South Carolina Upstate vs. Tennessee NCAA Basketball Picks and Predictions

South Carolina Upstate vs.  Tennessee NCAA Basketball Picks and Predictions
Yves Pons # 35 from Tennessee Volunteers. Photo by Andy Lyons / Getty Images / AFP

Tennessee is undefeated, but they have a crazy spread against South Carolina Upstate. The Vols are favored by more than 30 points, which seems ridiculous for any college basketball game. However, they have already covered large spreads. Can they cover and what is the best sports bet to use?

USC Upstate Spartans vs. Volunteers from Tennessee

Wednesday, December 23, 2020 – 5:00 pm EST at Thompson-Boling Arena

Volunteers are favorites to win the SEC this year, and they have proved why so far this season. Although their schedule has not been filled with many tests, they have played well in all games so far. They have a great balance between veteran leadership and talented freshmen.

Before the Vols start their programming at the SEC, they have another fight against an inferior opponent. Upstate South Carolina does not have a victory this year and will not have one against the Volunteers. There is a huge talent gap in this game, and this is evident in the NCAAB odds.

Tennessee can certainly cover the spread. Indeed, Tennessee is undefeated against the spread in 2020. However, will they cover? Before we choose, let’s take a look at each team.

Keys to Tennessee cover

The Vols have been great this season, but they need a lot to cover this big gap. Mostly, it will require an enormous amount of discipline. How can you beat any college basketball team by more than 30 points without discipline?

Tennessee needs to start strong, but that will depend on how they play in the second half. When they put the game out of reach and put in substitutes, they need to dominate too. This will be one of the last opportunities for Tennessee’s depth to show what they can do before Rick Barnes slows down. Although they are probably better than South Carolina, they need to be disciplined and dominate as well.

Every basketball team is capable of running. However, Tennessee needs to cut SC Upstate’s runs in this game. Winning a team by 33 points in 40 minutes gives Volunteers a small margin of error. Fortunately, the Vols have done this throughout the season. They played their fair share with inferior opponents and won them dominantly. While it is difficult to maintain this, they have succeeded so far, so keep this in mind when making your NCAAB choices.

Keys to the interior of South Carolina cover

When you play against a team like Tennessee, you have to put basketball in the hands of your best player. For SC Upstate, that means giving the ball to Tommy Bruner and hoping for the best. Fortunately, Bruner is also a great facilitator. This means that Spartans don’t have to worry about putting the ball in their hands like you would traditionally do with a pole player.

Spartans can’t really hope to shock the world in this game. To at least cover the spread, they need to keep it closed for as long as possible. This prevents Tennessee from covering the spread for as long as possible. Even if the Vols run late in the game, it can prevent them from covering the big spread.

Upstate South Carolina also needs to transition back. Tennessee will be faster and more athletic in this game. Although Upstate would love to break the boards, it will be more important for them to come back and avoid the runout. Transition points can blow this game out of proportion in just a few quick possessions, so it should be a focal point while the Spartans prepare.

It’s time to choose

Tennessee is undefeated against the spread, which means its value is higher than ever. You would think that would make a bet on South Carolina attractive. After all, Tennessee would end up having to go back to average. That said, I see the Volunteers dominating this game once again.

Tennessee has experience against inferior opponents, and they proved that they can win by large margins. Even with this massive spread, I hope that volunteers will find a way to cover it. The betting sites beg you to bet on the Spartans, but I still trust the volunteers to do this against this team without a win.

Choose NCAAB: Tennessee -32.5 (-110) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

Tennessee -32.5(-110)

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