Tennessee vs Purdue Prediction & Picks: Are the Volunteers and Boilermakers Set for Another Thriller?

Eddie Griffin

Written by: Eddie Griffin

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Tennessee vs Purdue basketball odds prediction picks 11/21/23 cover


A scintillating semifinal session at the Maui Invitational will kick off with the first of two top-tier matchups, as Dalton Knecht and #7 Tennessee will face off with Zach Edey and #2 Purdue at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu (8:00 pm ET, ESPN).

The Volunteers (4-0) opened the event bright and early yesterday with a 73-56 win over Syracuse in a game that started at 9:30 am local time. With under seven minutes left, the Orange were still in the game, as they trailed by only four after a Judah Mintz three.

But Tennessee closed out the game with a 21-8 run and scored the game’s final 11 points after Syracuse had drawn within five with three minutes remaining.

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In their matchup with #11 Gonzaga, Purdue trailed by nine late in the first half and five at halftime. But the Boilermakers outscored the Bulldogs by 15 in the second halftime in a 73-63 win. Like Tennessee, Purdue closed strong, pulling away in the final six minutes to turn a one-possession game into a comfortable win.

Are we in store for a close contest between two of the top defensive teams in college basketball? The winner of this game will face the winner of Kansas-Marquette (10:30 pm ET, ESPN) in tomorrow’s championship game (5:00 pm ET, ESPN).

Tennessee vs Purdue Odds

Odds are courtesy of Bovada.


  • Tennessee +3 (-110)
  • Purdue -3 (-110)


  • Over 133.5 (-110)
  • Under 133.5 (-110)


  • Tennessee +130
  • Purdue -150

Tennessee vs Purdue Prediction and Picks

Dalton Knecht Tennessee basketball

Prediction: Purdue to win

Picks: Purdue -3 (-110 at Bovada) & Purdue team total over 67.5 points (-120 at Bovada)

This will be the fourth all-time meeting between Tennessee and Purdue, and it has a lot to live up to given how the previous three matchups went.

In 2009, they met in the championship game of the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands, and the Boilermakers edged the Vols 73-72 to take home the trophy.

Eight years later, they met in the first round at the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas, and Tennessee rallied from double digits down to win 78-75 in overtime, led by a monster second-half effort by Grant Williams.

The following season, the two teams faced off in the Sweet Sixteen, in one of the wildest March Madness games in recent history. Tennessee rallied from 18 down in the second half on that occasion, but thanks to Ryan Cline and Carsen Edwards, the Boilermakers were able to force overtime and ultimately won 99-94 to reach the Elite Eight for the first time since 2000.

That is a lot to live up to, right?

Tonight, the spotlight will be on Edey and Knecht. Edey (21.8 PPG, 11.0 RPG, 3.5 BPG) is doing Edey things and remains atop the latest Wooden Award odds despite Hunter Dickinson’s best efforts. He has led Purdue in scoring and rebounding in each game, and he had 25 points, 14 rebounds, and three blocks against Gonzaga.

Top Players for Purdue

  • Zach Edey: 21.8 PPG, 11.0 RPG, 3.5 BPG
  • Braden Smith: 12.0 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 7.8 APG
  • Lance Jones: 10.5 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.8 SPG

Knecht (19.0 PPG, 3.8 RPG), a transfer from Northern Colorado, has also led Tennessee in scoring in each game thus far. In the win over Syracuse, he was 3 of 4 from three and record 17 points, four rebounds, three assists, and two blocks.

Top Players for Tennessee

  • Dalton Knecht: 19.0 PPG, 3.8 RPG
  • Josiah-Jordan James: 12.3 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 1.8 SPG
  • Jordan Gainey: 10.5 PPG, 42.1% 3PT

Given how strong both teams are defensively–at KenPom, Tennessee is first in adjusted defensive efficiency, while Purdue comes in fifth, with fellow undefeated teams Houston, Iowa State, and Mississippi State between the two–should we expect to see a lower-scoring contest?

I tend to be very cautious when it comes to the Vols and both overs and unders, because I know what’s good for me there. Since the start of the 2020-21 season, the under is 58-43-1 in Tennessee’s games.

With that in mind, I’m staying away from a game total, but because I like Purdue here, I’m going with both the spread and the team total for the Boilermakers in what could end up being a 68-64 kind of game.

Where to Bet on College Basketball

If you are looking for college basketball odds, you will always be spoiled for choice. Sports betting sites all over the internet offer a vast array of NCAA basketball odds throughout the season, from the opening tip in November to the conclusion of the season in early April.

Along with being able to bet on countless games, many online sportsbooks offer men’s college basketball national championship odds, women’s college basketball national championship odds, men’s Wooden Award odds, women’s Wooden Award odds, and odds on who will win early season and conference tournaments.

Below are some of the books that we highly recommend for college basketball betting:

If you don’t have an account at a book on this list, check out our reviews to help you determine if it is worth your interest and your betting funds.

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Eddie Griffin
Eddie Griffin

Eddie Griffin has been writing about and betting on sports for over a decade and has been with Betting News since 2021. For more of his thoughts on sports and sports betting, you can follow him on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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