Tennessee basketball opened as slight 3.5-point favorites against Texas A&M on Friday afternoon according to Draft Kings. The over/under is set at 140.
*The line has moved all the way down to Tennessee -1.5 Texas A&M as of Saturday morning
The Vols head to College Station on Saturday night for a critical SEC showdown that could prove crucial in the SEC Championship race. Analytical based college basketball website KenPom projects Tennessee to earn a 73-68 win against the Aggies.
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Tennessee enters the road matchup 17-5 (7-2 SEC) and half a game behind Alabama, Auburn and South Carolina atop the SEC standings. The Vols matchup at Texas A&M is a critical one for their title hopes as they tip off the back half of conference play.
Following the Texas A&M game, Tennessee has four consecutive games (at Arkansas, Vanderbilt, at Missouri, Texas A&M) where they’ll likely be double-digit favorites. But the Vols close SEC play with four challenging matchups (Auburn, at Alabama, at South Carolina, Kentucky).
More From RTI: Everything To Know Before Tennessee Faces Texas A&M
While the matchup doesn’t have SEC Championship repercussions for Texas A&M it is still extremely important for the Aggies. Buzz Williams’ team currently sits on the right side of the bubble. They’re a 10-seed in ESPN’s Joe Lunardi’s most recent bracketology update while Bart Torvik gives Texas A&M a 45% chance of making the tournament.
Rebounding will be a key component of Saturday night’s matchup at Texas A&M. The Vols have held up well on the glass this season despite playing an abundance of four-guard lineups this season. However, LSU dominated Tennessee on the glass earlier this week.
“Didn’t think we were great driving guys back. I thought the initial hit, the initial block out was good, but then as far as finishing the job by driving them out, I didn’t think we did a great job on that,” Tennessee associate head coach Justin Gainey said of the issue. “And that’s something we got to clean up moving forward, especially preparing for Texas A&M, who was one of the best, if not the best rebounding team in the country.”
Tipoff between Tennessee and Texas A&M is at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday night. Tom Hart and Jimmy Dykes are on the call for ESPN.