With the Florida Gators unavailable for their regularly scheduled game against no. 16 Tennessee, the Volunteers will instead spend their Wednesday night hosting the Georgia Bulldogs. At home, the Vols are favored by 12.5 points, with the over/under for the game set at 140.5 points.
After losing back-to-back games, the Volunteers appear to have steadied the ship with three wins in their last four games. Tennessee remains three games behind Alabama at the top of the SEC standings. But the Vols have already secured an NCAA Tournament spot and can improve their seeding with a strong finish against a manageable schedule.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs are stuck in the middle of the pack in the SEC despite being just two games behind Tennessee in the loss column. Georgia is riding a three-game winning streak after starting the conference season 2-6. If the Bulldogs can keep winning, they might be able to sneak into the NCAA Tournament conversation, as they have several opportunities left to score a quality win.
Rounding Into Form
Georgia is starting to come alive offensively at the right time of the year. After an abysmal effort against South Carolina earlier this month, the Bulldogs have had at least four players score in double figures in three straight games. Even with freshman K.D. Johnson hitting a wall. Lately, the Bulldogs have found enough scoring depth to make up for it. Sahvir Wheeler is taking charge as the team’s leading scorer while also averaging 7.4 assists per game. Meanwhile, forward Toumani Camara has become a double-double threat every game.
The caveat is that Georgia struggles to shoot from the perimeter. Both Justin Kier and P.J. Horne are capable three-point shooters. But neither senior has been consistent enough from one game to the next. If one or both heat up, the Bulldogs have the scoring depth to compete against top-tier SEC teams. However, the likes of Kiera, Horne, and Johnson aren’t always reliable scorers in support of Wheeler and Camara.
The Perfect Balance?
Tennessee might have the most balanced offense in the country. The Vols have four players who average at least 10 points per game and seven who average at least eight points per game. However, Jaden Springer’s 10.5 points per game leads the team. The Volunteers can score from all positions and typically get plenty of bench scoring. But they are still lacking a true go-to scorer.
For Tennessee, this setup creates a situation in which a player like John Fulkerson can go scoreless against Kentucky, with the Vols still managing to score 82 points and win. However, if more than a couple of players struggle in the same game, Tennessee doesn’t always have a player who can score 20-plus points to make up for it. At times, that versatility and depth can lead to uncertainty.
Not Enough Bark
The Bulldogs have a little momentum heading into this game, but their scoring inconsistency is a little troublesome against a quality defensive team like Tennessee. Despite a loss to Ole Miss last week in which they only scored 50 points, the Vols are performing well enough offensively to make this a comfortable win. Bet on Tennessee to win and cover against Georgia on Wednesday.
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