Lock of the Day 12/30/20 – Tennessee vs. Missouri

Tennessee -3.5 over Missouri

The records and rankings might look close in this matchup of undefeated SEC teams, but there is a much larger gap between the two than this spread suggests. Starting with the Missouri Tigers, while their record is unblemished and they’re ranked 12th, they have one solid win this season and that’s it.

That one win was against Illinois, who has been overhyped since their blowout victory over a bad Duke team. Just in their previous game, Missouri was barely able to survive against Bradley 54-53. Even with their soft schedule, Mizzou’s largest margin of victory this season since their blowout of Oral Roberts to begin the year is 72-62 over Wichita State.

On the other hand, we have Tennessee who has won in convincing fashion in all six of their games and are the number one team in the nation defensively (52.7 PPG), while also scoring 80.8 points per game. If Mizzou can only muster 54 points against Bradley, it’s tough to trust their offense to keep up here.

In these early season matchups, there is a lot of value in games like this as the records and rankings are nearly identical, but Tennessee is the far superior team. KenPom has the Volunteers at #4 and Missouri at #40, a far difference between the #7 and #12 each team comes in ranked.

Tennessee will win with ease and cover, and a double digit victory by them wouldn’t surprise us based on the talent difference between these two teams.


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