March Madness Round 64: Louisiana vs. Tennessee Betting Preview

March Madness Round 64: Louisiana vs. Tennessee Betting Preview

The Tennessee Volunteers will look to start a deep run into the NCAA Tournament on Thursday when they take on the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns. The Volunteers are a (-11) favorite heading into the game, with the total set at 136 points. The Volunteers are heavily juiced on the moneyline at -625, while Louisiana is paying out at +485 to win the game straight up. The contest is scheduled for a 9:40 PM EST tip-off from the Amway Center in Orlando FL, and will be broadcast on CBS.

The Fighting Illini are making their third-straight NCAA Tournament appearance, while the Razorbacks are back for their fourth-straight go-around.

We will now preview each of the two teams, and then we’ll give you our betting predictions for this Round of 64 contest. Keep reading for college basketball lines, analysis, and a free pick for Louisiana vs. Tennessee.


2023 March Madness Round of 64 Game
Louisiana Ragin Cajuns vs. Tennessee Volunteers Betting Preview

Louisiana of Sun Belt meets Tennessee of SEC in NCAA Tourney First Round
ATS Odds: Tennessee -11
Moneyline Odds: Tennessee -11
Over/Under Odds: Louisiana +464 / Tennessee -666
When: Thursday, March 16 at 9:40 pm ET
Where: Amway Center, Orlando, FL
TV / Streaming: CBS


Why Bet on Louisiana Ragin Cajuns against Tennessee Volunteers?

Bob Marlin’s Ragin Cajuns have quietly had one of the best seasons of any mid-major in the country. The Sun Belt Conference automatic qualifier has lost just three games since the calendar turned to 2023 and finished the season with a 26-7 overall record and a 13-5 mark in league play. There is a concern about their strength of schedule as their best victory on the season came against Marshall though they did play Drake and Texas during the out of conference part of their campaign. 

The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns are well-balanced, with four players averaging at least 9.4 points per games on the season. They are led by one time top 20 high schools recruit Jordan Brown, who attended both Nevada and Arizona prior to finding a home with Coach Marlin’s program. Brown lived up to his potential this season, averaging career-highs 19.4 points and 8.7 rebounds per game en route to an All-Conference first-team selection and a Sun Belt Tournament MVP.


Why Bet on Tennessee Volunteers against Louisiana Ragin Cajuns?

Once again, the Tennessee Volunteers enter the postseason tournament after a regular season that can only be described as a tremendous success. The Vols finished the season with a record of 23-10 and were ranked as highly as second in the nation. They boast one of the best defenses in the nation, allowing just 58 points per game which ranks third in the nation. They finished the regular season second in the country in adjusted defensive efficiency and were the best team in the nation in defending the three-point line.

Of course, that defensive stalwart took a huge hit when sophomore guard Zakai Zeigler went down with an ACL injury. The two-time all-conference defender is one of the best perimeter defenders in the nation and is now lost to the Vols, leaving a huge hole on both ends of the floor. The good news for the Vols is that they have tremendous depth in the backcourt to hopefully pick up the slack.


Louisiana vs. Tennessee Relevant Trends

  • Tennessee is scoring 71.8 points per game this season, but it has really thrived on defense, allowing just 58 points per game
  • The Volunteers are allowing 28.4 boards per game this year, but they’ve thrived by averaging 35.9 rebounds per contest
  • Tennessee has been one of the top teams in college basketball when it comes to assists, as it is collecting 16.9 per game
  • The Volunteers are committing 11.3 turnovers per game this year, while forcing 14 turnovers per contest
  • With 7.8 threes per game, Tennessee ranks 126th in the nation. It has a 32.9% shooting percentage from downtown, which ranks 250th in college basketball.
  • In terms of shot breakdown, Tennessee has taken 59.6% two-pointers and 40.4% from beyond the arc (30.5%).

Louisiana Ragin Cajuns vs. Tennessee Volunteers Final Betting Prediction

When it comes to Rick Barnes and the NCAA Tournament, nothing is guaranteed. Aside from a sweet 16 in 2019, Barnes has not made it out of the first weekend since the 2008 tournament. Santiago Vescovi is a tremendous college player but is also the epitome of inconsistency. It is unlikely that Louisiana wins the game straight up, but they have the star power to compete and cover a double-digit spread. 

March Madness Round of 64 Pick: Louisiana covers double-digit spread | Bet Louisiana vs. Tennessee Today
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