The #1 overall Alabama Crimson Tide (7-0) head to Knoxville this weekend to take on the Tennessee Volunteers (3-3) in SEC action. Kickoff is set for 3:30 PM EST at Neyland Stadium and the game will be available on CBS.
Taking a look at the Week 8 college football odds, Alabama opened as a 28.5-point road favorite earlier this week. That line has basically stayed the same after early betting, as the Crimson Tide are currently listed at -29. The total for the game is sitting at 57 points.
Vegas Betting Preview & Game Odds: Tennessee vs Alabama
Alabama stayed perfect through seven games last weekend after an impressive 39-10 victory over Missouri. The Crimson Tide did suffer a bit of a scare, however, as Heisman hopeful Tua Tagovailoa was forced to leave the game in the 3rd quarter after suffering an apparent injury. However, Nick Saban has already announced that Tagovailoa will be back starting here in Week 8 against the Volunteers. Tagovailoa has completed over 70% of his passes for 1,760 yards and 21 touchdowns in just seven games. Perhaps even more impressively, he has also yet to throw an interception so far this season. Alabama is also extremely deep at the wideout position, as Jerry Jeudy and DeVonta Smith have been torturing opposing secondaries all season long. Jeudy in particular has looked exceptionally strong, racking up 705 yards and nine touchdowns on just 29 receptions. He is also averaging a ridiculous 27.1 yards per catch, which is first overall nationwide. As a whole, the Crimson Tide are scoring an average of 53.6 points per game (1st overall) on 567.0 total yards.
On the other side of the ball, Alabama has also been extremely formidable defensively – opponents are only averaging 15.1 points per game so far this season, which currently ranks as the 7th best scoring defense overall.
Tennessee pulled off a shocking upset of previously #21 overall Auburn last weekend, shocking the Tigers 30-24 on the road to get back to .500 on the season. The victory put an end to the Volunteers streak of six consecutive loses against ranked teams that dated back several years. QB Jarrett Guarantano was excellent, passing for 328 yards and two touchdowns on the afternoon. He has had two solid games against ranked opponents so far this season (Auburn and Georgia) and has racked up 1,129 passing yards and six touchdowns in only six games. Overall, Tennessee is averaging 26.7 points per game on 367.2 yards of total offense.
The Volunteers have looked fairly solid defensively, giving up an average of 25.3 points per game (64th) so far this season. However, they have really struggled against SEC opponents, as they are allowing 36.3 points per game on 425.3 total yards in three conference games. Tennessee will also be without the services of starting LB Jonathan Kongbo for the rest of the season after he suffered a torn ACL against Auburn in Week 7.
NCAA Football Betting Predictions & Free Pick: Alabama -29
It’s been tough to get a solid read on Alabama from a betting perspective so far this season, as they’ve certainly allowed too many back door covers during garbage time after blowing the doors off their opponents in the first half. In fact, they are only 4-3 ATS so far this season, so picking them to cover has pretty much been a coinflip through the first seven weeks of the season. Still, this shapes up as a pretty good spot for the Crimson Tide overall, as Tennessee has really struggled defensively against SEC opponents and hasn’t really been an offensive powerhouse either.
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The Volunteers are just 1-5 ATS over their last six home games. They are also only 3-7 ATS over their last ten games against SEC opponents. Alabama is a very impressive 7-1 ATS in their past eight road games against Tennessee and is 10-3-1 ATS in their past 14 games against the Vols overall.
While Alabama is clearly the better team on both sides of the ball, it is also important to remember that the lines in these particular spots continue to move towards the underdog after the Crimson Tide started out as 35+ point favorites week in and week out to start the year. While I certainly wouldn’t go out of my way to place a bet on this particular matchup, I still think that there is enough value on the Alabama side of things to make it worthwhile. I’ll lay the points and roll with the Crimson Tide.