Tennessee - Alabama

  • The Alabama Crimson Tide sit as 25-point home favorites over the Tennessee Volunteers for their primetime Week 8 SEC showdown.
  • Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide will look for their eleventh straight outright win against the Josh Heupel coached Volunteers.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Week 8 of the college football slate features a primetime matchup between two of the SEC’s flagship programs, with the Alabama Crimson Tide playing host to the Tennessee Volunteers.

Alabama Crimson Tide Vs. Tennessee Volunteers Betting Odds

Below are the lines getting the most action for the game.

Spread:

  • Alabama -25 (-110)
  • Tennessee +25 (-110)

Points Total:

  • OVER 67 (-110)
  • UNDER 67 (-110)

The spread opened with Alabama favored by 23.5 points but betting action has since moved it to 25.

The Two Teams’ On The Season

Alabama was able to right the ship last week after their upset loss to Texas A&M in Week 6, defeating Mississippi State 49-9 as 17.5-point favorites. The win moved Alabama to 6-1 outright and 4-3 against the spread.

On the other hand, Tennessee fell to 4-3 (3-4 ATS) last week with a 31-26 loss to Ole’ Miss as 1-point underdogs. Though Tennessee sits with an uninspiring winning percentage, they have performed fairly well in 2021: each of their losses came to legitimately strong programs in Pittsburgh, Florida, and Ole’ Miss. They have also handled business in their victories, with their average margin in their four wins at an impressive 37.75 points average.

While Tennessee’s outright record may not tell the whole story, there are some serious concerns for the Volunteers when it comes to covering the spread this week.

Tennessee has had struggles on the defensive side of the ball, allowing 22.9 points per game to opponents (53rd in the nation); on the other hand, Alabama has scored the most points per game in the NCAA, scoring 45 points per game in 2021.

Tennessee did show some spark in their loss to Ole’ Miss last week, though they suffered a huge emotional letdown after being within a touchdown of Ole’ Miss for almost the entirety of the fourth quarter. Tennessee has also really suffered at the hand of injuries, especially on the offensive line. As a result, the Volunteers have allowed 3.8 sacks per game to opposing defensive fronts, sixth-worst in the NCAA.

Tennessee’s struggles at the line of scrimmage may be compounded this week, after starting quarterback Hendon Hooker had to be helped off the field after going down with an apparent injury in the fourth quarter against Ole’ Miss; head coach Josh Heupel has not announced who will start at quarterback, but whether it is Hooker or backup Joe Milton, neither will have much protection from Alabama’s pass rush behind a depleted offensive line.

Alabama has tallied 2.7 sacks per game on defense behind a front seven that features five upperclassmen. Look for Nick Saban and Alabama to gameplan around Tennessee’s pass protection struggles and put an ample amount of pressure on whichever quarterback gets the start.

It is very likely that Tennessee struggles to overcome their deficit in the trenches, and the disparity on the line of scrimmage may be evident early: internet sportsbooks have Alabama favored by 14.5-points on the first half line, and by 7.5-points on the first quarter line.

While 25 points is a large number to cover as a favorite, Alabama has been fantastic against the spread when playing against opponents from the SEC, covering the spread in 9 of their last 12 games against conference foes. Alabama also has a BYE week to look forward to following this week’s showdown, which may help the Crimson Tide stay as focused as they were against Mississippi State last week.

The game starts Saturday at 7:00 p.m. EST on ESPN

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