Tennessee Volunteers vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Week 8 Odds & Pick

October 23, 7:00 PM EDT

Betting Odds

Point Spread: 
UT +25.5/ALA -25.5
68ov -112

Just as many people thought the Alabama Crimson Tide were showing consistent signs of concern following an upset loss to Texas A&M, the former top-ranked team in the country delivered a message to the college football landscape by derailing Mississippi State 49-9. Personally, I thought the Bulldogs' spread offense would have success against Alabama, but boy was I wrong. In hindsight, I should have expected a huge bounce-back effort from Nick Saban and his staff as the Crimson Tide defense held Mississippi State's offense to 0 touchdowns for the first time this season. This week Alabama will try to build off last week's bounce-back effort when they host the Tennessee Volunteers inside Bryant-Denny Stadium.

The Tennessee Volunteers are just 4-3 SU on the season and fresh off a disappointing 31-26 loss to the 13th ranked Ole Miss Rebels. However, I believe the 4-3 SU record is somewhat misleading. The Vols suffered an early disappointing loss to Pittsburgh and also suffered losses to Florida and Ole Miss, who are both solid football teams. What makes this Saturday's match-up with Alabama so intriguing is the fact Tennessee continues to show improvement with each performance. After two straight blowout victories over Missouri and South Carolina, the Vols played well on both sides of the football against a Rebels team that may have the best offense in all of college football. If Tennessee can get a similar effort from their defense against this week, this 27.5 point betting line looks extremely appetizing.

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Tennessee Volunteers vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Betting Analysis

  • Tennessee is 10-5 ATS in the last 15 games
  • Tennessee has hit the over in four of the last five games
  • Tennessee is 0-14 SU in the previous 14 games against Alabama
  • Tennessee is 0-5 ATS in the last five games against the SEC West
  • Alabama is 19-1 SU in the last 20 games
  • Alabama is 12-5 ATS in the previous 17 games
  • Alabama is 9-3 ATS in the last 12 games against SEC opponents
  • The over has cashed in six of the previous nine games between Alabama and Tennessee

Tennessee Volunteers vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Betting Analysis

The Alabama defense is the key to figuring out all of these Crimson Tide betting lines. When the Crimson Tide defense dominates, they are blowing away opponents despite relatively large spreads. When the defense has struggled, Alabama has lost substantially against the spread. The Crimson Tide were 14.5 point favorites against Florida but gave up 440 total yards in a mere 31-29 victory. As 18.5 point favorites against Texas A&M, Alabama's defense gave up another near 400 yards of total offense and also hurt their cause with several turnovers in a 41-38 loss. Therefore, the outcome of these huge Alabama point spreads typically relies on the play of their defense.

We can expect the Crimson Tide offense to move the ball on a near-weekly basis. Alabama QB Bryce Young is completing 70% passing on the season with 24 touchdowns and just three picks; meanwhile, running back Brian Richardson is starting to become the workhorse running back that Nick Saban's offenses thrive around. In my opinion, the real question towards handicapping this contest is identifying how Tennessee's offense stacks up against the Crimson Tide defense. Tennessee's offense revolves around the dual-threat ability of QB Hendon Hooker. The problem is Hooker's availability is in question following last week's 4th quarter injury against the Rebels. There is a good chance the Vols will have to turn to QB Joe Milton who is a considerable step-down at the most important position on the field. Milton, the former Michigan transfer, has been erratic throughout his entire career. Unless we see significant improvement in Hooker's status throughout the week, bettors should be ready to back the Crimson Tide as they will feast on the backup quarterback, especially with the home crowd at their back.

Tennessee Volunteers vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Prediction ATS

Keep an eye on Hooker's status. If he is sidelined as many expect, fire away with Alabama -25.5.

Free Pick: 
Take Bama minus the points!