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Head coach Greg McDermott and Jasen Green #0 of the Creighton Bluejays react as we offer our Creighton vs. Tennessee expert picks and prediction for the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament on Friday.
Head coach Greg McDermott and Jasen Green #0 of the Creighton Bluejays react after defeating the Oregon Ducks in a double overtime game 86-73 in the second round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at PPG PAINTS Arena on March 23, 2024 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images via AFP.

The Tennessee Volunteers take on the Creighton Bluejays in Friday's Sweet 16 in the 2024 NCAA Tournament, and we offer our Creighton vs. Tennessee expert pick and prediction based on the best March Madness odds for Friday.

For a moment, it looked like neither the No. 2 seed Tennessee Volunteers (26-8) nor the Creighton Bluejays (25-9) would make it to the Sweet 16 of this year's NCAA Tournament. They both survived the second round of March Madness and meet Friday at 10:09 p.m. ET (TBS/truTV) at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Mich., with Tennessee as a 2.5-point favorite across our best sports betting sites.

Both of these teams were taken to the brink in the Round of 32, with Tennessee holding off Texas late and Creighton needing double overtime to survive Oregon. Which one of these schools can deliver the final blow on Friday and keep their Final Four odds alive for another round?

As part of our March Madness predictions, here is our best Creighton vs. Tennessee expert pick (odds via our best March Madness betting sites; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

For more Round 3 betting action, see our Sweet 16 expert picks, and our Sweet 16 player props and best bets.

Creighton (3) vs. Tennessee (2) game info & odds

  • When: Friday, March 29
  • Tip-off: 10:09 p.m. ET
  • Where: Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Mich.
  • How to watch: TBS / tru TV
  • Favorite: Tennessee -2.5 (-112 via FanDuel)

Creighton vs. Tennessee expert pick

Creighton +2.5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Best odds: -108 via FanDuel

For weeks, I've been touting Creighton as not only a team capable of winning the Midwest Region but the entire NCAA Tournament, too. And I haven't seen anything to discourage me from picking the Bluejays to stay alive.

Don't be thrown off by Saturday's razor-thin win over Oregon, which was quietly one of the best teams in this field at full strength. Creighton still scored 1.14 points per possession while holding the Ducks to 0.97 points per possession on the other end, and it showcased its incredible depth and resolve with four double-digit scorers and 11 combined blocks and steals.

This is a championship team hiding in plain sight. Since suffering back-to-back losses in early February, Creighton has won nine of 11 games - including a 19-point win over title favorite UConn - with top-20 efficiency on offense (seventh) and defense (17th), and the sixth-highest net efficiency in the country.

That's even better than Tennessee (11th), which has been saddled by an offense that barely checks into the top 75 in that stretch even with Dalton Knecht's scoring brilliance. We saw that in the Round of 32, when the Vols scored just 62 points on 0.87 points per possession - the lowest marks in a win for Rick Barnes' group all season long.

If Knecht and Co. can't get going from deep after a 3-for-25 showing on Saturday, I'm mighty skeptical of their chances of scoring inside against Ryan Kalkbrenner, who has already blocked eight shots this tournament. I love Creighton's chances of winning outright (+125 via bet365), and there's plenty of value on the spread, too.

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Caesars Sweet 16 boost

Caesars is boosting the odds for Duke to win and Creighton to cover +4.5 in the Sweet 16 from +345 to +360. Offer valid for all eligible U.S. users. Just click here!

Creighton vs. Tennessee spread & Over/Under analysis

Tennessee is trading as a 2.5-point favorite over Creighton across our best sportsbooks in a matchup that T-Rank has projected as a 1-point win for the Vols. KenPom is a little more generous with a 2-point win, but both still spell value on the underdog Bluejays at +2.5, and only FanDuel is offering that wager at better than -110 odds.

The total is dealing anywhere from 143.5 to 144.5 across our best sports betting apps, with FanDuel joining Caesars and bet365 on the low end and BetMGM offering the highest O/U. With projections expecting a combined final score of 144 points, it makes sense why the market has coalesced around that number.

Creighton-Tennessee prediction made Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Here are our best March Madness betting sites:

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