Tennessee Volunteers vs. Butler Bulldogs - 12/14/14 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Butler Bulldogs (8-1) at Tennessee Volunteers (3-3)
College Basketball: Sunday, December 14, 2014 at 2:00 pm (Thompson-Boling Arena)
The Line: Tennessee Volunteers -1.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
TV: ESPN U
The Butler Bulldogs will travel to Thompson-Boling Arena to take on the Tennessee Volunteers this Sunday afternoon.
Butler comes into the match-up an impressive 8-1 on the season after they beat the Kennesaw State Owls 93-51 this past Monday. In the victory, Butler shot an impressive 59.2% (29-49 FG) from the floor and forced the Owls to commit 22 turnovers. Leading the way for the Bulldogs was Roosevelt Jones who had 19 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists. The Bulldogs were projected to be an after-thought this season, but have been playing impressive basketball which included a victory over the 5th ranked North Carolina Tar Heels at the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament. On the season Butler has been led by Kellen Dunham (16.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg), Roosevelt Jones (11.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 5.3 apg), and Kameron Woods (7.9 ppg, 8.3 rpg). The Bulldogs have been defeating their opponents by an average of 20.0 ppg which ranked 10th in the country. Offensively, Butler is averaging 74.2 ppg (ranked 81st) on 46.7% shooting (ranked 79th). The Bulldogs are doing a nice job on the offensive glass as they are grabbling 11.89 offensive rpg. Defensively, Butler has been one of the best in the country as they are holding their opponents to just 54.2 ppg (ranked 13th).
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Tennessee improved to 3-3 on the season after a tight 65-64 victory over the Kansas State Wildcats just over a week ago. The Volunteers used a strong defensive effort in the first half in which they allowed only 17 points to the Wildcats. Leading the way for Tennessee was Josh Richardson who had 17 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals. On the season, Tennessee’s three losses have all come against solid teams in VCU, Kansas, and Marquette. The Volunteers have been led by Josh Richardson (16.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.0 apg), Armani Moore (11.0 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.0 apg), and Kevin Punter (9.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.8 apg). Statistically, Tennessee has struggled on both sides of the ball this year. Offensively, the Volunteers are averaging 65.7 ppg (ranked 223rd) on 43.2% shooting (ranked 188th). Tennessee has done a great job on the offensive glass as they are averaging 14.5 offensive rpg which ranks 21st in the country. Defensively, the Volunteers are allowing their opponents to score 68.8 ppg (ranked 225th) on 43.4% shooting (ranked 216th). Tennessee has allowed their opponents to shoot to 38.2% from three-point rank which ranks 304th in the country.
The Bulldogs are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games and 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games overall. The Volunteers are 9-3-1 ATS in their last 13 home games, however just 0-3-1 ATS in their last 4 games following a ATS loss.
Butler is coming into this game with a lot of momentum, and although Tennessee is at home, I think that Butler has too many weapons for the Volunteers to be able to keep up with. Tennessee will look to continue to build off their win against Kansas State, however I feel that this is a Butler team that is going to exploit their weaknesses and walk out of the Thompson-Boling Arena with a win.