Tennessee Volunteers vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
Date and Time: Saturday, October 21, 2017, 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL
Opening College Football Odds: Alabama -33
Tennessee vs. Alabama TV Coverage: CBS
For all of the upsets that are going on around the nation, the one constant that remains is that Alabama is the team to beat, just as it has been for basically the last decade. The road to the National Championship is going to have to go through the Tide. Alabama has gone on win the National Championship three times in the last six seasons. Every single National Championship Game has either included Alabama or a team that beat Alabama somewhere along the way since 2007, and only once in that mix did the team that beat the Tide not ultimately win the championship.
It's still early in the season, and there are a lot of SEC games left to be played, but we can already tell you the same is going to be true this time around.
The Crimson Tide are just flat out mauling teams, too. Nick Saban said that his team learned a big lesson against Texas A&M two weeks ago in a 27-19 victory. That was the closest game of the season to date, and last week's 41-9 win over Arkansas was yet another punishing performance against a good, yet not spectacular team. Anything less than that this week against Tennessee would be considered a brutal disappointment.
We don't even know what Jones should do at this point with the Volunteers. He promised wholesale changes after his team was beaten 41-0 by Georgia. Those changes, one that included starting Jarrett Guarantano under center, yielded no touchdowns for the second consecutive game. It's the first time since 2011 that Tennessee has failed to score a touchdown over the course of two games.
It's not just that these two games, though. Take out the opener against Georgia Tech and the second game of the year against Indiana State and what's left is a team that has averaged 289 yards and 11.5 points per game – and that includes a game against UMass!
Betting Trends of Note
Phillip Fulmer must be dying laughing seeing what has become of his once proud Tennessee program. The Volunteers haven't been greater than 30-point underdogs in a game in their history, and that includes each of the previous eight games against Alabama in which the Tide have been favored by at least 14 points in all of them.
Tennessee is just 3-9-1 ATS in its last 13 games against the Tide dating back to before Saban was the coach in Tuscaloosa, and the Volunteers haven't put more than 20 points on the board in any of those games. They're averaging just 11.9 points per game versus the Crimson Tide since 2004.
Tennessee vs. Alabama Free Picks
We come back to this every single week. It's just so hard to bet against Alabama right now. The Crimson Tide have been covering everything the top college football sportsbooks have been throwing up on the board, and even last week's 41-9 win over Arkansas was close to covering the 37-point closing spread.
That said, we're going to take a huge gulp here and hope that the Tennessee defense, a unit that has done little wrong over the course of this horrible season, can at least hold the fort down a bit and keep the Crimson Tide in the 30s. It's sad to suggest that a 38-6 victory can cover a spread in an SEC game, but that's what we're reduced to at this point.
College Football ATS Pick: Tennessee +33 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Alabama 38, Tennessee 6