College Basketball Betting: Tennessee Favored Over Arizona In Top 20 Clash

Tennessee Volunteers guard Santiago Vescovi (25) during the college basketball game between the Tennessee Volunteers and the Texas Tech Red Raiders on December 7, 2021 at Madison Square Garden in New York City,NY.
Image Credit: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Bad news for sports bettors: College football’s regular season has come to a close.

Good news for sports bettors: College basketball’s regular season is heating up fast, with the holiday school break generating a slew of intriguing intersectional matchups.

Once such matchup takes place Wednesday between two ranked teams that haven’t shared the same court since Nov. 13, 1998. breaks down this cross-country clash from a college basketball betting perspective.

No. 6 Arizona At No. 19 Tennessee

Tennessee Volunteers forward John Fulkerson slam dunks the basketball against the Colorado Buffaloes
Image Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Tipoff Time: 7 p.m. EST
Venue: Thompson-Boling Arena (Knoxville, Tenn.)
Arizona: 11-0 SU/8-2-1 ATS
Tennessee: 8-2 SU/6-4 ATS

Odds: Side & Total

Sportsbook Spread Total
BetMGM Pick ’em (-110) 153.5
Caesars Tennessee -1 (-110) 154
DraftKings Tennessee -1 (-110) 153
FanDuel Tennessee -1 (-110) 153
PointsBet USA Tennessee -1.5 (-110) 153

Odds updated as of 3:45 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Dec. 22.

Betting Trends


  • Arizona is 5-1-1 ATS in its last seven overall
  • The Wildcats are 3-1 ATS this season in road and neutral-site games
  • Arizona is 6-13-1 ATS in its last 20 as an underdog
  • The Wildcats are 19-7-1 ATS in their last 27 Wednesday games
  • The Over is 5-0 in Arizona’s last five Wednesday contests and 10-2 in its last 12 following a SU win


  • Tennessee is 4-1 ATS in its last five overall (all as a favorite)
  • The Volunteers are 1-4 ATS in their last five after scoring 91-plus points the previous game
  • Tennessee is 3-11-2 ATS in its last 16 Wednesday games
  • The Under is 4-1 in Tennessee’s last five overall. The combined totals: 148, 112, 109 123, and 130 points

Odds & Ends

Bennedict Mathurin #0 of the Arizona Wildcats is seen during the game against the Michigan Wolverines at T-Mobile Arena on November 21, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Image Credit: Michael Hickey/Getty Images

— Arizona is 3-0 SU/ATS against power-conference opponents this season. The Wildcats beat Illinois 83-79 as a 2.5-point road favorite (Dec. 11); crushed Oregon State 90-65 as a 13.5-point chalk in their Pac-12 opener (Dec. 6); and upset Michigan 80-62 laying 3.5 points in Las Vegas (Nov. 22).

— Tennessee is 2-2 SU and ATS against nationally ranked and/or power-conferences foes this season. The Volunteers hammered North Carolina (89-72 as a 2.5-point neutral-site chalk) and Colorado (69-54 as a 5.5-point road favorite), but lost to Villanova (71-53 as a 2-point neutral-site dog) and Texas Tech (57-52 in overtime as a 4-point neutral-site favorite).

— The Wildcats are 5-5 SU on the road against ranked opponents in the last 10 years. The combined totals in those contests: 153, 147, 121, 147, 143, 181, 134, 131, 120, and 150 points. All 10 stayed Under Wednesday’s consensus total of 153.5

— The Volunteers have lost four of their last five home games against ranked opponents. The combined totals: 141, 137, 148, 141, and 98 points.

— Arizona has posted double-digit victories in nine of 11 games. The lone exceptions were a four-point victory at Illinois and a four-point overtime victory over Wichita State on a neutral floor.

— Similarly, all eight of Tennessee’s wins have been double-digit routs, with an average victory margin of 28.6 points. The Vols are also 2-1 ATS as a single-digit favorite.

— This season, the Wildcats and their opponents are averaging 153.8 combined points per game, while Tennessee and its foes are averaging 136.4 points per outing.

— Arizona currently has the sixth-best odds to win the NCAA title (+1,600). The Volunteers slot 22nd on the college basketball national championship odds board (+4,500), tied with UConn, Seton Hall, Memphis, and LSU.

— Player to Watch: Arizona sophomore guard Bennedict Mathurin is a legitimate candidate for the Wooden Award. The Montreal native has been a consistent force for the Wildcats, averaging 17.4 points and 6.5 rebounds per game while shooting 49.3 percent from the field. During a recent three-game run against Oregon State, Wyoming, and Illinois (Dec. 5-11), Mathurin averaged 27.7 points and 7.9 rebounds. He buried at least 10 field goals in all three victories.

Jay Clemons
Jay Clemons remains the only sports writer on the planet to capture Cynposis Media's national award for Sports Blog Of The Year (beating out,,, The Players' Tribune in 2015), along with the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's pre-eminent award for Best Football Writer (2008). Through the years, Mr. Clemons has been a key figure with numerous blue-chip sports/media brands, namely the Detroit Lions, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report and now American Affiliate's Clemons, a graduate of Michigan State University and Wayne State University, has been an on-camera Web-TV host for Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report and FOX Sports. In 2015, he also became the first-ever sports journalism professor at Kennesaw State University in suburban Atlanta. And for the betting community, covering the last two years of the sports calendar (2019-20 / 2020-21), Clemons enjoyed a rock-solid winning rate of 59.6 percent with point-spread and over/under selections (NFL, college football and college basketball.)