Tennessee vs. Michigan Prediction: Will the Vols Hot Shooting Continue?

Tennessee vs. Michigan prediction and pick. Both teams come into this game after impressive shooting performances, especially Michigan in the second half of their comeback win over CSU but will it continue? Joey Ruiz breaks down the game.
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Tennessee vs. Michigan Prediction: Will the Vols Hot Shooting Continue?

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Tennessee vs. Michigan Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

  • Date: Saturday, March 19, 2022
  • Game Time: 5:15 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: CBS

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Tennessee vs. Michigan Line Movement

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Tennessee vs. Michigan Prediction

Tennessee comes into this game after a very impressive opening round performance against Longwood. Tennessee shot the lights out as they shot 58% from 3 making 14 threes and shot 61% from 2-point range. Probably one of their best and most efficient shooting games of the year but they will have a much taller task here against a very physical Michigan team. On the season, Tennessee has been an excellent defensive team as they are ranked 2nd in adjusted defensive efficiency, 15th in defensive turnover percentage, and 28th in defensive effective FG%.

Tennessee is also playing their best ball of the season as they won the SEC tournament and come into this game on an 8-game winning streak. During that streak, they notched wins over Kentucky (by 7), Auburn (by 5), Arkansas (By 4), and Texas AM in the SEC championship game by 15, but the thing about Tennessee and most teams in the SEC this season is that they have excelled at home but struggled on the road or on a neutral court. Tennessee is 16-0 at home this season but is only 6-5 on the road and 5-2 on neutral courts, but they were 1-2 until the SEC tournament run. Tennessee struggled against big and physical teams this season like LSU, Arkansas, Texas Tech, and Villanova and while Michigan may be a step below those teams, they have the size and physicality that may give Tennessee some problems.

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Michigan comes into this game after an impressive second half comeback against Colorado State and were down 15 points at one point, but still came back to win. In that second half, they scored 46 points in a very impressive offensive performance. They looked lost in that 1H but Hunter Dickinson and Caleb Houstan really stepped up down the stretch to push the Wolverines into the second round. Michigan has been very inconsistent down the last few months of the season as they have actually alternated wins and losses over their last 10 games going 5-5 SU and 5-5 ATS.

On the offensive side of the ball, Hunter Dickinson is their main threat. He is a phenomenal post player and is very skilled around the rim, but he is a below-average defender and at times can get into foul trouble forcing him to the bench. I really think the key for Michigan in this game is going to be Moussa Diabate and Caleb Houstan. Diabate has emerged as a really solid player over the last few weeks of the season and at 6’11 he has the lateral quickness and athleticism to defend multiple positions and challenge shots at the rim. Diabate is in the top 100 in the country in offensive rebounding percentage is much more agile than Dickinson so if he is able to have success on the inside against Fulkerson, Plavsic, and the rest of the Tennessee frontcourt, then I think Michigan may have a chance to keep this game close. Houstan is one of Michigan’s best outside shooters but has been very inconsistent this season. On the year he is shooting 37% from 3 and if he is knocking down shots, Michigan is very hard to beat. He will likely be guarded by either Josiah-Jordan James or Vescovi, who are both plus defenders, so it will be interesting to see if Houstan can create enough space to be effective in this game.

Tennessee has been playing very well and I don’t necessarily trust Michigan to knock down outside shots against this stout Volunteer defense. Michigan has an overall height advantage in this game, but Tennessee is much deeper in the frontcourt with Plavsic, Fulkerson, Huntley-Hatfield, and Josiah Jordan James. If Diabate or Dickinson gets into foul trouble, it could force Michigan to play small ball and I think Michigan would get dominated on the boards if that happened. My favorite angle for this game is the 1H UNDER 64.5 at -110 as I think this game is going to be a rock fight. Michigan has the length and size to bother Tennessee’s smaller guards and Michigan is very inconsistent with their outside shooting. When Tennessee isn’t making 3’s their offense can be very hard to watch so for this game I am rolling with the 1H UNDER 64.5 at -110 for 1U as I think both teams will get off to a slow start offensively.

Tennessee Volunteers vs. Michigan Wolverines Pick

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Joey has spent the last 6+ years betting on sports with a focus on basketball and baseball. Basketball is his main focus, and not many people know more about mid-major basketball than him. Whether you need advice on a Saturday night primetime game or a Tuesday night back-alley SWAC/MEAC game, Joey is your man.

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