The No. 4 seed Tennessee Volunteers take on the No. 9 seed Florida Atlantic Owls in a Sweet 16 tilt on Thursday. Tennessee and Florida Atlantic meet in the East region semifinal of the 2023 NCAA Tournament, with the Vols toppling Louisiana and Duke while the Owls defeated Memphis and Fairleigh Dickinson. Tennessee is 25-10 under Rick Barnes, including notable wins over Alabama, Texas, and Kansas during the regular season. FAU is 33-3 overall, including nine straight wins, and the Owls won both the regular season and tournament titles in Conference USA.

Caesars Sportsbook lists the Vols as 4.5-point favorites for this 9 p.m. ET tip. The total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, or the over/under, is 129.5 in the latest Florida Atlantic vs. Tennessee odds. Before locking in any Tennessee vs. Florida Atlantic picks, be sure to see the college basketball predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's proven computer model

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. The model enters the Sweet 16 round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament 83-54 on all-top rated college basketball picks this season, returning more than $1,500 for $100 players. It also went 4-1 on top-rated picks during the first week of March Madness. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns. 

Now, the model has set its sights on Tennessee vs. FAU and revealed its coveted picks and predictions for the NCAA Tournament 2023. You can head to SportsLine to see the picks. Here are several college basketball odds and trends for FAU vs. Tennessee:

  • Florida Atlantic vs. Tennessee spread: Tennessee -4.5
  • Florida Atlantic vs. Tennessee over/under: 129.5 points
  • Florida Atlantic vs. Tennessee money line: Tennessee -205, FAU +170
  • FAU: The Owls are 6-4 against the spread in the last 10 games
  • TENN: The Volunteers are 5-5 against the spread in the last 10 games
  • Florida Atlantic vs. Tennessee picks: See picks at SportsLine

Why FAU can cover

FAU is led by its offense, but the Owls are also in a strong position on defense in this matchup. The Owls held Fairleigh Dickinson to 38% shooting and 29% from 3-point range in the second round, and FAU is in the top 20 of the country in defensive efficiency this season. FAU allows only 94.8 points per 100 possessions, and the Owls are holding opponents to 40.2% shooting from the field, 45.0% from 2-point range, and 31.7% from 3-point range. 

The Owls also secure almost 75% of available defensive rebounds, and FAU allows only 15.3 free throw attempts per game. FAU is No. 2 in the country in assist percentage allowed (34.1%), and opponents average only 8.0 assists per game against the Owls. Tennessee is a poor shooting team on offense, including 33.0% from 3-point range and only 71% at the free throw line, and the Volunteers commit a turnover on 18.3% of offensive possessions.

Why Tennessee can cover 

Tennessee's defense is unquestionably elite, and the Volunteers are also peaking at the right time on offense. With point guard Zakai Zeigler (ACL) sidelined, the Vols are led by seniors Santiago Vescovi and Olivier Nkamhoua, both of whom excelled in a second-round win over Duke. Vescovi produced 14 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals in the win, with Nkamhoua erupting for 27 points on 10-of-13 shooting. Tennessee is in the top 10 of the country in assists (16.8 per game) and offensive rebound rate (36.4%) this season, and FAU is well below-average in block rate (6.7%) and turnover creation rate (18.1%) on defense. 

Tennessee is dominant on the other end, leading the country in defensive efficiency. Opponents are scoring less than 0.88 points per possession against the Volunteers this season, with Tennessee also leading the country with 26.4% shooting allowed from 3-point range. Tennessee is in the top five nationally in field goal percentage allowed (37.2%), with the Volunteers also excelling in havoc creation. The Volunteers force a turnover on 22.2% of defensive possessions while blocking 11.9% of shots and generating a live-ball turnover on more than 12% of defensive trips.

How to make FAU vs. Tennessee picks

SportsLine's model is leaning Over on the total, projecting the teams to combine for 138 points. The model also says one side of the spread hits over 60% of the time. You can only see the model's pick at SportsLine.

So who wins Tennessee vs. FAU? And which side of the spread hits over 60% of the time? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its college basketball picks, and find out.