Tennessee vs. Alabama: Betting Odds, Picks, and Predictions (10/23/21)

Tennessee vs. Alabama Betting Odds

Alabama actually lost. Jimbo Fisher, Zach Calzada, and the Aggies amazingly took down the beast. It was an incredible game and an incredible upset, but how did Nick Saban respond?

With a 49-9 blowout victory over the Mississippi State Bulldogs. There’s nothing scarier than an angry Alabama team, and the Crimson Tide are still ranked No. 4 in the polls.

Meanwhile, Tennessee is coming off a tough loss to Ole Miss. It was a game with a myriad of storylines, including some dumb quarterback play and some unsettled fans.

However, the Vols are looking forward to this week, a game in which they should surely get smashed by Alabama. However, they’re catching 25 whole points in this game, and I wonder if that’s a few too many points.

Tennessee Volunteers Odds

The Vols can run the ball.

They’re averaging almost 250 rush yards per game at over five yards per attempt, ranking top-10 nationally in Rush Success Rate.

Surprisingly, quarterback Hendon Hooker leads the team in rush attempts this season, racking up 390 yards on his 89 attempts (4.4 yards per carry). However, Tiyon Evans and Jabari Small have both accumulated over 65 carries, and the two have averaged almost six yards per carry between them.

Lucky for them, they get to run behind an offensive line that ranks top-15 in Line Yards.

Even in their loss to Ole Miss last week, they still managed 222 rushing yards on 4.4 yards per carry. With 29 first downs, they had their shot to win that game.

Unfortunately, the defense couldn’t get off the field. Ole Miss had possession for a whopping 34 minutes of this game. That hasn’t been a trend this season, as the defense has been largely very good. But the Ole Miss offense is one of the best in the nation, so it’s understandable.

Alabama Crimson Tide Odds

We must remember: Alabama is a wagon.

Bryce Young is a stud. The offense is averaging over 150 rush yards per game at almost five yards per attempt. The receiving core of John Metchie (11.7 yards per reception, 3 TDs) and Jameson Williams (20.2 yards per reception, 6 TDs) is explosive.

However, this defense is beatable. They rank just 58th in Defensive Success Rate and 103rd in Defensive Points per Opportunity. They’re still great up front, ranking seventh in Defensive Line Yards and 10th in Stuff Rate. But the secondary has issues, ranking outside the top-70 in Defensive Passing Success Rate.

The key for Alabama’s defense is being stout on Standard Downs. When they went down 17-0 to the Aggies early, Texas A&M had an 87% Standard Downs Success Rate – an impossibly high number. But in the second half, that number dropped to 18%, and Alabama stormed back.

But Calzada came up with some magic, and the offense posted a 50% Passing Downs Success Rate in the second half. That’s the only reason the Aggies were able to sneak out that victory.

Prediction and Pick

My pick: Tennessee +25

Sharp money has been hitting the Vols all week. Tennessee opened north of 28, but it’s been moved down and down to 25.

I still think 25 is too many points, and I’d love to follow the sharp money in this spot.

If Tennessee has any success rushing the ball on Standard Downs, they should be able to possess the ball enough to muck up the blowout. That will be the key, as it will be tough to push against this Alabama front.

However, if there’s a rush attack in the nation that can do so, it’s the Volunteers.

The public is fear-betting Saban right now, and everyone is expecting another blowout victory. While the Crimson Tide probably wins by three scores, they won’t win by four, so give me the Volunteers at +24.5 or better.

Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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