Tennessee vs. Colorado basketball prediction, odds

It’s NFL Sunday, but for Top Play I’m going to the hard-court with a college basketball pick.

A lot of people are excited about the Tennessee Volunteers this season, and for good reason. The Vols return a strong nucleus from their 2021-22 team that won 27 games and ranked third in defensive efficiency, according to KenPom. If that wasn’t enough, Zakai Zeigler and Tennessee created even more of a buzz after demolishing Gonzaga, 99-80, in an exhibition two weeks ago.

Colorado is at the opposite end of the spectrum after losing by nine to Grambling State on Friday. Though you never want to overreact to early season upsets in college basketball, the Buffaloes entered 2022 losing their top three scorers from a year ago. Head coach Tad Boyle hit the transfer portal hard in an attempt to replace the lost production, but it will take some time for all the new pieces to mesh.

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Zakai Zeigler and Tennessee will face Colorado on Sunday.
Zakai Zeigler and Tennessee will face Colorado on Sunday.
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Colorado allowed Grambling State to shoot 54 percent from the field and only outrebounded the smaller Tigers by four. That’s a bad omen when the Buffaloes are facing a physical Tennessee frontline that was one of the best offensive rebounding teams in college basketball last season.

Tennessee is one of the most well-rounded teams in the country, and this is an early season matchup where I think we’re getting some value on the line. I make the Vols -16 on a “neutral” court in Nashville, so anything south of that is worth betting.

The play: Tennessee -12.5

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