This article is part of our Betting Promotions series.
The FAU Owls have a date to face the Tennessee Volunteers in the Sweet 16 at Madison Square Garden tonight. No. 4 seed Tennessee is a 5.5-point favorite over No. 9 seed FAU.
It might look like a mismatch on paper, but the Owls are no slouch as they compiled a 33-3 record on the way to winning the Conference USA regular season and tournament crowns. They rank 13th in NET and 22nd on KenPom. Sophomore Johnell Davis leads the Owls at 13.9 points per game on the season and torched FDU for 29 points in FAU’s 78-70 second-round win.
Tennessee ranks fourth in NET and sixth on KenPom, despite a 25-10 record. The Volunteers were 18-3 on January 28 after an 11-point win over Texas in the SEC-Big 12 Challenge, but then went on a 5-7 skid heading into the NCAA Tournament. The Vols have since righted the ship, taking out red-hot Duke, 65-52, in convincing fashion.
The Volunteers have a deep lineup where different guys tend to step up at different times. It’s most often leading scorer Santiago Vescovi, but in the Duke game, forward Olivier Nkamhoua shot 10-for-12 for a season-high 27 points.
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Betting Picks For FAU vs. Tennessee
The Volunteers are 5.5-point favorites at BetMGM, with an over/under total of 131.5 points.
Tennessee has the best defense in the country with an Adjusted Defensive Efficiency of 87.0 points allowed per 100 possessions, according to KenPom. Their opponents shoot threes on 41.2 percent of their possessions, which could be a function of the Vols’ quality defense with teams often settling for contested long-range prayers. They also hold their opponents to the nation’s lowest 3-point field goal percentage at 26.4 percent, and a 42.7 percent Effective Field Goal percentage, which ranks third. Tennessee forces turnovers on 22.2 percent of possessions as well.
FAU has a good offense with a 113.9 AdjOE, but that’s a number achieved against mostly weak competition. The Owls only played three Quad 1 games all season, winning two of them. They did beat Florida by two very early in the season, but also lost by 13 to Mississippi, one of the weakest SEC teams.
The betting pick for FAU vs. Tennessee is on the Vols to handle the upstart Owls and cover the 5.5-point spread.
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