March Madness Betting: Tennessee vs. Creighton Sweet 16 Odds, Picks, Predictions

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Written By Eli Hershkovich | Last Updated
Sweet 16 Picks

A chalky second round has delivered alluring matchups for Sweet 16 odds. Among those March Madness odds is Tennessee vs. Creighton in the Midwest Region. Let’s handicap this contest, where the winner advances to the Elite Eight. Remember that North Carolina residents can also register for NC sportsbook promos before making Sweet 16 picks. These exclusive offers will net you up to $2,700 in bonus bets!

Click on any of the odds below to place a wager. No matter the game, they are the best available in your state.

no. 2 Tennessee vs. no. 3 Creighton: betting odds

Per the table above, the Volunteers are holding steady as a favorite. There are a few shops that have bumped the line up a half-point. Meanwhile, the Bluejays are to notch the outright upset. The total is stationed at .

Eli’s Conundrum For Sweet 16 Picks

Creighton was one of my national title futures bets ahead of the campaign tipping off. The ticket on Maryland, my other preseason dart, has been torn up and will never be spoken of again (until someone asks me which team I’m bullish on next season).

Thus, I’ve debated how to proceed with my Bluejays futures throughout the week. As noted in my other Sweet 16 picks column, the Vols have a major mismatch offensively, assuming its shooting efficiency undergoes positive regression.

With Creighton running drop coverage at a top-five frequency with Ryan Kalkbrenner, the honorable mention All-American, it ranks in the second percentile of opponents’ mid-range attempts per game. That shouldn’t come as a surprise. This defensive scheme limits 3-point looks and shots near the rim.

Still, Tennessee’s offensive weapons, particularly Dalton Knecht, Santiago Vescovi, and Zakai Ziegler, can exploit this structure. Knecht owns a team-high 54.5 eFG%, which is notable because of his lofty shot volume. After notching a 5-of-18 (27.8%) shooting output in the Vols’ narrow second-round win over Texas, the Northern Colorado transfer is built to bounce back against Creighton’s defense.

The Vols should also generate more takeaways and offensive rebounds. The Bluejays rarely attack the latter category to conserve their transition defense. Point guard Steven Ashworth has even struggled to avoid fouls in physical matchups, like against UConn, St. John’s, and Providence. Zeigler, Ashworth’s counterpart, is certainly of that ilk.

Creighton’s Upside

In general, the difficulty in betting on this game is the high-variance nature of the Bluejays’ offense. Whether they will undergo negative variance is the question. In the Big Dance, Creighton is shooting a gaudy 25-of-56 (44.6%) on 3-pointers while holding their opponents to 13-of-49 (26.5%).

Bluejays coach Greg McDermott is one of the premier offensive masterminds in the sport. His actions should exploit a defense that has surrendered a top-75 perimeter scoring rate. Remember that the Vols’ defense could also be prone to some regression, allowing a 23.4% perimeter clip in the Big Dance.

Like Knecht, Creighton two-guard Trey Alexander may have a rebound performance in store. While his perimeter shot has remained intact during the tournament, he’s shooting just 34.8% in the mid-range. That is not the norm for Alexander. Tennessee has been more unreliable in guarding that vicinity against ultra-athletic guards, like Kentucky’s backcourt.

In the end, I’m going to stand pat with my Creighton futures for another round. Check back at TheLines to see how I approach things if the Bluejays advance.

Sweet 16 Picks

My raw numbers have Tennessee as a 2.5-point favorite. Conversely, our partner Haslametrics projects 73.2-71.6 final score, marginally favoring the Vols.

Tennessee vs. Creighton player props

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