Photo: flickr Writer: Eric Daniel
Tennessee is better than their 6-5 overall record might suggest, but the Vols have simply come up just short in a number of games against quality competition. In their last outing Tennessee was competitive again, but fell short in the end losing to Gonzaga by a final of 76-86. Tennessee has also fallen in very competitive games against teams like Wisconsin, Oregon, and North Carolina so far this season. The Vols have an athletic group that doesn’t mind getting up and down the court quickly as this group ranks 69th in the nation in scoring average and 219th in total defense. Tennessee has shown nice depth this season and Robert Hubbs leads the way averaging 15.9 points per contest.
We’ve been high on this talented and veteran East Tennessee State squad since the start of the year and the Bucs have been largely living up to their potential standing 9-2 overall coming into this test against the Vols. ETSU’s only losses have come in some of their tougher matchups against UNCW and Dayton on the road. In their last outing the Bucs got past Morehead State on the road picking up the win by a final of 78-68. ETSU also has some quality depth and the Bucs put in the effort on both ends ranking 80th in the nation in scoring average and 84th in total defense. East Tennessee State has been led by veteran guard T.J. Cromer who’s averaging 17.6 points per game.
We like the progress we’ve been seeing out of Tennessee during the nonconference even though it hasn’t translated into a great overall record. ETSU is one of the best mid-major teams in the nation and they’re getting a lot of respect with this spread as a result. In what we see as a competitive matchup we’ll side with the Vols and the points as the best bet.
Tennessee +4.5 -110