Even with Butch Jones fired, the Tennessee Volunteers still have a chance to reach a bowl game as they get set to host the LSU Tigers. Kickoff is at 7:00 EST on Saturday, November 18 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee. The game is being televised on ESPN.
The Tigers are listed as 15.5-point favorites on the road. The game has an over/under of 46 points. Click here to check out a full list of Week 12 betting odds and links to game previews.
LSU vs Tennessee Vegas Game Odds & Betting Predictions
Last week’s blowout loss to Missouri was the last straw for Jones at Tennessee. With the Volunteers winless in SEC play, Jones is gone and former Michigan head coach Brady Hoke is in the interim coach at Tennessee.
Vols fans shouldn’t be expecting any miracles, but wins in their final two games would be enough to get Tennessee to 6-6 and a bowl game. Of course, based on last week’s 50-17 loss to Missouri, it’ll take a miraculous effort to make that happen.
Of course, the Vols can look at this week’s opponent as an example of a team that was able to turn things around. After a humiliating loss to Troy, LSU has won four of their last five games, losing only to Alabama in that span. The Tigers are now 7-3 on the season and ranked no. 20 in the Playoff rankings.
Vegas Free NCAAF Betting Pick: LSU -15.5
I’m not sure an interim coach is going to inspire any better effort from the Vols than what we saw in the 2nd half last week against Missouri. I’m not even sure that would be enough to stay competitive with LSU. Even with more than two touchdowns to cover, I’ll swallow the points and lean toward the Tigers.
The only thing that worries me in this matchup is that LSU doesn’t have an explosive offense. They can run the ball effectively, but they don’t have dynamic receivers or an elite quarterback. That being said, they have taken care of business and won comfortably against some of the lesser SEC teams like Arkansas and Ole Miss. That gives me the confidence that they can handle Tennessee.
Click on the link for more free NCAA football picks against the spread and total.
Even if Hoke tries to switch things up this week, I don’t think the Tennessee has the personnel on offense to do much damage against the LSU defense. The Vols have failed to find a suitable quarterback this season, and that doesn’t figure to change.
Freshman Will McBride got his chance last week. But he was only 16 for 32 for 139 yards against a terrible Missouri defense. Against an LSU defense that has impressive amounts of talent at all three levels, the Tennessee offense could be in for a long day.
In SEC play, the Volunteers are averaging just 13 points per game. If they could only muster 17 points against Missouri, I don’t give them much of a chance to do anything against LSU. I wouldn’t even rule out a shutout, which will make it much easier for the Tigers to cover.
Defensively, the Vols have played well at times but looked dreadful at other times. Outside of a blowout loss to Georgia, they’ve typically played better defensively at home. But after the way they were shredded by Missouri last week, particularly on the ground, it’s hard to have much faith in them. Over the course of 60 minutes, I don’t see the Tigers struggling to score points.
If the Vols can play with some fire, they have a chance to keep this game close. But if Tennessee falls behind early, I can see them folding and getting blown out. Either way, LSU is the better team, so I’ll take my chances with the Tigers covering 15.5 points.