College Football Pick
So far, so good for Alabama with the Crimson Tide easing past another SEC team last week, Arkansas the latest victim. This week, they’ll get a Tennessee team that many believe is overrated. While the Volunteers made it to overtime at Texas A&M, they needed 21 Fourth-quarter points to get there. Still, Alabama opened as an -11.5 point road favorite at 5 Dimes Sportsbook and that number has climbed to -13 at some shops as of Monday morning.
When these teams met last season, the Vols put up a good fight in Tuscaloosa, taking a lead with five minutes to go, but the Tide ran through them to take a final lead in a 19-14 win. Either way, Tennessee covered and gave this ‘Bama team a test.
Even though Joshua Dobbs struggled, the Vols had as much success in the ground Game as Alabama and that was the main reason it stayed close. Not many can hold their own against the Tide in the trenches. But with what we’ve seen so far from Tennessee, can they match the Crimson Tide on the ground again?
Before the A&M Game, Tennessee wasn’t getting much on the ground, but surprisingly with Jalen Hurd out, Alvin Kamara and John Kelly led the way to reach 282 rushing yards as a team. Of course on the other end of that, the Aggies ran for 353 yards and that’s exactly what the Tide plan on doing here.
This Alabama offense has another dynamic that wasn’t in last year’s team led by Jake Coker. Jalen Hurts maybe isn’t as great of a passer, but his mobility gives defenses all kinds of problems. So in addition to worrying about Damien Harris (8.7 ypc) and Joshua Jacobs (8.3 ypc) in the Tide backfield, Hurts also presents an issue. Then throw in Calvin Ridley and ArDarius Stewart out wide and this Vols defense will have issues after struggling to do much against Trevor Knight last weekend.
So with ‘Bama once again expected to get close to 40 points, the Vols will need to do the same. So far, the Volunteers have been far too inconsistent to trust, despite Dobbs looking like a star at times. He still has eight interceptions on the year and they have gotten off to slow starts in all of their SEC Games. If Hurd can’t go again, Kamara and Kelly aren’t much of a downgrade so that’s a plus.
But no matter what has happened for the Volunteers in the early going, they seem to have multiple things go their way in each Game which have led to a number of close wins. They even had a chance to take down A&M despite being down a touchdown or two for most of the Game.
However, at some point that luck is going to run out. It could be in this Game with ‘Bama running away. Then again, if the Tide get out to an early lead, Dobbs getting a backdoor cover is always a possibility. That’s exactly what happened when they traveled to Ole Miss and Chad Kelly threw for 421 yards and a few touchdowns.
There’s no question Alabama is the better team, but with how things have played out for Tennessee this year, betting against them at home may not be the safest choice.
Our Pick – We were high on the Vols heading into this season. Up until last week, the ball had been bouncing the Vols way. In fact, it almost happened again this past week against a good A&M team.
Expect a sky high Tennessee team to rise to the occassion this week. Vols +13