The first round of the NCAA tournament features the Tennessee Volunteers, seeded fourth in the East Region, facing the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns, seeded 13th. Tennessee plays at 9:40 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 16 in Orlando, with coverage on CBS. Current odds for this college basketball showdown have Tennessee as spread favorites and moneyline favorites, with an over/under of . Here, we’ll take a look at this game as part of a wider snapshot of Tennessee March Madness odds.
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Tennessee vs. Louisiana Betting Odds
Below, bettors can find the best available Tennessee March Madness odds across legal U.S. sportsbooks. Use the dropdown in the top left to change from spread betting options to moneyline or wagers on the over/under.
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Tennessee Vs. Louisiana Player Props
Player prop odds for Tennessee vs. Louisiana will populate below once they become available, usually a day or so before tip-off. You will often find a wider spread of prices on small markets like player props, so it’s very important to shop for the best numbers. You can also use our prop finder tool and type in a player’s name.
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Tennessee March Madness Futures
Why Tennessee Can Cover The Spread
In a word, turnovers. It’s probably going to take a bunch of them. Because Tennessee tends toward lower possession counts — 277th in adjusted tempo per KenPom — it’s more difficult for them to cover big spreads than some other teams that are at a similar level of strength. The Vols win with their tremendous defense and they do force plenty of turnovers, ranking 21st there. They’ll need those easy points and quick baskets to run up the score against a Louisiana team that rates pretty well in the four factors.
Why Louisiana Can Cover The Spread
If this does turn out to be a lower-possession game, that certainly helps Louisiana’s cause. The Cajuns themselves are in the middle of the pack there. Tennessee did not close the season particularly strongly, dropping convincing games to Auburn and Missouri. Louisiana’s Jordan Brown brings a strong presence inside with 19.4/8.7 averages on a solid 57% shooting. How he matches up with Tennessee’s top-10 3-point defense and whether he makes his free throws — 61.1% on the season — could prove the deciding factors.
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If Tennessee ramps up its defensive pressure and turns over the Louisiana guards, they will have a shot to cover this one. And they’re certainly a team to watch in Final Four odds and other futures. The analytics models adore this team, having them well under-seeded and a near-consensus Final Four pick. Losing this game would qualify as a massive upset near the level of a No. 2 seed losing. Beware, though, as Vols Coach Rick Barnes has not had the best tournament record over the course of his career.