on the floor. Green is a very good facilitator and draws a ton of fouls, but the problem is that he’s shooting a very poor 28% from 3-point range.
Auburn is very effective running the pick-and-roll, and it’s a top-100 frequency team in the country in running them.
Tennessee is eighth in the SEC in PPP allowed off of pick-and-roll sets, so that could be an advantage for its offense.
The Auburn defense has been really good. The Tigers are 21st in the country in Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, and they’ve defended the 3-point line at an elite level.
Auburn is only allowing 28.3% from 3-point range — which is the third-best mark in the country — mainly because it’s second in the SEC in Open 3 Point Rate Allowed.
The Tigers also are defending the rim incredibly well, allowing 53% on the season. That’s big against Tennessee, which is a high frequency team when it comes to finishing at the rim.
Tennessee vs. Auburn Betting Pick
This is a really good spot for Auburn to bounce back after another second-half collapse.
The Tigers played Tennessee incredibly well in the previous meeting in Knoxville, holding the Vols to just 46 points.
And if it wasn’t for a few generous whistles, they could have won the game.
Auburn’s ability to defend the 3-point line and the rim should be enough to keep Tennessee in check.
Tennessee is going to have a really difficult time on both ends of the court without Zeigler, who’s a catastrophic loss for the Vols.
So, I Iike Auburn to get its revenge at home at +1.5.
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