The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2014 season when they face the Tennessee Volunteers in a first round game on Thursday at the Amway Center in Orlando. In their last appearance in the tournament, the Ragin' Cajuns fell 76-66 to a Doug McDermott-led Creighton team in the first round. This year, Louisiana (26-7) takes on Tennessee (23-10), which is coming off a loss to Missouri in the quarterfinals of the SEC tournament. The winner will advance to the second round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament to face either Duke or Oral Roberts. 

Tipoff is scheduled for 9:40 p.m. ET. The Volunteers are favored by 11 points in the latest Tennessee vs. Louisiana odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over/under for total points scored is 135.5. Before making any Louisiana vs. Tennessee picks, you need to check out the March Madness college basketball predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. The model enters the 2023 NCAA Tournament 79-53 on all-top rated college basketball picks this season, returning nearly $1,300 for $100 players. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on the NCAA Tournament and Tennessee vs. Louisiana and just locked in its picks and March Madness predictions. You can visit SportsLine now to see the model's picks. Here are the college basketball lines and trends for Louisiana vs. Tennessee:

  • Tennessee vs. Louisiana spread: Volunteers -11 
  • Tennessee vs. Louisiana over/under: 135.5 points 
  • Tennessee vs. Louisiana money line: Volunteers -650, Ragin' Cajuns +460 
  • TENN: The Volunteers lead the nation in 3-point defense (26.2%) 
  • ULL: The Ragin' Cajuns rank 14th in the country in rebound margin (6.4 rebounds per game) 
  • Tennessee vs. Louisiana picks: See picks here

Why Tennessee can cover

Senior Santiago Vescovi is on a roll. In Tennessee's last four games, the 6-foot-3 guard from Uruguay is averaging 16.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists while shooting 45.7% (16-for-35) from 3-point range. For his efforts this season he was named to the all-SEC first team for the second straight year.

In addition, the Volunteers are one of the best rebounding teams in the country. Tennessee owns a rebounding margin of 6.9 rebounds per game, which ranks 10th in the nation. The Volunteers are 12th in Div. I in offensive rebounding (13.0 per game) and are converting those offensive boards into 13.5 second chance points per game.

Why Louisiana can cover

Louisiana is an excellent rebounding team. The Ragin' Cajuns lead the Sun Belt Conference and rank 14th in the country in rebound margin (6.4 rebounds per game). Earlier this season, they outrebounded Loyola by 30.

In addition, Louisiana faces a Tennessee team that has struggled down the stretch. After starting 19-4, the Volunteers have lost six of their last 10 games. Since star guard Zakai Zeigler was lost for the season with a torn ACL, they have dropped two of three.

How to make Tennessee vs. Louisiana picks

We can tell you that the model is leaning Over on the point total, predicting a combined 140 points, and it also has generated an against-the-spread pick that cashes in almost 70% of simulations. You can get the model's pick only at SportsLine.

So who wins Louisiana vs. Tennessee? And which side of the spread can you bank on in almost 70% of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Tennessee vs. Louisiana spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that has returned nearly $1,300 on its college basketball picks, and find out.