NCAA Basketball Tuesday Betting Preview: Look for Tennessee to Cover vs. Florida

SI Gambling analyst Roy Larking focuses on key matchups from the SEC and Big Ten conferences on his Tuesday college basketball betting card.
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No. 6 Tennessee at Florida

Southeastern Conference rivals battle when No. 6 Tennessee visits Florida on Tuesday. Game time is slated for 7:00 p.m. ET at Stephen C. O'Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida. The Volunteers are riding a four-game winning streak against the Gators and this is the first of two meetings this season. These teams met once last year and Tennessee covered as a -1 point favorite with a 63-58 win at home. Will the Volunteers cover as -6.5 favorites on the road in Florida?

Tennessee (10-1, 4-1 SEC) heads to Florida following an 81-61 win at home over Vanderbilt (4-6, 0-4 SEC) on Saturday. The Volunteers covered as a -18 point favorite against the Commodores who sit last overall in the SEC standings. Tennessee began their season with seven straight wins that included an impressive 73-53 victory on the road against No. 12 Missouri. Following a 71-63 loss at home to Alabama the Volunteers have won three straight.

Florida (6-4, 3-3 SEC) returns home following a 72-69 loss on the road to Mississippi State (9-5, 4-2 SEC) on Saturday. The Gators opened the season with a 5-1 record but have lost three of their last four games. Florida struggled at both ends of the court during the three loses as they were outscored by a 234-198 combined count. Already without Keyontae Johnson, who is out for the season, starting guard Scottie Lewis will miss a third straight game.

Smothering defense leads the way for Tennessee as the Volunteers are allowing 57.2 points per game. Victor Bailey Jr. (12.3 ppg) and John Fulkerson (11.9 ppg) lead the Vols’ offense that’s averaging 77.2 ppg. Led by Tre Mann (14.0 ppg) and Colin Castleton (12.6 ppg) Florida is averaging 76.7 ppg on offense. Defense is an issue for the Gators as they are allowing 71.0 ppg. Lay the points and bet on Tennessee who have won nine games by at least nine points this season.

Pick: Tennessee Volunteers -6.5 (-110) ATS at DraftKings

Betting Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook – Game Time 7:00 p.m. ET

Betting Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook – Game Time 7:00 p.m. ET

Bet on College Basketball All Season at DraftKings

Penn State at No. 22 Illinois

Big Ten Conference rivals meet for the second time this season when Penn State visits No. 22 Illinois tonight. Tied 43-43 at halftime, the Fighting Illini outscored the Nittany Lions 55-38 in the second half and posted a 98-81 win on the road back on December 23, 2020. Tipoff is slated for 8:30 p.m. ET at State Farm Center in Champaign, Ill. One of these teams will snap out of a losing streak. Illinois has lost two straight games while Penn State has lost four in row.

Illinois (9-5, 5-3 Big Ten) is looking to get back on track following two losses at home. The Fighting Illini had a four-game winning streak snapped as they lost 66-63 to unranked Maryland as -10.5 point favorites on January 10. That was followed by a road game against Nebraska being cancelled due to COVID-19 issues. Losing two straight, for the first time this season, Illinois fell behind 43-28 at halftime and lost 87-81 to No. 21 Ohio State on Saturday.

Penn State (3-5, 0-4 Big Ten) has been hit hard by COVID-19 recently. Following the loss to Illinois, the Nittany Lions lost 87-85 in overtime on the road to Indiana on December 30, 2020. Their next four games were cancelled due to the virus. Receiving clearance to resume their season, Penn State lost 80-72 on the road to Purdue on Sunday. Showing some rust, the Nittany Lions made just 27 of 82 shot attempts and were 10 of 39 from three-point range.

Despite their two-game losing streak, Illinois is averaging 83.1 points per game on offense and allowing 69.1 ppg on defense. Penn State trails in both categories as they have scored 77.6 ppg on offense and are allowing 76.8 ppg on defense. Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn were dominant in the first meeting for Illinois as they posted 53 combined points. They are the two top players in this game and will lead the Fighting Illini to a season series sweep of the Nittany Lions.

Pick: Illinois Fighting Illini -8.5 (-110) ATS at DraftKings

Betting Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook – Game Time 8:30 p.m. ET

Betting Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook – Game Time 8:30 p.m. ET

2020-21 NCAA Basketball Betting Record: 10-4 ATS

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