Tennessee Volunteers at Alabama Crimson Tide Betting Preview

Tennessee Volunteers at Alabama Crimson Tide Betting Preview

Somehow, the SEC accidentally scheduled Alabama and Tennessee to meet during the fourth Saturday in October rather than the third, as tradition dictates.

Nevertheless, the no. 4 Crimson Tide is set to host the Volunteers on Saturday night. At home, Alabama is being listed as a 25-point favorite with the over/under for the game set at 67 points.

Any concern about Alabama after its loss to Texas A&M two weeks ago turned out to be unfounded. The Tide steamrolled Mississippi State 49-9 last week to immediately get back on track. Of course, Alabama has no margin for error if the Crimson Tide expects to reach the SEC title game and have a chance to get back to the College Football Playoff.

As for the Volunteers, they lost out on an opportunity to win three in a row last week, falling at home 31-26 to Ole Miss. Tennessee’s comeback efforts fell a little short against the Rebels, dropping them to 4-3 on the season.

That puts Josh Heupel’s team in good shape for a bowl bid, although the Vols are about to play Alabama, Kentucky, and Georgia in their next three games.

Hook ‘Em

Virginia Tech transfer Hendon Hooker has turned out to be the answer the Tennessee offense was looking for at quarterback. Hooker’s mobility has helped turn the Vols into one of the top rushing teams in the country, with running back Tiyon Evans also averaging 6.7 yards per carry. But Hooker has also thrown the ball effectively, averaging over nine yards per pass while throwing 14 touchdown passes and just one interception.

The Tennessee defense is also starting to come around after a rough start to the season when the Vols lost at home to Pitt. Granted, Tennessee is giving up 28.3 points per game against SEC opponents. But the Volunteers limited Ole Miss to just seven points in the second half last week, holding the Rebels to more than 12 points under their season average.

Young But Talented

While the Texas A&M game didn’t go Alabama’s way, quarterback Bryce Young can hardly take the blame. He threw for nearly 350 yards and four touchdowns in last week’s win, giving him 24 touchdowns and just three interceptions through seven games. Even with the loss to A&M, the Crimson Tide has been stuff to stop once they get rolling, averaging 45 points per game.

However, there might be some lingering concerns with the Alabama defense after the loss to Texas A&M. The Crimson Tide has been stout against the run all year but struggled at times against the pass.

The Alabama defense doesn’t have as many sacks or takeaways this season as one might expect for a team that’s constantly playing with the lead, leaving them a little vulnerable through the air.

Trouble with Volunteers

It’d be a shock to see Alabama lose at home, although covering the 25-point spread is another matter. The Volunteers have a balanced offense that doesn’t commit a lot of turnovers, so they can challenge the Alabama defense.

Even if the Vols aren’t ready to slow down the Alabama offense, bet on Tennessee scoring enough points to beat the 25-point spread.

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