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Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns at Tennessee Volunteers
NCAAB: Friday, November 9, 2018, Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, Tennessee, 7:00 PM ET
The inter-conference rivals will face at the Thompson-Boling Arena on Friday where the Tennessee Volunteers will welcome the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns in their search for the second victory of the new season, while the visitors also have the same hopes.
The Ragin’ Cajuns destroyed the University of the Virgin Islands on the season opener
Louisiana Lafayette had an easy job on the season opener as they dismantled the University of the Virgin Islands at home, but they will be facing a tougher task when they travel to Knoxville to take on the Volunteers. The Ragin’ Cajuns ended the last campaign at the top of the Sun Belt Conference with a 27-6 record; however, they didn’t qualify for the NCAA Tournament and had to settle with the NIT instead. Louisiana fell short to the LSU Tigers in the first round and they are now hoping to make it to the NCAA playoffs.
Senior forward Malik Marquetti led the Ragin’ Cajuns in a 121-80 win over the Virgin Islands with 19 points, five rebounds, and three assists, while his fellow starter JaKeenan Gant chipped in with 19 points, four boards, three dishes, and game-high three blocks. Jeremy Hayes led the second unit with 16 points, while Jerekius Davis ended the tilt with 14 points. Louisiana had six players in double figures and had a 25-point lead at halftime and they scored even 67 points in the second part of the games to claim a comfortable victory.
Big opening night for @RaginCajunsMBB in a 121-80 win over the University of the Virgin Islands.
Cajuns score their most points in an season-opener since the 1970-71 season.#GeauxCajuns 🤟⚜️
— Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns® Men's Basketball (@RaginCajunsMBB) November 7, 2018
The Ragin’ Cajuns had a top 20 offense in the NCAAB in the 2017-18 that averaged 83.4 points per contest (15th), while their defense allowed 70.8 points per game (208th). Louisiana’s rebounding was good as they were recording 38.9 boards per game (27th), while they were the 8thth when it comes to assists per contest with 17.6 dishes a night. Louisiana was 67th in field goal percentage as they had 46.8 percent from the floor and 89th from downtown with 36.7 percentage, while they were the 72nd with 8.8 three-pointers made per game.
The Volunteers booked a convincing win over the Bears in the opening game of the season
Tennessee didn’t have a hard job in the opening night of the new NCAAB campaign as they booked a comfortable win over the Lenoir Rhyne Bears at home and their first big test of the season will be Lousiana’s visit on Friday. The Volunteers finished the previous year in the second place in the Southeastern Conference with a 25-8 record as only Auburn had a better record. They advanced to the playoffs and secured an easy win over Wright State but Loyola Chicago upset them in the following game, 63-62, so the Volunteers are eager to improve this time around and at least reach the top 16 in the NCAA Tournament.
Junior guard Jordan Bone led the Volunteers in an 86-41 win over the Bears with 18 points, six rebounds, and a couple of steals, while Kyle Alexander followed him with 16 points, five boards, and game-high four blocks. Admiral Schofield added 13 points, team-high nine rebounds, and four dishes, while Grant Williams posted 13 points, seven boards, five assists, two steals, and two rejections. All of Tennessee’s starters reached double-digits on this one and the game was settled in the first half when the Volunteers created a 20-point lead, while they limited the visitors to just 11 points in the second half.
Winning pictures 📸
— Tennessee Basketball (@Vol_Hoops) November 7, 2018
The Volunteers had the 161st offense in the NCAAB in the 2017-18 that averaged 74.3 points per contest, while their defense allowed 65.7 points per game (120th). Tennessee was 127th in rebounding as they were recording 36.2 boards per game, while they were the 37th when it comes to assists per contest with 15.9 dishes a night. Tennessee was 204th in field goal percentage as they had 44.1 percent from the floor and 40th from downtown with 38.4 percentage, while they were the 153rd with 7.8 three-pointers made per game.
- 4-1-1 ATS in their last six when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game
- 19-6-2 ATS in their last 27 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points
- 1-4 ATS in their last five non-conference games
- 0-6 ATS in their last six vs. Southeastern rivals
- 1-5 ATS in their last six after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
These schools have met once before and it was in 2008 when Tennessee recorded a big win but it’s going to be different this time around as I don’t expect the hosts to have such an easy job. The Volunteers have the home-field advantage which can prove to be a deciding factor in this clash, while Louisiana’s poor recent record against the Southeastern Conference opponents is also one of the reasons I am backing Tennessee here.
Prediction: Tennessee Volunteers -16 (-110)
Full-Game Total Pick
Tennessee will be looking to limit the Ragin’ Cajuns to under 70 points in order to get a win and even though Louisiana averaged over 80 points per contest in the 2017-18, I am backing the home team’s defense to prevail on this one. Under is 18-7-2 in Volunteers last 27 non-conference games; under is 7-2 in Volunteers previous nine overall, while under is 15-6 in Ragin’ Cajuns last 21 games following a straight up win.
Prediction: Under 149.5 (-110)
Full-Game Prop Bet
Tennessee did have a 20-point lead at halftime against the Bears but they played better in the second half of that tilt, while it was a different situation with Ragin’ Cajuns’ game against the Virgin Islands. Louisiana did score even 67 points in the second 20 minutes but their defense was rather leaky as well, so I am backing the visitors to perform well in the opening half here and cover the +9 spread. The Volunteers will likely be up but at the moment, I don’t think the -9 spread is something you’d bet on, so I suggest you to go with Louisiana on this one.
Prediction: Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns +9 (-110)
Half-Time Side Pick
The total is set at 71, which is not such a big number considering Louisiana’s high-flying offense and bot very good defense. Also, both Tennessee’s and Louisiana’s opening games produced more than 71 points in the first half, and although I don’t expect the Ragin’ Cajuns to drop 54 points at halftime, the teams should combine for at least 72.
Prediction: Over 71 (-110)