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Tennessee

vs.

Alabama

SEC

College Football

Pick - Analysis

10/26/13

Tennessee, congrats on the big win over South Carolina, now you get to face... Alabama. The Volunteers have really stepped up in recent weeks when no one showed any promise in them. It's going to test them even more to stay competitive in this game at Alabama. The Crimson Tide dominated another SEC team last weekend and come into this one as -28 point home favorites at betonline sportsbook.

If it was documented, the Volunteers are probably having one of the toughest stretches ever in college football. In a possible eight games, Tennessee has to play seven teams ranked in the Top 20 (at the time of playing as Florida/Georgia are no longer ranked). Two of those include road games at the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the country. This one is against top-ranked Alabama. Against Oregon, the Vols were also 28-point underdogs and ended up losing by 45 points, although one could say they've improved in the past two months.

Quarterback Justin Worley has been much safer in recent weeks, having not thrown an interception in two straight games. That's what needs to happen when you have a running game like theirs. Rajion Neal (693 yards, eight TDs) hasn't been stopped by many and Marlin Lane (335 yards, four TDs) is a solid backup. Unfortunately, the Crimson Tide are going to be really hard to break in the ground game and if they can't move the ball on the ground, it's unlikely Worley is going to lead this team by himself. That's the main reason why 'Bama has only allowed 16 points in its last five games combined. When you can't run on their front four, it becomes hard to do much of anything, especially when losing.

The Vols defense isn't a strong suit, but they dismantled Connor Shaw last weekend, albeit while allowing 218 yards on the ground. Stopping the Crimson Tide isn't going to be easy, especially with their running game. T.J. Yeldon (657 yards, seven TDs) has been a beast as usual out of the backfield, and when the game gets out of reach, Kenyan Drake will come in to stomp on the weak. Drake has hit 100 yards in two straight games. Then of course AJ McCarron is super-efficient at quarterback, completing close to 70 percent of his passes for 14 TDs and three INTs.

If Tennessee can't get its ground game going, at least a little bit, it will likely turn into another beat down for Alabama. There's no way the Vols can keep up in this game solely on Justin Worley's arm. It'll get worse before getting better. Sure, they have fight in them, but scoring points on the road in Tuscaloosa is a different task. The Crimson Tide won on the road in this matchup last year, 44-13. That was against a Tyler Bray-led offense too.

The Volunteers have covered in four straight conference games, but are 1-9-1 ATS in their last 11 games following an ATS win. The Crimsons Tide are a surprising 1-4 ATS in their last five games following an ATS win. The road team is 14-3-1 ATS in the last 18 meetings between these teams, but Tennessee is just 1-7-1 ATS in the last nine matchups.

There was a time when you could easily guess which side the public was going to be on in just about any game and that wasn't all that long ago. However, over the last decade or so, the public has become a bit more savvy. 10 years ago, it wouldn't matter what the line was in this one, the public would have still been backing Alabama till the cows came home. But in this spot this week, 52% of the action has come in on the Vols as of Tuesday morning. Those numbers are from the largest sportsbook in the world, sportsbook.com

Pick - Tennessee +28

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