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January 31, 2017

There is one pick tonight.

Take Tennessee -1 spread against Auburn for 3% of the bankroll.

The Tennessee Volunteers come into this matchup with the Auburn Tigers playing their very best basketball of the season. The Volunteers are in the midst of a 3-game win streak and hold a victory over the highly-ranked Kentucky Wildcats during their run of success. The Volunteers are an explosive team on the offensive side of the ball as they average over 77 points per game on the season. Robert Hubbs III is the catalyst on offense and currently leads the team with 15 points and 5.1 rebounds a game. Grant Williams adds 11.2 points plus 5.5 rebounds per game. Williams and Hubbs are the only double-digit scorers on the team, but this is a team that is a very cohesive unit and gets contributions from nearly everyone as Lamonte Turner, Jordan Bone, Jordan Bowden, Shembari Phillips and Admiral Schofield all average more than 6 points a night for the Volunteers.

The Auburn Tigers are coming off an extremely impressive win on the road as they knocked off the TCU Horned Frogs in Lubbock in their last contest. While there is no question that was a solid victory for the Tigers, much of that victory can be summed up to TCU's poor play and inability at the free-throw line as they went just 9 of 20 from the charity stripe. Had it not been for TCU's struggles, the ending of that game could have played out much differently for the Tigers. They were fortunate and we don't expect that their luck will carry over into tonight's contest.

Let's not forget that while this is a talented Auburn team; they are still extremely young and inexperienced. The Tigers are the only team in the nation with freshmen making up the top four scorers on the roster. While that likely gives the program comfort for the future, what that means right now is that they are a young and prone to making mistakes. Mistakes can be costly at the end of games and when young players simply try to force things to happen. This has been a series that has been dominated by the Vols recently. They managed to win two of three meetings last season and have won 10 of the last 11 in the series overall.

While there is certainly no question that Auburn would like nothing more than to snap their recent losing streak to the Vols, we just don't believe this team is quite ready to take that next step. They will likely be motivated and “try too hard” to pull off this win and we believe that’s when the mistakes will come. Tennessee has played a tough schedule as of late and have overcome some very good teams over the past few weeks. They have shown their experience and have shown that they do not let the moment get too big for them as evidenced by their victory over the Kentucky Wildcats. The Vols are the more polished and cohesive team at the moment and we believe that is going to be the difference in this contest tonight. They have shown their ability to close out closely contested games and that is what they will do tonight. In what should be a close, high scoring affair, we expect the Tennessee players to make the plays needed at the end of the game to come away with a solid victory on the road.

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