Texas vs. Tennessee prediction: College basketball picks, odds

The SEC-Big 12 Challenge on Saturday has plenty of interesting college basketball matchups across the board. One of them is the Texas Longhorns traveling to Tennessee to battle the Volunteers.

Tennessee comes in ranked No. 2 on KenPom and 8-2 in its past 10 games. I believe, however, that the Vols are a little overvalued heading into this matchup. During that 10-game stretch, Tennessee faced two teams ranked in KenPom’s Top 50 (Arizona, Kentucky) and lost to both. The Vols are talented, but they are built to beat up on bad teams, such as LSU and South Carolina.

Texas vs. Tennessee (6 p.m. Eastern) pick: Texas +7.5 (BetMGM)

Texas has been good away from home this season, going 3-1 in true road games. The Longhorns also have a key edge in the matchup. Texas’ defense ranks 22nd in turnover percentage and 55th in steal percentage. Tennessee’s biggest weakness is it can be sloppy with the basketball. The Vols rank 244th in turnover percentage and 295th in steal percentage.

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Texas’ aggressive ball-pressure defense should be able to create turnovers that lead to easy buckets in transition. That will be important because the Longhorns are one of the top shooting teams from 2-point range this season, but Tennessee counters with the best 2-point percentage defense in the country. Texas will want to get out and run and keep the Vols from making this a half-court game.

Betting on College Basketball?

The two teams met last season, with Texas winning a 52-51 rock fight. I see another close, defensive battle this time around. The Vols are a little overvalued in this spot, so grab the points with Texas.

Texas vs. Tennessee pick: Texas +7.5 (BetMGM)

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