The East Region of the 2023 NCAA Tournament takes center stage with two Sweet 16 matchups on Thursday. Madison Square Garden hosts the action, and the second half of the doubleheader pits the No. 9 seed Florida Atlantic Owls against the No. 4 seed Tennessee Volunteers with a berth in the regional final on the line. FAU won the regular season and tournament titles in Conference USA, and the Owls are 33-3 overall this season with an active nine-game winning streak. Tennessee is 25-10 after a strong season in the SEC that included wins over Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas and Mississippi State. The Vols have made their way to the second weekend despite losing point guard Zakai Zeigler (ACL) for the year late in the regular season.
Caesars Sportsbook lists the Vols as 5-point favorites for this 9 p.m. ET tip. The total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, or the over/under, is 129.5 in the latest Florida Atlantic vs. Tennessee odds. Before locking in any Tennessee vs. Florida Atlantic picks, be sure to see the college basketball predictions and betting advice from SportsLine’s proven computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. The model enters the Sweet 16 round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament 83-54 on all-top rated college basketball picks this season, returning more than $1,500 for $100 players. It also went 4-1 on top-rated picks during the first week of March Madness. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
Now, the model has set its sights on Tennessee vs. FAU and revealed its coveted picks and predictions for the NCAA Tournament 2023. You can head to SportsLine to see the picks. Here are several college basketball odds and trends for FAU vs. Tennessee:
- Florida Atlantic vs. Tennessee spread: Tennessee -5
- Florida Atlantic vs. Tennessee over/under: 129.5 points
- Florida Atlantic vs. Tennessee money line: Tennessee -250, FAU +205
- FAU: The Owls are 6-4 against the spread in the last 10 games
- TENN: The Volunteers are 5-5 against the spread in the last 10 games
- Florida Atlantic vs. Tennessee picks: See picks at SportsLine
Why FAU can cover
FAU has the superior offense on paper in this matchup. Led by sophomore standout Johnell Davis, the Owls are in the top 15 of the country in offensive efficiency, scoring 112.7 points per 100 possessions over 36 games. Davis erupted for 29 points, 12 rebounds, five assists and five steals in the second round win over Fairleigh Dickinson, and he leads the team with 13.9 points per game in 2022-23.
FAU is an excellent shooting team including 36.7% from 3-point distance and 53.9% inside the arc, and the Owls take full advantage of their perimeter shooting with 9.7 3-pointers per game. Florida Atlantic also takes care of the ball effectively, committing a turnover on only 16.4% of possessions and a live-ball turnover on only 8.0% of trips. The Owls are in the top tier of the country with 14.6 assists per game, and Florida Atlantic also secures an offensive rebound after 30.9% of missed shots.
Why Tennessee can cover
Tennessee is the most efficient defensive team in the country, and that is on full display in the NCAA Tournament 2023. The Volunteers have allowed only 107 total points across two games, including just 52 points to a high-powered Duke team. The Blue Devils had 15 turnovers and only 10 assists against Tennessee, and Duke shot only 27% from 3-point range in the game. For the full season, Tennessee leads the country in allowing only 87.3 points per 100 possessions, and opponents score only 57.8 points per game against Rick Barnes’ club.
Tennessee is No. 1 in the nation in 3-point defense (26.4%), with opponents shooting only 37.2% from the field in 2022-23. The Volunteers also land well above the national average in assists allowed (9.8 per game), turnover creation rate (22.2%), steal rate (12.5%), blocked shot rate (11.9%), and defensive rebound rate (73.4%), with Florida Atlantic averaging only 17.4 free throw attempts per game on the offensive end.
How to make FAU vs. Tennessee picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning Over on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 139 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits well over 60% of the time. You can only see the model’s pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Tennessee vs. FAU? And which side of the spread hits well over 60% of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its college basketball picks, and find out.