Georgia Bulldogs (13-6) at Tennessee Volunteers (16-3)
Game Info: Wednesday, January 25, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. EST (Thompson-Boling Arena)
Betting Odds: Tennessee (-16.5) / Over/Under (135)
Pick: Georgia (+16.5)
Wednesday night gives us an intriguing matchup in the SEC between two teams that have started the year positively, when the Georgia Bulldogs head into Knoxville to play the Volunteers.
Georgia has already more than doubled their win total this year than last years team, with more than 10 games still to play. Through the transfer portal, Head Coach Mike White has been able to exceed expectations in his first year in charge. The main difference has come on the defensive side of the ball this year. Tom Crean left UGA coming off one of the worst defensive years in SEC history, finishing 348th in Defensive Efficiency. This year, they have jumped almost 300 spots to being ranked 54th currently. This has helped them cover in 7 out of their last 10 games, and in that run, win 6 of their games straight up. Senior transfer PG, Terry Roberts, has excelled at running the offense this year, putting up 15.9 PTS, 4.1 REB, and 4.2 AST. He is truly one of the most underrated point guards to watch in the country. This will be their toughest test so far this season, will they be able to handle the crowd on the road to give themselves a chance at a historic upset in Thompson-Boling Arena?
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Tennessee is one of the most well-rounded teams in the country. Their leading scorer (Santiago Vescovi), only averages 12.5 PTS, so it is a complete team-effort every night out for them. This is not where they are best though. On defense, they rank 2nd in the nation in points allowed (54.4). They seem to contest every single shot, whether it is in the paint, mid-range, or three-point line, which is pretty remarkable. Having covered 4 out of their last 6 games this year, and having beaten UGA in 4 out of their last 5 games played in the last few matchups, they will be confident in dominantly improving their record against the Dawgs. If they can get the crowd going early with a big run, Georgia may have a hard time battling back with a much less talented squad. On the other hand, Tennessee is prone to going on droughts on offense. If this occurs in this game, it could let Georgia stay in the game for longer than Vol fans would like.
A few betting trends to consider in this matchup:
- The over has hit in 5 out of the last 6 games that Tennessee has played in
- The over has hit in 5 out of the last 7 games that Georgia has played in
- Georgia is 6-3 ATS as an underdog
Although Tennessee is undoubtedly one of the best teams in the country, this line seems a bit excessive to me. Mike White has turned Georgia into a decent squad in a short amount of time, and with the massively improved defense that UGA boasts, this line seems too high. If Roberts and Oquendo can attack the Tennessee defense with no fear, like they have done all year, Georgia will be able to stay within the range of covering handedly. Give me the Dawgs to stay close in Knoxville.
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