Another thrilling non-conference college basketball game will take place on Saturday when No. 17 Tennessee (5-3) hosts No. 20 Illinois (7-1). The Vols lost three straight games to top-20 teams away from home, but they returned to Knoxville with an 87-66 blowout win over George Mason on Tuesday. Illinois is riding a five-game winning streak that includes wins over Rutgers and No. 11 Florida Atlantic its last two times out. This is the fourth all-time matchup between these programs, but the first since 1988. You can watch Saturday's game on CBS and stream the game on Paramount+.

Tipoff is set for noon ET at Thompson-Boling Arena at Food City Center in Knoxville. The latest Tennessee vs. Illinois odds from SportsLine consensus list the Vols as 7-point favorites, while the over/under for total points is set at 145. Saturday's showdown will be televised on CBS and streamed live with the must-have Paramount+ with SHOWTIME plan, which comes with a 7-day free trial.

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How to watch Tennessee vs. Illinois

  • Tennessee vs. Illinois date: Saturday, Dec. 9
  • Tennessee vs. Illinois time: noon ET
  • Tennessee vs. Illinois TV channel: CBS 
  • Tennessee vs. Illinois live stream: Paramount+ 

College basketball picks for Tennessee vs. Illinois

Before tuning into the Illinois vs. Tennessee game, you need to see the college basketball picks from SportsLine's advanced computer model. The model simulates every Division I college basketball game 10,000 times. It entered Week 5 of the 2023-24 season on a 98-61 roll on all top-rated college basketball picks dating back to last season, returning more than $2,000 for $100 players. It is also off to a 10-2 start on top-rated spread picks this season. Anyone following has seen huge returns. 

For Tennessee vs. Illinois, the model projects that the Vols cover the spread as 7-point home favorites. Tennessee tends to thrive in this type of game, winning 24 consecutive non-conference home games dating back to the 2020-21 season opener. The Vols beat Big Ten foes Michigan State (exhibition) and Wisconsin earlier this season before coming up just short against second-ranked Purdue in the Maui Invitational semifinals.

Their most recent game came against George Mason on Tuesday night, as they cruised to an 87-66 win as 15.5-point favorites. Junior forward Jonas Aidoo scored a career-high 17 points, while Josiah-Jordan James added 15 points and Tobe Awaka chipped in 11. Tennessee held George Mason to 36% shooting in the first half to take a commanding 39-26 lead.

Northern Colorado transfer Dalton Knecht leads Tennessee with 19 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, scoring 37 points at North Carolina on Nov. 29 to tie the record for most points by a visiting player at the Dean E. Smith Center. Illinois only has one win in its last six road games, and it has only covered the spread once in its last six games against SEC teams. Tennessee is on a six-game home winning streak and has more depth than the Illini. Stream the game here.

How to watch, live stream the college basketball on CBS

Now that you know what to pick, get ready to watch NCAA on CBS games on Paramount+ on any device you want. Visit Paramount+ now to stream your live local CBS sporting events, including the NFL,  on CBS and much more.