The Florida Gulf Coast Eagles take on the Tennessee Volunteers. Check out our college basketball odds series for our Florida Gulf Coast Tennessee prediction and pick.

The Tennessee Volunteers have never made the Final Four. They have had a lot of highly-seeded NCAA Tournament teams in recent years, not only under current coach Rick Barnes, but also under former coach Bruce Pearl. Tennessee also had some good teams in the late 1970s, early 1980s, and in the early 2000s. There have been several NCAA Tournaments in which Tennessee had a top-five seed with a chance to do some damage. The Vols have gotten as far as the Elite Eight, but they haven’t been able to get over the hump and hang a Final Four banner in Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville.

As the new college basketball season begins, it is hard to be optimistic that this new Rick Barnes team will be the one to break the spell.

Tennessee was comfortably handled by Colorado this past Sunday. Colorado was coming off a loss to Grambling in the Pac-12/SWAC Legacy Series, an event in which three different SWAC teams defeated Pac-12 teams. Colorado lost, as did Arizona State to Texas Southern and Washington State versus Prairie View A&M. Colorado was not coming into Nashville with a lot of confidence, but Tad Boyle outflanked Barnes, and Tennessee went through yet another cold-shooting disaster. It has happened many times under Barnes, to the extent that it is a pattern and not idle coincidence. Tennessee has lacked elite scoring point guards who can dominate a game and get to the rim at will, either finishing or drawing foul shots. The Vols don’t have that one ingredient which makes their offense less susceptible to paralyzing scoring droughts. Without that solution, it’s hard to see this team winning four straight games in March Madness. The Colorado loss is a huge source of concern.

Florida Gulf Coast made a strong early-season statement with a win over former FGCU coach Andy Enfield, who is now at USC. Florida Gulf Coast whacked USC by 13 points, 74-61, in a game which wasn’t even that close. The Eagles played a complete game at both ends of the floor and dominated the middle 20 minutes of the game to forge an advantage of more than 20 points. If that team shows up here, Tennessee is in for a fight.

Courtesy of FanDuel, here are the Florida Gulf Coast-Tennessee College Basketball odds.

College Basketball Odds: Florida Gulf Coast-Tennessee Odds

Florida Gulf Coast Eagles: +20.5 (-110)

Tennessee Volunteers: -20.5 (-110)

Over: 139.5 (-110)

Under: 139.5 (-110)

Why Florida Gulf Coast Could Cover the Spread

The point spread is huge for a team which beat USC by 13 on the road. Florida Gulf Coast is not getting a whole lot of respect with this line. It’s a real opportunity to take the Eagles plus the points and rely on the notion that Tennessee won’t play a great offensive game.

Why Tennessee Could Cover the Spread

The Vols are going to be really mad after the Colorado game. They won’t miss a lot of the shots they got against Colorado. They will score big and run away with this contest against an FGCU team which will come crashing down to earth.

Final Florida Gulf Coast-Tennessee Prediction & Pick

Florida Gulf Coast is getting a ton of points. It should be able to be much more competitive than the spread suggests. The game also figures to go under. Expect a lot of defense here.

Final Florida Gulf Coast-Tennessee Prediction & Pick: Florida Gulf Coast +20.5, under 139.5